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Archive for February, 2009

You are currently browsing the Labor Law Talk Blog weblog archives for February, 2009.

Maternity Leave in Illinois

Friday, February 27th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
May an Illinois employer legally fire or lay off a worker who is on maternity leave?

The answer is that there are laws protecting workers on leave, and there are laws against singling out workers for a layoff or a firing because they are pregnant. If there ... continue reading

Salaried Exempt in Massachusetts

Thursday, February 26th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Many employers in Massachusetts and elsewhere nationwide are often surprised to discover that some salaried employees are entitled to overtime pay.

It is also important for employers to understand that not every salaried employee who carries the title of “manager” or executive is automatically outside the protection ... continue reading

Nevada Sick Pay

Thursday, February 26th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Many companies in Nevada and elsewhere in the U.S. have policies for paid sick leave. They have determined that it is best to protect the income of those workers who are genuinely too ill to work. Some companies offer sick pay because they must honor a union contract requiring ... continue reading

Maternity Leave in Michigan

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
In Michigan, employees who take maternity leave are protected by at least two federal laws from being singled out for firing or layoff.

There are circumstances, however, under which it is legal to lay off someone on family leave.

There are 11 states, in addition, ... continue reading

Alaska Sick Pay

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
There is no law in Alaska that requires employers to offer paid sick leave to workers. No state mandates paid sick leave, although several have considered taking that measure. Nor does the federal government require sick leave payment.

Paid sick leave was originally established through union negotiations. ... continue reading

New Jersey Sick Pay

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Many workers in New Jersey and elsewhere in the U.S. are under the impression that they are legally entitled to paid sick leave.

This is an erroneous assumption. There is not a single state in the Union that requires paid sick leave. No federal law demands it. ... continue reading

Maternity Leave in Mississippi

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Workers in Mississippi are protected by the federal FMLA, or Family and Medical Leave Act. They are also covered by another federal law, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA).

The question is whether or not Mississippi workers may ever be legally fired or laid off while they are ... continue reading

Georgia Employment at Will

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
In the absence of a written employee/employer contract, most Colorado companies follow the “Employment at Will” practice.

Many workers wonder exactly what “Employment at Will” means and how it applies to the workplace.

Basically, the employment at will doctrine allows employers to fire a worker ... continue reading

Michigan Religious Discrimination

Monday, February 23rd, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Most Michigan employers provide their workers two paid breaks per day, usually lasting 10 to 15 minutes. Michigan employees are asking if Muslim workers are permitted to take additional breaks for prayer.

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers are prohibited from discriminating ... continue reading

Alaska Copyright

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Virtually every other country recognizes the copyright laws in the United States. In turn, the U.S. recognizes those countries’ copyright laws. As a result, copyright laws are often referred to as “international copyright laws”.

Several people in Alaska have wondered exactly what is covered by copyright law ... continue reading

Dress Code in New Mexico

Saturday, February 21st, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers are prohibited from discrimination against employers because of their religion. The law applies to all aspects of employment, such as hiring, advancement, training and termination.

As a result of Title VII, New Mexico employers must make ... continue reading

Alabama Confidential Files

Friday, February 20th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Does the “two-lock system” in Alabama mean confidential files are kept in a locked cabinet in a locked room? Yes, it usually does.

Two federal laws, ADA (American with Disabilities Act) and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) require that an employee’s personal information be kept ... continue reading

Dress Code in New Jersey

Thursday, February 19th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Several court cases have ruled that making exceptions to the dress code usually constitutes a reasonable accommodation under the law. These rulings are the result of suits filed by employees who were discriminated against because of their religion, specifically regarding how they dress.

For example, a Phoenix ... continue reading

Connecticut Copyright

Thursday, February 19th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
A reader asks, “If my sister gives me a copy of her original recipe for Kahlua Chocolate Pie, do I have the right to publish the recipe in my church cookbook? The answer is no. Giving someone a copy of an original works does not convey the rights to ... continue reading

Colorado Confidential Files

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Personal employee data, such as disability status, race, age, religion, medical condition and background, are required by law to be kept confidential and separate from personnel files.

