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February 2017 Archives

Disability discrimination basics

The Federal government prohibits employers from discriminating their employees on the basis of race, religion, sex or disability. Disability discrimination is the unfair treatment towards a person because of their disability. The law does not force employers to hire disabled employees. It only makes sure that someone who is capable of performing the same duty as any other person is not rejected because of the disability.

"Fight for 15" does not include service workers

The "Fight for 15" was a nationwide push to raise minimum wages to $15 an hour. It was largely successful, states and cities across the country are raising their minimum wage. But there is one group is that largely being omitted, tipped or "service" workers. This post will go over how they were left behind by the "Fight for 15."

The history of workers? compensation explained

Prior to the creation of workers? compensation, employees were left with few options if they suffered an injury on the job. They could try and negotiate a settlement with their employer, or they could file a lawsuit. Under the first option, they depended on the generosity of their employer. Under the second system, it could take years before they saw a payout. To remedy this problem, workers? compensation was invented. This post will go over the creation of workers? compensation and why it was needed.

The basics of non-compete agreements

Did you sign an employment contract or manual? If you did, you could be subject to a non-compete agreement. Non-compete agreements are controversial contracts that are used by companies to prevent their employees from working at competitive companies, including starting their own business. This post will go over the basics of a non-compete agreement (non-competes) and how they apply to you.

Can you be fired for taking a sick day?

Sick days, unlike vacation days, are paid days off for unexpected absences. Vacation or "paid time off" is schedule with HR and coordinated with your team. Sick days are unexpected and come up when you get sick. Many employers give their employees an allotted amount of sick days but what happens if you take those days? Can you be fired? What if you exceed your sick days? This post will go over sick days and your right to take them.

An overview of the Labor Secretary nominee

President Trump announced his selection for Labor Secretary (head of the Department of Labor) back in December of 2016. But it is only recently that the country has taken a good look at their potential Labor Secretary's positions and background. Andy Puzder, the nominee, is CEO of CKE Restaurants (you might know them as Carl's Jr. and Hardees).

Review of mandatory employee arbitration clauses

A trend in employment contracts is to force employees to waive their rights to court, to file class actions, and other retaliatory actions. Instead, most of these contracts force employees into arbitration. The Supreme Court agreed to hear three consolidated actions over mandatory arbitration agreements. This post will go over these agreements and what it means that the Court is reviewing them.

Missouri settlement revealed in DOC-discrimination case

The Missouri Department of Corrections (DOC) has issued its latest settlement to settle allegations of harassment, lewd comments, vulgarity, and debasing behavior. This latest settlement, for $165,625, is the latest in a string of cases against the DOC. Last year, two juries awarded $4 million for harassment and discrimination; more cases are working their way through the courts. It does not appear Missouri or the DOC are in any mood to enact reforms to curb this behavior.

4 things you should do after sexual harassment at work

Sexual harassment at work is a troublesome occurrence that can impact you emotionally, physically and mentally. Your mind might be so full of thoughts because of the harassment that you can't really think clearly. Take these steps after sexual harassment at work.

Do you have to notify your employer if you are pregnant?

Pregnancy is an exciting time for a new mother and expecting family. You are on the verge of entering a brave new world as you welcome a new life. Unfortunately, many parents are also plagued by fear about what it means for their career. You probably know that you are entitled to job protection if you are pregnant. But, to what extent, do those protections apply? This post will go over pregnancy and how it may affect your job.

Fashion and free speech: the employer dress code

At first, it may sound like a ridiculous problem, suing your employer for not allowing you keep your dreadlocks. But the matter was sufficiently serious that it went all the way up to the 11th Federal Circuit of Appeals. Back in the day, workplaces could impose any dress code they wanted on their employees. The general understanding was that fashion (i.e. hair, clothing, etc.) was not a protected right and therefore an employer is free to permit or restrict it. That is how Pan Am could do the famous "pinch" and "thigh" test for its flight attendants.

Mine deaths drop in 2016, another year of progress

Mines have enjoyed decades of dramatically improved safety and 2016 was no exception. Mines were once one of the most dangerous places to work. Explosions, cave-ins, and fatalities were common. But in the 1970s, with the Mine Safety Act, the United States has taken a dramatic turn and significantly improved the health and safety of mine workers. In fact, the U.S. as enjoyed year over year increases in safety and a clear long-term drop in fatalities.