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So far Murphy Law has created 185 blog entries.
4 12, 2018

You Reported Sexual Harassment, Then You Got Fired—Now What?

By | 2019-01-10T01:28:38+00:00 December 4th, 2018|Sexual Harassment|0 Comments

How to fight back after retaliation It’s a horrible position to be in: losing your job after reporting sexual harassment. In this situation, it’s easy to feel powerless—but you should know that the law is one your side. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 states that you have the right to work without being subjected to sexual harassment—and the right to report it if you are the victim. That means it’s against the law for your employer to retaliate against you for reporting sexual harassment, or any other illegal activity. What is retaliation? Retaliation does not just mean firing. It can take many forms, including: Reprimanding you or giving you a lower performance evaluation than you deserve. Transferring you to a less-desirable position or demoting you. Physical or verbal abuse. Threatening to report your immigration status, or file a police report against you. Putting you under increased scrutiny. Retaliating against a family member (for instance, by firing your spouse). Spreading false rumors against you. Deliberately making your job more difficult. What you should do after getting fired  1. Write everything down As much as you can remember, write down the details of the harassment you experienced and the events that led [...]

20 11, 2018

Quiz: Are You Getting Cheated Out of Overtime Pay?

By | 2018-11-20T00:49:21+00:00 November 20th, 2018|Overtime Class Actions|0 Comments

Take this quiz to see if you might be owed money If you’ve worked a lot of overtime and your paycheck is less than it should be, your employer may be misclassifying you in order to dodge paying overtime. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay non-exempt workers at least minimum wage, as well as time and a half for overtime pay. “Overtime” describes all hours worked in a week over 40. Some employees, however, are classified as exempt from overtime. If you’re exempt, you aren’t entitled to overtime pay even if you work more than 40 hours in a week. The specific signs of this misclassification vary depending on your profession, industry, and situation. However, if you think it may be happening to you, here are some questions to ask: 1. Are you hourly or salary? It’s usually salaried employees that are exempt from overtime pay. There are exceptions to this, however—such as people categorized as computer employees. If you earn an hourly wage but your employer has told you that you’re exempt from overtime pay, they may be misclassifying you. 2. Do you make more or less than $455 per week? In many situations, if [...]

31 10, 2018

Misclassification of Employees: How Companies Avoid Paying Overtime

By | 2018-11-20T00:51:24+00:00 October 31st, 2018|Overtime Class Actions|0 Comments

What you need to know if your paycheck is short Has this ever happened to you? You put in a ton of overtime at work, forego fun activities and family time, and come home exhausted for days or weeks on end. You figure it’ll all be worth it once you get that big overtime paycheck. Then when your check comes in, it’s suspiciously light. This is not as uncommon as you’d think. One sneaky way companies avoid paying overtime is by misclassifying employees as exempt so they don’t qualify for time-and-a-half. Let’s talk about how companies game the system—and what you should do if you think it’s happening to you. Who is exempt from overtime pay?  There are two types of employee classifications: exempt and non-exempt. Exempt basically means “exempt from overtime.” Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers are required to pay non-exempt employees at least the minimum wage, plus time and a half for all hours worked over 40 in a week. But some categories of employees, those who are classified as exempt, don’t qualify for time-and-a-half no matter how many hours they work. Exempt employees may include: Executives Despite the name, you don’t have to be [...]

14 10, 2018

Need Sick Leave for Family Care? Find out What You Qualify For

By | 2018-10-14T22:11:42+00:00 October 14th, 2018|Family and Medical Leave Act Claims|0 Comments

What you need to know about the Family Medical Leave Act Your child or your parent becomes ill and requires care. You need some time off from work. Now what? You may be wondering if you can use your accrued sick leave to care for someone else. Or perhaps you don’t have any accrued leave to use in the first place … and you’re wondering if there are still options for taking time off. With the added strain of caring for a family member, the last thing you need to worry about is your job security. Let’s talk about your rights under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). What is the FMLA? The FMLA is a federal labor law that provides job protection for certain employees who need to take leave for qualified medical or family reasons. (We’ll discuss those reasons in more detail below). Employees who are eligible may take up to 12 weeks of leave and must be allowed to retain any company-provided health benefits during that time. Upon returning to work, employees must be returned to their regular positions, or to positions that are equivalent in compensation, job duties, and opportunities for advancement. Which employers have to [...]

20 09, 2018

Lactation Room Requirements FAQ: Does Your Employer Measure Up?

By | 2018-10-14T22:25:22+00:00 September 20th, 2018|Pregnancy Discrimination, Uncategorized|0 Comments

What nursing moms need to know when returning to work If you’re returning to work while breastfeeding, you’re probably somewhat stressed about how you’re going to manage expressing breastmilk during the workday. It’s a problem many women have faced—including my wife after the births of each of our four children. I’ve seen firsthand how knowing what to expect can help ease the transition back into the working world. One of the biggest questions you’re probably worried about: Where are you going to pump? Let’s take a look at what you need to know about lactation rooms before you return to work. What are the laws for breast pumping at work? Federal, state, and local laws may apply to nursing moms. Federal breastfeeding laws The Affordable Care Act (ACA), more often known as Obamacare, amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) to state that non-exempt employees must be given a private space other than a bathroom to express breastmilk during the workday. Generally, “non-exempt” refers to people who are qualified to receive overtime. There are two important exclusions that working moms should note: The law only applies to women who are employed by companies or agencies that are bound by the [...]

