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December 2012 Archives

Court says FMLA protections extend to employer's expectations

When you have to stay home from work due to illness, your employer might assume that you will not attend to that day's work and will assign those duties to another employee to cover while you're gone. But perhaps your employer expects that you will simply make up the time as soon as possible and will hold you accountable for your sick day's worth of work.

Retailer will pay for forcing employees to disclose medical data

A class-action lawsuit filed against national retailer Dillard's in 2008 has finally reached a settlement, with the retailer agreement to pay $2 million dollars to any employee who may have been impacted by the company's discrimination. The lawsuit alleged that the company forced workers to give away private medical information if they wanted to get any sick leave.

Are National Guard members facing hiring discrimination?

In November, we discussed what kinds of discrimination active-duty armed service members may face in the workplace and what kinds of laws are in place to protect them from such behavior. Both federal and state employment law also protects Americans serving in the National Guard from both discrimination in hiring and in employment.

'Silent' pregnancy discrimination at work happens often

When discrimination and harassment occur in the workplace, this behavior can be blatantly obvious, it can exist fairly silently and play out in subtle ways or it can be somewhere in between these two opposites. While pregnancy discrimination often happens in obvious ways, recent research published in the Harvard Business Review indicates that the more silent and subtle forms of pregnancy discrimination also happen quite frequently.

Lawsuit claims sexual harassment by school district superintendant

In Florida, whenever employees believe that they are being sexually harassed in the workplace, it is important to seek help immediately. This is because many times management may attempt to dissuade the employee from pursuing a sexual harassment claim for many obvious reasons.

Independent contractors and FMLA liability

The federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) generally protects employees from losing their job due to a qualifying leave of absence. Examples include when employees give birth, suffer a serious medical condition or need to take time off in order to care for a newly born or adopted child or to care for a loved one who is gravely ill.

South Florida sees more lawsuits regarding non-compete agreements

Unless you work in a highly specialized field or one with trade secrets to protect, you are probably not too familiar with non-compete agreements. But according to a recent news article, you may need to take the time to learn about these contractual provisions before you change jobs or sign a new employment contract.

Waste and fraud whistleblowers now more protected

As Congress and the White House attempt to decide on how to avert the fiscal cliff, money is more of a hot-button issue in Washington than it has been in some time. Perhaps inspired by the idea that the government must crack down on waste from within, President Obama signed legislation late last month that grants broader protection to federal employee whistleblowers who aid in exposing waste, fraud and abuse within the government sector.

Is it pregnancy discrimination if it's written into a contract?

When a woman becomes pregnant, various federal and state laws protect her from being unjustly treated in the workplace. However, the definition of what pregnancy discrimination is legally is fairly nuanced. Though the law extends relatively broad protections to all women, there are many circumstances in which women's work status can be affected by their pregnancies in ways that do not break the law.

Supreme Court considers 'who is a supervisor' in employment cases

When it comes to employment law, the exact company title and practical position of the players in any given case make a difference in the case's ultimate outcome. For example, some laws protecting workers from sexual harassment and discrimination of all kinds only apply when a direct supervisor is committing the offending acts. The United States Supreme Court recently heard arguments in a case centering on the question "Who is a supervisor" for the purposes of employment law cases.

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