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February 2013 Archives

Right-to-work legislation considered by Missouri legislators

Under federal law, unions must represent all workers when engaged in collective bargaining or providing services, such as legal representation following unfair dismissal. A majority of states allow unionized workplaces to collect dues from all new employees as a condition of employment, but this majority may become an even split. Missouri legislators have been recently considering right-to-work legislation that would prohibit mandatory collection of dues.Supporters of the bill put forth two central arguments. They argued that the choice of whether to, in the form of union dues, buy a particular service or not falls under the rubric of employee rights. At least one lawmaker suggested that several businesses have chosen not to locate in Missouri due to lack of right-to-work legislation.

Advocates demand better safeguards for construction professionals

Although Texas has more construction worker fatalities than any other state, most of its workers don't receive compensation. A majority earn extremely low wages, and almost one-fourth of workers have come forward with allegations that their employers withheld or denied them payment for the work they performed. Although state wage laws do exist in Texas, reports and surveys show that employers in some regions pay far less than in others. Members of the San Juan, Texas-based labor organization La Union del Pueblo Entero, or LUPE, regularly report wage theft to organization staff. LUPE includes 7,000 members, and about half of them hold jobs in construction fields. Like Texas, Missouri has minimum wage laws for workers and minimum-age limits established to prevent child workers from participating in hazardous occupations. Although there are no legally mandated requirements for providing workers with breaks with the exception of the entertainment industry, the Missouri Department of Labor notes that doing so is up to the employer's discretion. In the example of Texas, many workers who do not receive adequate wages leave the area for better paying jobs elsewhere.

The 'criminal history' box on applications becoming a social issue

Rehabilitation; it's a word that is used in relation to people who have been charged with a crime. We talk a lot about second chances and giving those who need it a helping hand. Although this is the social discussion, when it comes to a career, it is nearly impossible to find employment. Why, because there is a little box on almost every application that asks if the applicant has ever been charged with a crime other than a traffic violation.

'Macho Culture' another way of saying gender discrimination

The term "gender discrimination" often evokes an image of a woman getting passed up for a promotion, having her hours cut after taking maternity leave, being described as too emotional in performance reviews and many other adverse employment actions. While the term may feel like it applies to women, it certainly isn't an exclusive one under Missouri law or federal laws.

Yet another reason to try to take off a few pounds

We all know the importance of eating well and exercising. Rarely does a week go by without there being story on the news reminding us of the role maintaining a healthy weight plays. These reports generally focus on the stress extra pounds place upon organs in the body such as the heart as well as how it puts you at greater risk for certain diseases such as cancer. It turns out there is another reason that can be added to the list of why it is important to reach and maintain a healthy weight-the odds that you will survive a car accident.

EEOC releases 2012 discrimination statistics

Many employees in Kansas and Missouri have or are currently enduring a form of employee discrimination. Since employment discrimination can occur in a multitude of scenarios and is covered by several categories of discrimination, many employees are not familiar with their employment rights. A common avenue for employees to challenge a potential employment decimation scenario is through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Second Kansas Hospital employee seeks $3.5 for discrimination

Typically when employee discrimination claims are filed by an employee in Kansas, the company is named as the defendant. The company is typically named as the defendant because the company is generally liable for the actions of all of their employees, including supervisors and managers. Since a company can be liable for the actions of all of its employees, it may benefit an employer to ensure all employment practices are in compliance with prevailing Kansas, Missouri or any other state and federal labor laws in which they employee workers.