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September 2013 Archives

Missouri doctor errors liability lifted for health care volunteer

Volunteer health services are one way for people to make a difference, touch a life and to learn while helping others. Unfortunately, liability insurance prices created a barrier for retired doctors and others in the health care sector to provide volunteer services within their communities. Recently, Missouri legislators reinstated the Volunteer Health Services Act in an effort to waive the liability associated with medical malpractice or doctor errors for volunteers.

Woman reaches rare gender identity discrimination settlement

A 29-year-old transgender woman obtained a rare victory when she settled a gender identity discrimination case for $50,000. The woman was fired in 2010 when she informed her boss at a market of her intention to begin gender transitioning from male to female. Since federal discrimination statutes do not specifically forbid gender identity discrimination, the woman claimed sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Title VII is the federal statute at the foundation of workplace discrimination laws in all states, including Missouri.

California increases minimum wage

Some states may be poised to consider raising their minimum wages in the aftermath of California making the decision to hike its own minimum wage to $10 by the year 2016. At least eight states are contemplating raising their minimum wages. Missouri currently indexes its minimum wage to allow for automatic increases. The index system previously was approved by voters.

Missouri woman accuses former manager of sexual harassment

A Clayton woman is claiming $25,000 in lost wages and benefits as part of a sexual harassment lawsuit against her former manager. The suit claims that the Café Napoli cocktail server became the victim of unwelcome sexual behavior over a two-month period. After rejecting inappropriate sexual advances from her manager, the woman claims to have been fired unjustly. The bar manager has not offered a public statement about the case.

Fatal Missouri motorcycle accident: serious head injuries cause?

It is a story that is told too often: a motorcyclist is severely injured because another driver didn't see the motorcycle until it was too late. Although motorcycle laws vary from state-to-state, motorists in general are reminded to safely share the road with motorcycles and owe a duty of reasonable care to avoid a collision with a motorcycle. Missouri motorcyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other motorists on our roadways. In a tragic turn of events, three people were hurt in a recent accident involving a motorcycle and a truck, though it was not specifically detailed if the biker suffered serious head injuries or spinal cord injuries, both of which are common results of motorcycle accidents.

Former deputy's sexual harassment suit settled for $1.2 million

Clay County, Missouri officials have agreed to pay $1.2 million to a former sheriff's deputy who claimed she was subjected to persistent and unwanted sexual advances from her six male co-workers. She sued for sexual harassment after her complaints that a male deputy texted her a photo of his genitals were dismissed and resulted in her being given a written reprimand.

Religious liberty and gay rights in workplace discrimination

Missouri residents may be interested in accounts of numerous recent controversies involving businesses claiming that their religious liberties allow them to refuse to hire or serve members of the LGBT community . For many privately held businesses, what some in the LGBT community call employment discrimination or even bigotry against certain customers is merely an exercise of their right to religious freedom. Gay and lesbian marriage may be legal in some states, but that hasn't stopped some business owners from standing against it.

Missouri hit-and-run accidents: Crash seriously injures coworker

It is always a good idea to have a designated driver after someone has been drinking. The ideal situation is that the designated driver should not be overindulging in alcohol at the same time. Unfortunately, two Missouri men apparently forgot to arrange which would remain sober ahead of time when they were out drinking one night. To make matters worse, after one of the men hit the other with his pickup truck, he drove away. Hit-and-run accidents like this where both people appear to know each other are relatively rare.

The IRS announces new rules on restaurant tips

Many Missouri restaurants may no longer add gratuities to the checks presented to large parties after the Internal Revenue Service announced that they are changing the way these tips will be classified. Wait staff are responsible for reporting tips which are built into the bill under current wage laws, but the new rules would classify them as taxable service charges. This means that they would be subject to payroll taxes and lead to higher costs for restaurants.

Part of harassment claim returned to lower court

The Missouri Supreme Court ruled that a Circuit Court judge erred in his judgement and returned part of a harassment case back to the lower courts. The former hospital employee filed a lawsuit after she claimed that she was retaliated against for making a sexual harassment complaint against a doctor. The original lawsuit contained eight counts. Four of those counts will be reconsidered.

Drunk driving accidents were expected over Labor Day weekend

Labor Day weekend presented a perfect three-day getaway for families and individuals to be traveling on the roadways for the holiday weekend. It also usually provides a perfect weekend for having parties and consuming alcohol. Missouri residents were warned to be prepared over Labor Day weekend, and to take precautions from potential dangers on the road such as drunk driving accidents.

Kansas City workers protest for higher wages

Kansas City fast food chains were protested in the second one-day work action in under a month. McDonald's and Church's Chicken locations were targeted by protesters, who claimed that although the chains followed wage laws, they were not paying their workers enough. Their action was part of a demand for higher pay and to have the right to unionize without management retaliation. Organizers said it wasn't a formal strike or a boycott, but instead was more of a protest rally to raise awareness.