Holman Schiavone, LLC

September 2016 Archives

Break time for employees who are nursing mothers

The federal government recognizes the importance of breastfeeding and other motherly duties. Sometimes mothers might require breaks from their job to take care of their child. The federal government, along with 25 other states, has made special laws to make sure the rights of these mothers are protected.

Rights of minors working for a small business

Minors often look for summer jobs to earn some extra money. Those who pay for their tuition may try to find work to earn enough money for when their semester starts. Others might be looking for some extra cash. There are specific laws in place to protect the rights of underage people who are often employed by small businesses. It makes sense for these businesses to hire minors because they bring a lot of energy and come at a lower wage than others.

Class action lawsuits against wage and hour law violations

The government gives employees the right to file a complaint against their employers. If they feel that their employers are not giving them a proper wage, overtime pay or denying their rights, they may file a lawsuit. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) protects the rights of employees and makes sure they receive proper benefits. If thousands of employees feel that their rights are being denied, they may opt to file a class action lawsuit against the employer. Class action lawsuits could be potentially worth millions of dollars.

Facing age discrimination in the workplace

Discrimination on the basis of age is a problem for employees who are either too young or too old. Both can be victims of age discrimination by the employer. According to the law, employers may not hire, fire or promote employees based on their age. In most cases, it is difficult to predict whether the decision was taken because of the employee's age or not. Employers often have other excuses for their decisions. Employees who feel that discrimination is taking place may file a complaint in court.

Reporting wage and hour violations

If you are an employee who has been denied required minimum wage and overtime pay, you can recover the owed wages by reporting the act as a violation. According to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers are supposed to pay at least the federal minimum wage. On top of this, employees who work over 40 hours a week need to be paid "time and a half" overtime salary. If an employer fails to provide the minimum wage, an employee or a third party may register a complaint. Complaints of 'wage theft' can result in employees receiving the wages they were unjustly denied.

The benefits of establishing a SEP

The Simplified Employee Pension, or SEP, offers an easy retirement plan option for employers. Unlike other retirement plans, which require setting up a separate plan, in a SEP you can make contributions to your own Individual Retirement Account (IRA) and to the IRAs of your employees. These contributions are subject to some percentages of pay and dollar limits. Factors such as firm size, age, revenue, retirement, the compensation needs of the employer and workforce determine whether a SEP is suitable for a business.

Recent news accounts highlight that discrimination and harassment persist

When celebrities, athletes and people in high-profile positions assert their rights, the media often jumps to attention to find every angle to explore. That is not necessarily a bad thing, as putting topics on the public agenda can bring awareness and open discussion concerning important issues. In recent weeks, two stories of oppression and harassment have been making waves in traditional and social media outlets throughout the country (and beyond.)

Workplace bullying or harassment? Why the difference matters

Anyone who has faced mistreatment or abuse from a coworker or boss knows the lasting emotional harm that can result. If you think you're being bullied or harassed at work, it's a good idea to talk to your human resources department right away to try to improve the situation. But if the situation is getting bad enough that you're wondering about legal action, it's important to know the difference between bullying - which isn't usually illegal, except in rare extreme cases - and harassment, which can be illegal if it's on the basis of your membership in a protected class.

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.

Obtaining unemployment benefits

If you have lost your job through no fault of your own, you might be eligible for unemployment benefits and compensation. With growing economic problems, organizations are laying off employees to reduce expenditure. Payroll taxes paid by most employees go to the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Fund. If you are unemployed, you might be able to receive a percentage of the amount you used to earn through the fund. But you must document your efforts of looking for a new job to be eligible.