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March 2017 Archives

Civil Rights Act may not offer equal protection in all cases

Workplace discrimination can take many shapes and sizes, but one would hope that discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity would be a thing of the past by now. Unfortunately for workers' rights advocates, a three-judge panel ruled recently on a case before the 11th Circuit appeals court, stating that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its protections do not extend to discrimination against employees due to sexual orientation.

Why do wrongful termination suits often settle out of court?

The kinds of novels you might find in an airport would have you believe that a brazen, determined employee can embark on wrongful termination suit and eventually bring the whole system crashing to the ground around her, having solved an international crisis in the process. In reality, this is rarely if ever how wrongful termination suits play out (let alone harrowing international crises). Most of the time, wrongful termination suits are settled out of court, for a number of reasons.

What protections do I have if I speak out?

As an employee, you have the right to work in a workplace that's free from unsafe conditions. If you see hazardous conditions that could affect you and your co-workers, there's a moral calling to report it. Unfortunately, some employers may not like the extra scrutiny and financial obligations they'll incur in order to fix the issue. Since you're the one who spoke out, you become a target of retaliation. That could be:

Reasons to get leave under the FMLA

Many countries have adopted laws that allow parents to take the time off of work that they need to raise a child, take care of an illness or attend to a sick relative. The United States is a little behind other countries on this matter, but we have The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a law that allows employees to take anywhere from 12 weeks to 12 months off of work for a variety of reasons. It also ensures that the employee will return to their original job or be given an equivalent one.

Who are the eligible employees under the FMLA?

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that requires employers to offer to employees 12 weeks of unpaid time to take care of family business. The family business could be for pregnancy, or it could be to care for a sick family member. The FMLA allows employees to apply for leave and the employer is required to return them to their same job or an equivalent when the 12 weeks are up. But, the FMLA does not apply to every employee. This post will go over the covered employers and employees.

Indiana considers raising the minimum wage

Two competing bills submitted by two Democratic senators seek the raise the minimum wage in Indiana. Indiana is surrounded by states who have raised their minimum wage from Illinois and Michigan to Ohio. But the fight to raise the minimum wage is encountering resistance in Indiana. Some lawmakers and business groups argue that raising the minimum wage too much could have drastic consequences for the economy and make Indiana less competitive.

Sexual harassment: the myths, Part 1

Sexual harassment is a complicated issue to unpack. It deals with an area of human behavior that most people find uncomfortable and therefore difficult to analyze and discuss. But, just because something is uncomfortable, does not mean that it does not happen every day to millions of people (women and men). Unfortunately, since society is doing a poor job of addressing sexual harassment, myths have arisen that discourage many people from coming forward. This post will go over some of those myths.

Indiana considers raising the minimum wage

Two Democratic state senators introduced different bills that would raise the minimum wage in Indiana. Indiana's neighboring states to the north, east, and west have all enacted legislation to raise their minimum wage - Indiana has thus far refused. The two competing bills would raise Indiana's minimum wage, currently $7.25 to either $10.62 per hour or $15 an hour for most Indiana workers.

Bill seeks to make lawsuits against companies more difficult

The new year and new administration has brought with it a host of changes in the legal landscape of doing business and operating as a consumer. Among the new bills being debated in the current legislative season is a bill recently approved by the U.S. House that seeks to restrict the freedoms of individuals or groups to sue a company. Unfortunately, this may be a significant setback for those with legitimate workplace discrimination claims.

An in-depth look at the Family Medical Leave Act, Part 1

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was hailed as a revolution in the workplace. Before the FMLA, women received no protection if they got pregnant. Their employer could fire them, deny them promotions, or take any other of series of actions based on her pregnancy. The FMLA clarified that being pregnant is a protected status and employers are not permitted to punish employees for becoming pregnant. This post will go over the FMLA and how it protects you.

Asserting your rights to family and medical time off work

No matter what your job may be, you are a person like everyone else, and you deserve to have your rights as a person protected. One of the measures that seeks to protect employees rights to lead a normal human life that includes family and loved ones is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Under the FMLA, an employee is entitled to take of time from work to address both family and medical emergencies without fear of losing his or her job.

Six tips to help you prevent sexual harassment

Sexual harassment occurs every day. It isn’t as rampant as Mad Men popularized about the 50’s and 60’s, however, subtle harassment occurs every day. It is so common because sex is a difficult concept to unpack. Drawing a line between acceptable and unacceptable behavior is murky. Therefore, it is up to you, your supervisors, co-workers, and friends to identify and prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. To guide you in your goal, here are six facts about sexual harassment.

Uber's culture encourages toxic work environment

The New York Times conducted interviews with other 30 current and former Uber employees after a tell-all blog by a former Uber engineer ignited the Internet. The Times investigation uncovered a pervasive environment that encourages workers to harass and backstab one another. Managers routinely harassed their employees and discriminated against them based on orientation, sex, and more.

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