• Family Medical Leave Act and Veterans
    A recent National Law Review headline alerted employers to update their Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) policies. The federal government revised theses guidelines in 2013 to expand military leaves of absences. If you or a family member is a veteran or in the military, know which benefits apply to you.
  • The Rise of the Permanent, Unpaid Intern
    Unpaid internships were designed for students to get valuable training outside of the classroom. Some professions require supervised internship hours toward graduation and licensure. Unfortunately, the internship seems to have evolved into a default position that job seekers take to avoid not having anything at all. This is a problem, and it is also in some cases illegal.
  • Severance Payments Are Taxable

    Most people don't want to think about losing their jobs. However, it is best to know the law and to plan ahead just in case you get surprised by bad news. It may come as a shock to hear that severance payments are taxable.

  • The Gender Pay Gap: Do We Need More Laws or More Enforcement?
    Women deserve equal pay for equal work. There are laws on the books dating back to 1963 that are designed to protect women from being paid less than men for doing the same work. However, we continue to see complaints, such as the one against the owners of Kay Jewelers and Jared, from allegedly underpaid female employees. Is the answer more laws, or more enforcement?

  • Maybe He Shouldn't Go to Jared: Female Workers File Complaint Against Jewelry Chain

    A typical ad for Jared's jewelery stores shows women melting with gratitude after being presented the one thing that every woman, wants, in the world of advertising, if nowhere else -- a mined rock. According to some female employees of the chain, however, working for the company is less than a dream come true.

  • Which States Tip the Best and Worst?
    For tipped employees, the generosity of the public may mean the difference between buying a steak or asking the landlord for an extension on the rent. And some tipped employees rely on tips more than others, because in some states it is legal to pay tipped employees a couple of bucks an hour. When we compare tipping practices from state to state, we find some pretty strange results.
  • You Can Discuss Your Salary With Your Co-workers (No Matter What the Boss Says)

    Policies limiting your right to discuss your salary with your co-workers have been a staple of employee handbooks for years. There's just one problem: they're totally illegal.

  • Your Email Provider Knows Everything You're Saying About the Boss

    By now, most of us know that our employers are allowed to read our email. But what about the providers themselves? It turns out that the big tech companies like Google and Microsoft are probably reading your email ... right now. (Or, at least, their algorithms are.) The issue is whether or not you should care.

  • Union Leaders Are Exempt From the Law in Pennsylvania -- For Now

    The benefits of union membership are numerous, but unions were never conceived to give members or leaders the right to break criminal laws. Pennsylvania's House of Representatives just recently passed a bill that is as necessary as it is surprising.

  • The Department of Labor Has Your Back

    The federal Department of Labor (DOL) budget for fiscal year 2015 is official, and it includes new programs and additional protections for workers and employees. This is exciting news for millions of Americans, including the long-term unemployed, students who want to work when they graduate, and current employees whose employers may not be following the law as they should. Check out the changes that are being put in place to help you.

  • Thank Women for 2 Great Improvements for Working Folks
    March is Women's History Month. For all of the incredible accomplishments and contributions that women have made, often under terrible circumstances, to the betterment of society, working folks take this month to remember the women behind two of the most important laws put in place during the 20th century. These laws protect you every day.
  • Woman Denied Lactation Room and Fired Is Not Getting Trial

    "I think it's best you go home and be with your babies" is not what an employee expects to hear upon returning to work after maternity leave. Unfortunately, it is exactly what Angela Ames heard when she requested access to a lactation room to express breast milk. Ms. Ames filed to sue for sexual discrimination, but has been denied access to a trial. The details will make any reasonable person's head spin.

  • Should Your Internship Be Paid?

    Getting that coveted internship is an exciting time for any graduate student on her way toward graduation and professional employment. Sometimes an internship is a valuable training experience that readies the student for real-world challenges in her field; other times, it is the equivalent of feudal serfdom. Internships can be unpaid, and as such are subject to strict laws and boundaries under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA.) Spot the warning signs and tell the difference between true professionals who are willing to help train you, and unscrupulous employers who simply want to take advantage of slave labor.

  • President Obama Wants YOU to Receive Overtime Pay

    Good news coming down the pike for the millions of American workers who have been exempted from overtime pay. The New York Times reports that tomorrow, Thursday, March 13, President Obama will direct the federal Department of Labor to stop classifying a series of jobs as "professional" or "executive." How will this affect you?

  • Those Unpaid Security Screenings Might Not Be Legal

    Does your employer require you to go through a security screening before you go on the clock? If so, they might be breaking the law -- but if they are, they're not alone. Employees who work for companies that require security screenings often are not compensated for time spent being screened. Just a few years ago, groups of employees started filing suit against their employers for wage theft. Their basic argument was, of course, that they should be compensated for time given to the employer. If you are ever expected to give up your time without being compensated, here is what you need to know.

  • Employer Access to Social Media Accounts: What Does Your State Say?
    The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCLS) keeps tabs on what's new in each of the 50 states. Beginning in 2012, some state lawmakers introduced legislation protecting employees from being required to give up their social media account passwords in order to get or keep a job. And some states included laws preventing colleges and universities from requiring student passwords.
  • Pentagon Food Service Workers Allege Illegal Retaliation for Strike Against Contractor Employer
    Recently, The Huffington Post reported that food service workers in the Pentagon filed a complaint against their private-sector employer. They say that they were illegally retaliated against in response to asserting their right to protest for better working conditions.
  • Are Prevailing Wage Laws Discriminatory?
    If you work as a contractor on projects with federal funding, prevailing wage laws may be pertinent to your rate of pay. An opinion piece published in the Albuqurque Journal makes the argument that "prevailing wage" laws are discriminatory. Understand what these laws say and how they affect you.
  • What You Need to Know About Your Employer's Social Media Policy and the Law

    The National Law Review recently reported that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) reached a settlement with Georgia-Pacific over their social media policy. This is big for just about anybody who works. As always, the law is trying to catch up with changes in technology and society. The details of this case help inform employees and their employers which businesses may and may not regulate regarding employees' personal use of social media.

  • In One Job, at Least, a Legal Right to Nap

    Over 1,000 garbage truck drivers in Los Angeles are $15,000 richer this week, after the City Council opted to settle a class action suit that claimed drivers were improperly prevented from napping during their half-hour lunch break. Their attorney argued that by not allowing the drivers to catch some Zzzs on the job, the city demanded they remain "on duty," even when resting. The total payout was $26 million dollars.