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) are the relevant laws that require this ... continue reading

Iowa Employment at Will

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Federal law prohibits employers from discriminating against workers because of their race, religion, color, country of origin, sex, age (over 40) and disability. This law applies to all employment practices, including termination, specifically “Employment at Will”.

Several employees have asked about “Employment at Will” and how it ... continue reading

Dress Code in Nebraska

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Nebraska employees and employers can learn a lot about dress code from a case in Arizona.

In 2002, a Phoenix rental car agency fired an Islamic woman for refusing to remove her headscarf during the holy month of Ramadan. The employee contacted the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity ... continue reading

Oregon Religious Discrimination

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Many Oregon employees wonder, are employees allowed to practice religion in the workplace? For example, can Muslim workers take prayer breaks? The answer to both questions is yes, unless the religious practices create hardship for the employer.

The federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, specifically Title VII, ... continue reading

Federal Copyright

Monday, February 16th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Exactly what is covered under federal copyright law?

Federal copyright laws protect intellectual property, which includes works of art (paintings, photographs and sculptures), songs (tune and lyrics), software, the written word, and other original works. In Federal and in the rest of the nation, the creator of ... continue reading

Louisiana Employment at Will

Sunday, February 15th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Many Louisiana employees ask, “What does ‘Employment at Will’ mean?”

“Employment at Will” is a common business practice used when a written employer/employee agreement is not in place. This practice allows employees to quit their job at any time for any reason, or for no reason. In ... continue reading

Illinois Confidential Files

Saturday, February 14th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Two federal laws, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) require that certain employee information, including race, color, religion, disability status, background, credit and age be kept confidential and separate from personnel files.

Illinois employees wonder how this information ... continue reading

Texas Religious Discrimination

Friday, February 13th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Are Muslim employees in Texas permitted to take prayer breaks at work? Yes, in most cases, they are.

According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers are prohibited from discrimination against employees due to religion, race, color, national origin and sex. This is ... continue reading

Dress Code in Minnesota

Thursday, February 12th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Employers are required by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to provide reasonable accommodations for an employee’s religious beliefs and practices. The law also prohibits employers from discrimination against employees because of their religion in all aspects of employment, including salary, working conditions, benefits and promotions. ... continue reading

Hawaii Copyright

Thursday, February 12th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Many people in Hawaii wonder, if a person gives me a copy of a poem they wrote, can I publish it in my local newspaper?

Original works in Hawaii and in the rest of the country are covered under the federal copyright laws, so the answer is ... continue reading

Kentucky Confidential Files

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
The courts have handed down several rulings regarding the confidentiality of an employee’s personal information. Two federal laws Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) require that medical information and personal information such as background, age, race, religion, credit and disability status be ... continue reading

Maryland Employment at Will

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Most employers realize that terminating an employee without warning is bad for company morale and bad for productivity. Employees, too, usually give notice when leaving a job, two weeks notice is customary.

Knowing this, many workers are concerned with “Employment at Will” and how it is applied ... continue reading

Dress Code in Indiana

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides freedom from religious discrimination in the workplace. The law requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for a worker’s religious beliefs, including how the worker dresses.

The law applies, however, only to those workers with sincerely held beliefs. ... continue reading

Vermont Religious Discrimination

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for a worker’s sincerely held religious beliefs.  

Employees in Vermont have asked if that includes prayer breaks for Muslim workers. In most cases, companies must by law permit Muslim employees to ... continue reading

Maine Copyright

Monday, February 9th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Copyright laws are U.S. federal laws that protect intellectual property.

This includes many types of original works such as the written word, songs (tune and lyrics), software, paintings, photographs and other works of art. Movies, TV, dance and radio broadcasts are also covered by copyright.

... continue reading

Montana Employment at Will

Sunday, February 8th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Many Montana employees wonder, what is Employment at Will in the workplace?

“Employment at will” is a common business practice that is used when an employment contract doesn’t exist. Under this practice, an employer can fire a worker at any time for any reason, or without a ... continue reading