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Archive for September, 2008

You are currently browsing the Labor Law Talk Blog weblog archives for September, 2008.

Federal Employment at Will

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008
Posted by Tamara
Federal laws prohibit employers from terminating a worker due to their religion, sex, race, color, national origin, age (over 40) or disability. As long as these laws aren’t violated, however, a company can utilize its employment at will doctrine to fire an employee.

Across the nation, a ... continue reading

Colorado Toxic Chemicals

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008
Posted by Tamara
Safely storing, labeling, and handling toxic chemicals is of utmost importance in the workplace. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has specific regulations regarding these hazardous chemicals, which can include everyday chemicals such as isopropyl alcohol, gasoline, and paints. OSHA defines a hazardous chemical as any substance that can ... continue reading

Rhode Island Copyright

Monday, September 29th, 2008
Posted by Tamara
Intellectual property is protected by copyright laws. Several people have asked about the specific details of Rhode Island copyright.

For Rhode Island and the rest of the United States, intellectual property is covered by federal law. Some people use the expression, “international copyright laws”, because other countries ... continue reading

Oklahoma Toxic Chemicals

Sunday, September 28th, 2008
Posted by Tamara
Many toxic chemicals are used every day in Oklahoma, including gasoline, paint and isopropyl alcohol. If accidentally ingested, these chemicals can cause irreparable damage. As a result, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has established specific regulations for all hazardous chemicals, which it defines as any substance that can ... continue reading

Maine Employment at Will

Saturday, September 27th, 2008
Posted by Tamara
Many Maine workers ask, “What is Employment at will, and how does it apply in the workplace?”

The answer is “employment at will” is a legal concept that allows an employer to fire a worker without advance notice, for any reason, or for no reason. In addition, ... continue reading

South Dakota Copyright

Friday, September 26th, 2008
Posted by Tamara
Copyright laws protect intellectual property. Intellectual property includes the music and lyrics of songs, works of art (painting, sculptures, etc.) software, and the written word. Radio broadcasts, television, movies and dance are covered by copyright laws, too.

Many people have asked about South Dakota copyright laws. There ... continue reading

Virginia Toxic Chemicals

Thursday, September 25th, 2008
Posted by Tamara
According to Virginia poison control centers, many children are seriously injured every year from ingesting a toxic chemical out of unlabeled or mislabeled container. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that these incidents are on the rise. Workers using hazardous chemicals are storing them in soft drink ... continue reading

Dress Code in Mississippi

Thursday, September 25th, 2008
Posted by Tamara
The Civil Rights Act of 1964, specifically Title VII, prohibits discrimination against an employee because of religion. Several court cases in Mississippi and across the nation have recently supported this law in regards to dress code.

Two Muslim men sued their company in New Jersey, because the ... continue reading

Dress Code in Ohio

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008
Posted by Tamara
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against Ohio employees because of their race, sex, national origin, color or religion.

Several recent court cases have dealt with the issue of religion, specifically with religion and dress code.

... continue reading

Michigan Employment at Will

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008
Posted by Tamara
Several Michigan workers would like to know what “employment at will” in the workplace means.

The concept of “employment at will” is a legal policy which allows the employer to terminate a worker at any time for any reason, or for no reason, unless there’s a written ... continue reading

Wyoming Copyright

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008
Posted by Tamara
If you create a photograph, and give a copy of it to a friend, the friend owns the copy, but does not own the rights to that photograph. The composition and images of the photograph are considered intellectual property, which is protected by copyright laws.

Wyoming copyright ... continue reading

Wisconsin Toxic Chemicals

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008
Posted by Tamara
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines a hazardous chemical as anything that can cause harm. Most of these chemicals are used in every day life; dry cleaning solutions, isopropyl alcohol, paints and fuels, etc. OSHA has specific regulations for handling these chemicals.

All toxic and ... continue reading

Nebraska Employment at Will

Monday, September 22nd, 2008
Posted by Tamara
Federal law prohibits a Nebraska employer from firing a person because of their race, color, sex, religion or national origin. Federal laws also prohibit terminating a worker because he or she is over 40 years of age, or if the employee is disabled.

As long as the ... continue reading

Alabama Copyright

Sunday, September 21st, 2008
Posted by Tamara
Intellectual property includes original works such as movies, television and radio broadcasts, books (and other forms of the written word), works of art (paintings, sculpture, photographs) and software. Intellectual property is protected by copyright laws.

Many people have asked questions about copyright laws, specifically the copyright laws ... continue reading

Dress Code in Idaho

Saturday, September 20th, 2008
Posted by Tamara
Employees are protected from discrimination based on religion by Title Vii of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This federal law requires employer to make reasonable accommodations for an employee’s religious practices, unless it creates undue hardship on the company.  

