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  • How the Civil Rights Act Protects Transgender Workers
    For generations, transgender individuals facing workplace discrimination have had little legal recourse. While a small number of jurisdictions have passed local anti-discrimination laws, federal laws were rarely used to protect transgender people. However, that is changing.
  • PayScale's VIP Blog Roundup: Help! My Company Wants Me to Work During FMLA Leave
    Most workers have probably heard of FMLA, but how many really understand what it means, in terms of rights and limitations? Worse, a lot of employers don't know where the line is. In this week's roundup, Alison Green advises an Ask a Manager reader on what he can expect from FMLA. Plus, we learn why high school students should learn how to use social media, and how job hopping can be good (or very bad) for your career.
  • FMLA: What You Need to Know
    The main purpose of FMLA or the Family and Medical Leave Act is to help employees balance work and personal/familial needs. By way of the FMLA, you can take up to 12 weeks leave in any 12-month period for personal or an immediate family member's medical exigencies, expansion of family, or for matters arising out of a family member's call for military duty. If you're thinking about taking FMLA, there are things you need to know in order to make sure you get the coverage you're entitled to.
  • Non-Competes: Not Just for Executives Anymore
    Non-compete agreements are provisions that are traditionally included in the contracts of executives and tech employees who work with sensitive trade secrets. These agreements prevent these high-level, and usually well-compensated, employees from immediately going into competition with their employer should they leave the company. While these agreements stifle competition, there are arguments that they make sense for these positions. However, companies like Amazon have made non-compete agreements a condition of employment for even temporary factory workers. If these oppressive agreements are enforceable they could prevent temporary factory or warehouse workers from finding other work basically anywhere once their temporary job has ended.
  • 5 Reasons Why STEM Has a Woman Problem
    How is it that science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) companies can find solutions for some of the world's most complex problems, but they can't seem to solve the gender bias issue that keeps women out of STEM careers? According to new research, it's because we, as a culture, don't know that there's even a problem – it's unconscious, and we're all to blame.
  • Employee Monitoring: Justifiable Security Measure or Overly Orwellian?
    Remember that time you worked yourself into a hypochondriac frenzy, and wound up spending the whole afternoon at the office surfing WebMD and trying to figure out if people get cholera anymore? As it turns out, Bill the IT guy — or even your CEO — may have been assessing your risks at the same time in a very different way for very different reasons.
  • Is Not Being Pregnant a Bona Fide Occupational Qualification for Exotic Dancers?
    A bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) is a defense to most types of discrimination. If the employer can show that the very nature of the job actually requires the characteristic that is leading to the otherwise illegal discrimination, the employer will have a defense. For example, airlines have argued unsuccessfully that being what was then called a "stewardess," now called a "flight attendant," required employees to be female. In a similar situation, a Georgia court has now addressed whether being "not pregnant" is a BFOQ for exotic dancers.
  • Horrible Company Policy Alert: Some Employers Require Doctor's Notes for Sick Days
    Have you ever thought to yourself, "This is a pretty good job, but it could be better, if only my employer would treat me more like a child"? If not, you'll probably be less than impressed to hear that at some companies, only a doctor-excused absence will do, when it comes to using that sick time. (Whether or not you have any sick time to start out with, of course, is another thing entirely.)
  • The US Supreme Court Rules for Pregnant Women
    It's been a long time coming, but the verdict for Young vs. United Parcel Service, Inc. is finally in. And, while the Supreme Court justices rejected both sides' arguments, the result is still potentially great news for women workers and a move in the right direction to beat pregnancy discrimination. The court offered an alternate interpretation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and tossed the case back to the lower courts.
  • Served in the Military? Here Are 4 Things You Need to Know About the USERRA
    The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) of 1994 is a federal statute that protects veterans and servicemembers from being discriminated against due to their military status in the civilian employment arena. This statute typically protects two groups of people: (1) reservists who have military responsibilities and a civilian job and (2) veterans who have entered or are trying to enter the civilian workforce after their military service is complete. While the law itself is long and complicated, these are four things servicemembers and veterans should be aware of regarding their rights.