30 06, 2018

Should You Sign A Non-Disclosure Agreement?

By | 2018-06-30T13:54:49+00:00 June 30th, 2018|Employment Agreements|0 Comments

After an extensive job search, you are offered a position with a large corporation. Before accepting, you are presented with an employment agreement including a non-compete clause, a non-solicitation clause, and a non-disclosure clause. You are required to sign these documents as a condition of employment. Feeling you have no real choice, you sign the documents. Life goes on. You’ve been working for the same company for three years when you are offered a better position with a higher salary in the same field in the same state as your current job. You then remember all those documents you signed. What now? Did you sign away your right to change jobs? Non-compete, non-solicitation, and non-disclosure clauses Non-compete agreements typically offer employment on the condition that the employee, while employed for that employer, and for a specified time following employment, shall not work for or start a business that competes with the employer, in the same geographic area. The geographic area is usually defined in the non-compete clause. Non-solicitation agreements specify that the employee shall not solicit former coworkers to a new place of employment or business. Non-disclosure agreements typically require the employee to agree not to disclose trade secrets or [...]

15 06, 2018

Gig Workers Have Rights Too

By | 2018-06-15T14:16:12+00:00 June 15th, 2018|Employment Agreements, Overtime Class Actions, Wage Theft & Unpaid Wages|0 Comments

Gig workers and independent contractor status Many workers in the gig economy sign an acknowledgement that the worker is an independent contractor and not an employee. However, sometimes that is not the end of the story. For one thing, courts are increasingly evaluating whether the company exercises sufficient control over the worker’s everyday tasks that he or she should in fact be classified as an employee. This classification is crucial as workers who are classified as independent contractors are not entitled to the guarantees and protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or other employment statutes. This affects the worker’s entitlement to minimum wage and overtime compensation, unemployment and disability insurance, family leave, workers’ compensation, and sick leave. These statutes only apply to workers who are classified as employees. Further, independent contractors are generally not entitled to employer-sponsored benefits, including health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off. As the gig economy evolves, so does the law On June 7, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a news release reporting that 3.8 percent of U.S. workers, that is 5.9 million individuals, held contingent jobs as of May 2017. With gig workers numbering in the millions, the classification of [...]

7 06, 2018

Should Job Applicants And Employees Answer Employers’ Disability-Related Questions?

By | 2018-06-07T20:57:46+00:00 June 7th, 2018|Americans with Disabilities Act Claims|0 Comments

You arrive at a job interview and when greeting your potential employer, he notices your tinted glasses and asks, “Do you have a problem with your vision?” You hesitate to answer but he persists, asking if you would need any accommodations to continue the interview or perform the job. You tell him that your tinted glasses are not for a vision problem but rather due to light sensitivity. He begins to ask more questions about whether this would affect your ability to work, how much work time you lost at your last job, and whether you take any prescription medications. You hesitate to answer but feel intimidated and believe you won’t be offered the job if you don’t respond. After leaving the interview, you wonder if the employer was entitled to ask you such questions. One way that the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) protects the rights of job applicants and employees is by limiting disability-related questions during the job application process and employment. This is to prevent employers from discriminating against qualified applicants and employees who have a disability. Disability-related inquiries include direct or indirect questions relating to an applicant’s or employee’s actual or perceived disability as well as [...]

1 06, 2018

Be Careful What You Wish For – How Collective Action Waivers May Hurt Employers

By | 2018-06-01T14:50:10+00:00 June 1st, 2018|Employment Agreements, Overtime Class Actions, Wage Theft & Unpaid Wages|0 Comments

What is a collective action? A collective action is a type of class action that is brought by employees to assert their rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), most commonly actions alleging wage and hour claims. By utilizing the collective action process, employees can join together to assert individual claims in one action, saving time and money. These types of claims often assert that employees are misclassified and therefore entitled to overtime, or have not been paid for all the time worked, travel time, or meal breaks. Supreme Court upholds collective action waivers in arbitration agreements The Supreme Court of the United States recently held that collective action waivers in employee/employer arbitration agreements are enforceable. These types of waivers are often signed by employees as a condition of accepting a job. In a 5/4 decision, the Supreme Court found that class action waivers do not violate employees’ right to “protected concerted activity” under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The NLRA protects employees’ right to communicate with each other and join together to take concerted action to improve working conditions and participate in union-related activities. The Court held that class actions do not constitute concerted activity under the [...]

24 05, 2018

Are You Entitled To a Reasonable Accommodation?

By | 2018-05-24T14:18:19+00:00 May 24th, 2018|Americans with Disabilities Act Claims|0 Comments

What is a reasonable accommodation? A reasonable accommodation means a change to the job or working environment that enables an employee with a disability to perform the essential functions of the job, or that enables an applicant with a disability to apply for a job. To be eligible for a reasonable accommodation under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), an employee must be qualified for the job and have a disability caused by a medical condition that is covered by the statute. The ADA does not specify the medical conditions that qualify as disabilities under the statute. Instead, the statute requires that an employee must have a physical or mental condition that substantially limits a major life activity, a history of disability, or be regarded by the employer as having a disability. What types of medical conditions qualify for a reasonable accommodation? Some employees have medical conditions that require an employer to provide well-established reasonable accommodations such as making the workplace accessible or providing alternate communication methods or devices for visually-impaired or hearing-impaired applicants and employees. However, there are many other medical conditions that may be the basis for a reasonable accommodation. It is important to note that some people [...]