Undue hardship can differ among companies ... continue reading

Maine Toxic Chemicals

Friday, September 19th, 2008
Posted by Tamara
Every Maine employee should be trained and implement safety procedures regarding toxic chemicals in the workplace. That category includes any substance that can cause serious harm. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has specific rules regarding toxic chemicals and their storage.   

First, all toxic and inflammable ... continue reading

Maternity Leave in Louisiana

Thursday, September 18th, 2008
Posted by Tamara
Louisiana employees often ask the following question. “Can a worker on maternity leave be fired or laid off?”

The answer depends on the circumstances. Generally, under the federal FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993), eligible employees are allowed to take up to 12 weeks of ... continue reading

Texas Employment at Will

Thursday, September 18th, 2008
Posted by Tamara
Employees in Texas want to understand what “employment at will” means at work.

“Employment at will” is a legal concept which means that unless a written contract is in place, an employer may terminate an employee at any time, for any reason, or without a reason. The ... continue reading

Utah 401k

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008
Posted by Tamara
An employee in Utah is enrolled in a 401k program. Deductions are made from her paycheck, but her 401k statements do not show any deposits. Is it possible her contributions are being misappropriated? If so, what should she do?

The employee should call EBSA at 866-444-EBSA (866-444-3272) ... continue reading

Idaho STD and Termination

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008
Posted by Tamara
Short term disability is considered a private insurance, even when purchased through work. Therefore, terms of the plans vary depending on what the employee purchased. Some companies offer 13 to 26 weeks. Some businesses offer 52 weeks. New York, New Jersey, Hawaii, California and Rhode Island have mandatory state ... continue reading

Tennessee Confidential Files

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008
Posted by Tamara
How does the “two-lock system” in Tennessee work? Are personnel files kept in a locked cabinet in a locked room? Federal law doesn’t detail the lock system, nor does Tennessee state law.

The “two lock system” is a method of keeping employee information confidential. Court cases and ... continue reading

Salaried Exempt in South Carolina

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008
Posted by Tamara
Employees who work more than 40 hours in one week are entitled by federal law to be paid overtime. The federal law is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and requires the overtime be paid at 1.5 times the employee’s usual hourly rate.

FLSA also states that ... continue reading

Pennsylvania Sick Pay

Monday, September 15th, 2008
Posted by Tamara
Paying employees for sick time is strictly up to the individual employer. Pennsylvania does not have a state law that requires paid sick time, nor is there a federal law requiring paid sick leave.

A few states will pay terminated workers for their accrued vacation time, but ... continue reading

Salaried Exempt in Alaska

Sunday, September 14th, 2008
Posted by Tamara
Employers face a complex situation when determining if a salaried employee is eligible for overtime. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the relevant federal law and requires overtime pay for workers who put in more than 40 hours in one week. FLSA, however, does exempt certain groups of ... continue reading

Kansas STD and Termination

Saturday, September 13th, 2008
Posted by Tamara
Can a worker on short term disability be terminated for being away from work too much? If a Kansas worker takes 11 weeks of short term disability, can he or she go on disability again in the same year?

The above questions refer to two separate issues. ... continue reading

Connecticut 401k

Friday, September 12th, 2008
Posted by Tamara
In Connecticut, an employee suspects that his 401k funds are being misappropriated. His paycheck shows regular deductions for the plan, but his statements do not show any deposits. What are this employee’s options for reporting this situation?

The first and primary option is to immediately call the ... continue reading

Arkansas Confidential Files

Thursday, September 11th, 2008
Posted by Tamara
Arkansas employees are curious about their confidential information and the “two-lock system” Arkansas uses to keep this data confidential. Are the files locked in a filing cabinet then stored in a room or office with a lock?

The term “two lock system” is often used to mean ... continue reading

Maine 401k

Thursday, September 11th, 2008
Posted by Tamara
In Maine, an employee has regular deductions made from his or her paycheck for the company 401k plan. The 401k statements, however, do not show any deposits. Is it possible that the worker’s funds are being misappropriated by the employer? If so, what recourse does the employee have?

... continue reading

Arizona STD and Termination

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008
Posted by Tamara
Arizona employees ask two questions. Can a worker use short-term disability more than once per year? Can a company terminate a worker on disability for taking too much leave?

First of all, whatever plans a company utilizes, they must be applied fairly and evenly to all employees. ... continue reading

Salaried Exempt in Delaware

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008
Posted by Tamara
According to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employees who work more than 40 hours in one week are entitled to overtime pay. This law applies to all workers, except those that fall into certain categories. Salaried employees fall in one of these categories and are usually considered ... continue reading