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August 2013 Archives

Sexual harassment is costly to employers

Missouri employers may want to take a lesson from a particular high-profile sexual harassment case. The mayor of San Diego is named as the defendant in one woman's sexual harassment lawsuit and is facing allegations of improper sexual conduct by more than 12 other women. Although the mayor has denied the claims, he acknowledged that he disrespected and intimidated women and has completed a two-week course of therapy.

Missouri head-on collisions can bring fatal consequences

There are few accidents that can have as serious of consequences then a collision that involves two vehicles hitting each other head-on. Depending on the speed of such head-on collisions, the damage to the vehicle and the ferocity of the impact can leave little hope of the occupants surviving the accident. Recently, one such accident occurred in Missouri, where one occupant of a vehicle was killed and the driver of another vehicle now faces criminal charges for allegedly having drugs in his system at the time of the crash.

Police sergeant wins reverse discrimination suit

The St. Louis Police Officers Association president, who is also a police sergeant, was recently awarded $620,000 in actual and punitive damages in a reverse racial discrimination suit. The workplace discrimination suit, filed in Jan. 2012, named a variety of defendants, including the police department, the Police Board of Commissioners and the mayor. It was alleged that the man was passed over for a position at the Police Academy because they were specifically looking to give a black woman the job.

Minimum wage increase will help thousands of Missouri workers

In Missouri, wage laws allow for an adjustment of the minimum wage every year based upon current rates of inflation. As such, a report that was released on Aug. 15 shows that the minimum wage should increase by 15 cents on Jan. 1, 2014, making the state's new minimum hourly rate $7.50 per hour.

Missouri head-on collisions: Victim may have had "help";

Police and rescue crews were called out to a serious accident on a recent Sunday morning in Missouri. The victim was pinned in her car after having been involved in one of many head-on collisions that happen too often on the nation's highways. All that were a part of the efforts to free her were afraid that she would die in the wreckage.

Senate may vote on ENDA in Sept.

A leadership aide for the Senate Democratic has reported that the Senate may vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in September. This act could have a dramatic impact on workplace discrimination by preventing employers from discriminating against workers based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. If passed, the act would affect employees and employers in Missouri and in other states.

Missouri restaurant owes back pay to undocumented workers

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that a Kansas City cafe's former owner owes more than $450,000 in back wages, liquidated damages, legal fees and expenses to six undocumented Guatemalan workers. The workers had filed suit claiming that their employer had violated federal wage and hour laws by failing to pay them minimum wage and overtime for their work. In upholding the lower court ruling in the workers' favor, the appellate court said the employee rights under federal wage labor laws sometimes trump immigration law.

Unpaid Kansas City interns not protected from sexual harassment

Unpaid interns learning the ropes at various Kansas City offices and businesses may be shocked to learn that federal courts added certain civil rights protections to the list of benefits to which they are not entitled. The case involved an unpaid intern who sued for sexual harassment after claiming her boss invited her to an orgy and said she would have to undress before meeting with him. A federal appeals court said her case should be thrown out due to her unpaid work status.

Hit-and-run accidents can prove fatal for Missouri pedestrians

Walking to and from destinations is still a form of commuting utilized by many people. Whether it is in rural or urban areas, people can be walking to any number of destinations. While there are many benefits to walking, pedestrians can also face many dangers if they are walking along roadways. Distracted and impaired drivers could easily strike a pedestrian, causing serious injuries or possibly even death. When pedestrians are involved in hit-and-run accidents, the situation can be even more devastating.

Road rash, other possible injuries for Missouri motorcyclist

When a motorcyclist is involved in a car accident, he or she is much more likely to sustain serious injuries than people in other vehicles. Road rash, broken bones and head trauma are just a few of the many likely injuries to result from a cyclist being thrown from their bike or colliding with another vehicle. A motorcycle driver can feel lucky to be alive after an accident, but injuries can still cause significant setbacks.

Television anchor alleges discrimination in wrongful termination

Wrongful termination cases reach all industries and professions in Missouri and elsewhere in the United States. After being terminated, allegedly for statements he posted on Facebook regarding the Internal Revenue Service, long-time St. Louis television anchor man Larry Conners sought a restraining order from a judge on a non-compete clause in his employment contract with the station that fired him. In other words, after being fired, the station is now asserting the non-compete contract provision, effectively preventing Conners from gaining employment in the television industry. Conners contends that his termination was long in the works, and the real reason behind it was his age as opposed to the stated reason of his postings on Facebook about the IRS.

Police officers file lawsuit in wage dispute

Three former Missouri police officers are suing the city of Potosi for several violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The officers have joined together in a class action lawsuit and are asking for $500,000 from the city. In addition to the city, the lawsuit names the police chief, the mayor and several aldermen.