  • How Sneaky Employers Get Away With Pretextual Workplace Discrimination, and What It Means for You
    Usually when we think about workplace discrimination, we think about discrimination based on gender, sex, race, disability, age, religion, or sexual orientation. The Civil Rights Act, the American With Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and various state and local laws make each of these types of discrimination illegal in at least some parts of our country. Some states like Hawaii and Illinois have also passed "Ban the Box" legislation to help prevent discrimination against felons in some stages of the employment process. But other areas of discrimination continue to be legal, most of the time. We say most of the time because, if these types of discrimination are really used just as a pretext to hide illegal discrimination, then these types of discrimination may also be illegal.
  • How the Hazards of 'Clopening' Affect You
    "Clopening" is the newest trend in the service industry. In order to shave costs by relying on fewer employees, many employers are scheduling the same person to close up a restaurant at midnight, only to return in seven hours to open. Clopening exists in more industries than just hospitality: retail, security, construction, and nursing are using the practice, as well. The harsh consequences of clopening affect more than just the weary service worker; they affect us all in detrimental ways.
  • What Counts as Being on the Clock?
    Most people have heard of the 40-hour work week. While some European nations have shorter work weeks for employees, in many American jobs employees expect (and are entitled) to be paid overtime at a rate of one and a half times their regular hourly pay rate for every hour they work over 40 in a given work week. The Fair Labor Standards Act exempts some types of employees, like lawyers, from these requirements, but most lower-wage jobs are covered. For employees who start their tasks the minute they walk into an office and who are able to go home the minute their shift is over, figuring out what counts as "hours worked" is fairly simple. But for some folks in some kinds of job, it’s not that easy. So the question becomes, what counts as work time?
  • Religious Discrimination at Work: What Are the Rules?
    Religious discrimination is one area of discrimination that is often mentioned in the news, yet is a very complex and abstract topic. Particularly where one individual’s religious beliefs conflict with another individual's exercise of his or her rights, the subject area can become confusing. That is why it is important for employees to understand what their employers are and are not allowed to do when it comes to religious discrimination.
  • 3 Ways to Deal With an Offensive Co-worker Who Just Doesn’t Get It
    In the workplace, there's a fine line between joking around and being offensive -- and there's always that one co-worker who just doesn't seem to get it. If you find yourself being put in uncomfortable situations due to a colleague's lack of manners, then you'll want to read on to see how you can professionally and effectively handle your officemate's distasteful behavior.
  • Just How Common Is Age Discrimination?
    Race- and sex-based discrimination are such hot topics in the media that one can easily forget that other types of employment discrimination are all too commonplace. While the number of age discrimination cases in the United States is dropping a little bit as the economy improves, the numbers are still shockingly high.
  • What Men Need to Know About Sex Discrimination Laws: They Are Protected, Too
    Usually when people think about sex discrimination, they think about discrimination against women. After all, most sex discrimination laws were enacted in order to alleviate discrimination against women who enter the workforce. However, while women may be the most obvious beneficiaries of these laws, men are protected by them as well. The same provisions, like Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, that prohibit discrimination against a woman for being a woman also prohibit discriminating against a man for being a man.
  • The Obamacare Employer Mandate: What Employees Need to Know
    Americans have differing opinions on the Affordable Care Act, which is often referred to as Obamacare. Last year, the individual mandate went into effect, which required a large percentage of Americans to obtain health insurance or risk having to pay a penalty when tax time arrives. This year, a similarly contentious part of the law goes partially into effect: the employer mandate. What this means is that at least some employees finally have a right, of sorts, to have their employers pay for a portion of their health insurance.
  • Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: Should You Let Them Chase You Away?
    As many as one in four women have experienced sexual harassment at work, according to one poll. In some industries, those numbers are worse: a 2014 report from The Restaurant Opportunities Center United found that 70 percent of female food service workers experienced harassment from their bosses, and 90 percent experienced it from customers.
  • No Paid Sick Leave? What You Need to Know About the Healthy Families Act
    Despite the reality that everyone gets sick at some point and the fact that public health experts advise us to stay home when it happens to us, there are still many workers in the United States who do not have any paid sick leave. For many working-class and middle-class employees, this means effectively that they have no sick leave at all, because they cannot afford to miss out on a day's wages. However, there is a possibility that this problem could be fixed, at least for employees of large and mid-sized employers.