Holman Schiavone, LLC

Holman Schiavone, LLC Blog

5 signs you may be experiencing workplace bullying

Workplace bullying can create a hostile work environment and even drive employees out of a job entirely. It goes beyond merely having a co-worker you don't like -- you're not going to be friends with everyone -- and reaches into the territory of abuse. Some have even said that it's equivalent to domestic violence. Instead of targeting a family member, it targets a co-worker.

Wondering if you're really facing workplace bullying and what you can do about it? Below are a few signs to watch out for.

Are you facing age discrimination at your work?

People are widely aware of incidents of racial and sexual discrimination. Fewer people understand that workers past a certain age can also face serious age discrimination. In fact, age discrimination is an incredibly common form of workplace discrimination.

It isn't discrimination against young workers that is most common. Instead, it is discrimination against those who are over the age of 40. Just because your manager, boss or point of contact with the business is also over the age of 40 doesn't mean you won't face age-based discrimination. Age discrimination can take on several different forms.

Company culture and its effect on discrimination

Company culture sets the tone for not only how employees and management conducts business but also how they hire and promote. While managers give motivational speeches to the ranks and talk about goal-oriented strategies, they often turn a blind eye to the exclusive and discriminatory environment that exists. While they have made strides to ensure hiring practices are within the bounds of the law, meeting diversity standards, other types of discrimination have begun to emerge.

Discrimination does not have to solely exist for gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. There are a multitude of factors that can generate discriminatory behavior. If you have suffered discrimination or harassment in the workplace, you might be able to take legal action. An experienced employment law attorney in the Kansas City area can help you pursue your case. Read further for more information about how corporate culture shapes discrimination in the workplace.

What to do about harassment as a service employee

Both women and men who work in service-based positions may find themselves subject to sexual harassment by customers. Unlike harassment by other employees, which many companies are quick to address, this kind of harassment is often ignored. Many times, managers will shrug off even physical assault, such as unwanted touching of arms, butts or chests as flirting or otherwise harmless behavior. Service workers who repeatedly complain about this kind of treatment could be ignored or even punished by their employers for trying to protect their bodily autonomy and personal safety.

Employers are supposed to provide a safe work environment. That includes taking steps to prevent staff harassment, both from other workers and from customers. Customers who repeatedly harass or abuse employees should not be excused. Management should step in and protect the staff members. Failing to do so is effectively giving permission to customers to continue disrespecting and abusing the service workers. If your employer isn't addressing customer harassment, you should speak with an experienced sexual harassment and workplace law attorney as soon as possible about your options.

Home Depot to face sexual harassment lawsuit over murder

Most cases of sexual harassment end with either the victim or the harassers leaving the job or transferred to a different apartment. In one tragic case of harassment out of Illinois, job site sexual harassment escalated to the murder of a young woman. After initially having the case thrown out, the woman's family is now allowed to sue Home Depot for failing to take adequate action to protect their daughter.

This case highlights why it is so critical for employers to take quick and serious action to address sexual harassment within their organization, even if the work site is a satellite business.

6 things pregnant women and new moms should know

Pregnant women and new mothers have specific rights by which employers must abide. These protections apply to all pregnant women. They cover pregnant women from the hiring process through her pregnancy and even during the postpartum period. All pregnant women and those who have recently had a baby should remember these points.

Workplace discrimination charges made against company

Many behaviors in the workplace could be considered to be against the law in Missouri and elsewhere around the country. Workplace discrimination occurs when an employee is treated unfairly because of their age, race, gender, nationality, religion or disability. When such discrimination is suspected, employees sometimes come together to protest a company's behavior in a lawsuit. Kay Jewelers has recently come under fire for suspected wage and promotion discrimination, as well as alleged sexual improprieties.

Thousands of current and former employees have filed a lawsuit against the jewelry company that claims women were frequently passed over for promotions and men were mostly the ones in positions of power. The pattern of discrimination is said to have dated back to the early 1990s.  In addition, over 200 employees alleged that the company was in violation of the Equal Pay Act and the Civil Rights Act. As part of a federal class-action lawsuit, the employees claim pay discrimination took place in the context of sexual improprieties.

Improvements still needed re workplace sexual harassment

Unwanted advances from co-workers have occurred for a very long time, well before they were considered to be illegal. While sexual harassment is against the law in Missouri and everywhere else in our country, it is still prevalent in the workplace today. A long-time federal correspondent for an internet broadcast radio station and website-based news provider recently offered his insight on sexual harassment in the work environment.

He believes that even unwelcome sexual behavior on the job has been against the law for years, many men still don't understand that what they are doing is wrong. Even smart, successful or religious men are guilty of this behavior. The majority of men are never caught or are seldom punished even if they are. The correspondent does not offer statistics to support if harassment happens more or less frequently now or where it occurs more. He simply acknowledges that the problem still exists.

Roundup of EEOC discrimination settlements

If you are routinely discriminated against at your job, it may seem hopeless. There is great power disparity between you and your employer. Sure, you could file a discrimination lawsuit, and you are nominally protected but the reality is that your employer is likely going to punish you for filing the suit and you will be forced to look for another. Additionally, with the job market still tight, you don?t want to develop a "litigious" reputation. With so many chips stacked against you, it may look like you will just have to swallow that discriminatory behavior.

Missouri raised the minimum wage in 2017

The minimum wage was a hot topic over the past few years. The famed "Fight for 15" pitted service workers, predominately in the fast food industry, against employers both big and small. The "Fight for 15" basic argument was that the minimum wage did not provide a livable wage which forced people on the minimum wage to seek government assistance. Essentially, the government was subsidizing major company’s ability to underpay their workers.

Their argument has some merit. The minimum wage is not pegged to inflation therefore its effective buying power has steadily decreased over the decades. The current minimum federal wage is $7.25 an hour which amounts to about $15,080 a year which is below the federal poverty line for a family of two, let alone three or four.