ADVERTISEMENT
  • 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.
  • What You Do Outside Work Can Get You Fired
    The recent firing of Atlanta's fire chief shows that what you do on your own time can still get you fired. While the details of the story bring up questions about religious discrimination as well as potential discrimination based on sexual orientation, at its heart is an employer's decision to fire an employee for something he did outside of work.
  • Association Discrimination: The ADA Does Not Just Protect Disabled People
    Typically, when people think of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), they think of two parts of it: the part that protects disabled people from workplace discrimination and the part that requires buildings to take steps to be accessible to disabled people. What most people do not realize is that there is also a very important portion of the law that protects those who are in some way associated with a disabled person from being discriminated against at work because of that association.
  • State Legislators Attempt to Shut Down Paid Sick Leave for Pennsylvania Workers
    In December of 2014, a task force in Philadelphia that was formed to study the issue of the benefits and pitfalls of paid sick leave came to its conclusion: Paid sick leave is necessary. Now, two Pennsylvania state senators are announcing their intent to propose legislation to preemptively prohibit mandatory paid sick leave for employees. Two steps forward, three steps back.
  • Unemployment Is Down, So Where Are the Wages?
    If you've been waiting for a fatter paycheck to find you in 2015, so far the news has been discouraging. Unemployment rates are down, which is exciting news, but we still haven't seen an improvement in wages. Here's why a lower unemployment rate hasn't translated to higher pay -- yet.
  • #FairPayMatters: What the World Needs to Learn From the Sony vs Charlize Theron Fiasco
    If anything good came out of the Sony email hack, it's that Charlize Theron put Sony on blast for paying her $10 million less than her male co-star, Chris Hemsworth, for their upcoming film, The Huntsman. Let’s take a look at how Theron’s ballsy move (pun very much intended) is encouraging women to quit the coy act and fight for their right to earn equal pay in their careers.
  • Even Great Employees Can Be Fired for a Single Mistake
    We like to think that employers take an employee's whole record into account when making a decision as to whether the employee should lose his or her job. But sometimes just one mistake can be enough to end an employment relationship, which can be absolutely devastating for the employee.
  • Ban the Box: What You Need to Know About Your Employment Rights and Criminal Convictions
    Whether you are applying to serve fast food, work on a construction site, style hair, teach, or be a tattoo artist, almost all job applications have had one thing in common for years. They ask the question, "Have you ever been convicted of a crime?" And whether your answer is yes because of a silly trespassing charge you picked up as the result of a childhood prank or your answer is yes because you spent serious time in prison at some point in your past, the result has historically been the same. Either you tell the truth and you don't get the job because you have a conviction, or you lie and you run the risk of ultimately being fired when your employer does a background check. Either way, for generations you have had no recourse. However, in some parts of the country this is changing as various states and municipalities enact "Ban the Box" legislation.