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Posts tagged "Employee Rights"

Missouri state mental facility is an unsafe workplace

The Briggs Forensic Center in Fulton is the oldest public hospital for the mentally ill west of the Mississippi River. It is also in such a severe state of disrepair that it may be a violation of the patients' and workers' rights to be inside the structures. The hospital, collectively referred to as Fulton State Hospital, occupies a 95-acre tract of land, which also has other deteriorated structures that are held together with a patchwork of repairs.

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 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.

More employees are suing for overtime pay

More workers are taking their employers to court to get overtime pay. Recent cases include a police officer and a lawyer who each said they worked more than 40 hours without overtime pay. Nine candy company workers say their employer wrongly classified them as sales representatives to avoid paying overtime. Employment lawyers say more sue because they are becoming more aware of their employee rights.

Laws surrounding internships confusing for many businesses

Some businesses believe that the Department of Labor have made the employee rights surrounding internships complex enough that many companies may not want to take the risk, and Missouri students seeking internships may be finding them harder to come by. Internships are primarily meant as a method for students to gain valuable on-the-job training as well as an extra line on their resume. For businesses, an internship allows them to hire another employee at a lower cost. However, businesses that attempt to get too much labor out of interns at too low of a cost often find themselves in trouble.

Fast food workers fight for wages and unions

Missouri and Kansas fast-food workers may be interested in the unionization efforts of fast-food workers and new wage laws in other parts of the country. Workers in New York fast-food restaurants recently held a one day strike to publicize their efforts to unionize and obtain higher wages, more certain schedules, and enhanced benefits. In December, 2012, New York passed a law that would raise the state minimum wage from the current $7.25 per hour to $9.00 per hour by 2015. Some fast-food workers say that raise isn't enough. The Women's Center for Education and Career Advancement said in a 2010 study that a single New Yorker with no dependents would need to earn $12.56 per hour to live without relying on government subsidies. The number goes up to $23.39 per hour if the worker has a child to support.

Employers keep track of alleged employee theft

In recent years, theft by employees has been an increasing problem for many employers. As a result, some Kansas City retail companies have begun to use databases to record employees accused of theft. Tens of thousands of companies, including some major retailers, subscribe to these databases. There is some question about how these databases impact employee rights.An employer may enter an employee into the system with little information. Sometimes only suspected thefts are reported, and many of the reports do not result in criminal charges against the accused employee. Regardless, the existence of the employee's information in a database may prevent that person from being hired.

Schools could pay high price for avoiding right-to-work laws

Missouri and Kansas teachers may be interested in how the controversial new right-to-work laws in another state are affecting that state's education system. In Michigan, some school districts and colleges are approving new contracts that will let them avoid the legislation for a few years. However, side-stepping the laws could cause a problem. State Republicans are angry that some schools have simply lengthened employee contracts in order to skirt the issue of addressing employee rights. The costs could possibly escalate as high as seven figures for some learning institutions, especially universities. 

How physicians can resolve employment contract disputes

It is not uncommon for a doctor who is employed by a hospital or health care system to become involved in a dispute over the terms of his or her employment agreement. Typical provisions in physician employment contracts that are ripe for differing interpretations include those relating to productivity bonuses, termination requirements, geographic scope of work and noncompete clauses. The first thought of Kansas City doctors who find themselves embroiled in a contract dispute may be to sue for violation of their employee rights. But there is a better approach, legal experts say. The first step in handling any employment contract dispute is to remain calm. If you let your emotions take control, the focus likely will become your conduct, making it difficult to negotiate a favorable resolution. Next, carefully review the contract documents to make sure you are not misinterpreting what they say. Your attorney can help with this review.

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