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Archive for December, 2009

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

Delaware Hostile Work Environment

Thursday, December 31st, 2009
Posted by Tamara
The term “hostile work environment” is frequently heard but seldom understood, thanks to its misuse on sitcoms like The Office .

In Delaware, for example, many employees have questions about just what constitutes a hostile work environment. Does it refer to any rude or bullying boss, or ... continue reading

Maine Comp Time

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Employees in Maine and elsewhere in the country are entitled to overtime pay when they work more than 50 hours a week.

Except in some very specific circumstances, employers may not grant “comp time” instead of overtime pay to hourly workers.

“Comp time,” for those ... continue reading

Indiana Child Labor

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
It is illegal for children under 12 to work in any capacity in Indiana and elsewhere in the U.S. That includes agricultural labor.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), a federal law, prohibits child labor.

As an investigation has uncovered, however, children as young as ... continue reading

Arizona Lunch Law

Monday, December 28th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
No law requires Arizona employers to offer their employees lunch breaks. They may, on the other hand, require their workers to clock out for unpaid half-hour or hour-long meal breaks during their shifts in order to save payroll dollars.

Employees in Arizona are often surprised to discover ... continue reading

Kansas Holiday Pay Law

Friday, December 25th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Police stations and fire stations in Kansas are open 365 days a year, regardless of holidays. So are most convenience stores, gas stations, and restaurants. These are the kinds of operations that are open by necessity.

Other businesses are open year-around by choice. Some malls and other ... continue reading

Iowa Hostile Work Environment

Thursday, December 24th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Jon’s boss is a jerk who micro-manages, yells, and throws things. She verbally abuses workers of both sexes and of all ages, races, colors, religions, and national origins.

Is she creating a “hostile work environment?”

Betty’s boss has had it in for her ever since ... continue reading

Virginia Child Labor

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Child labor is not just happening in the sweatshops of Asia. It is occurring right in the U.S., in the farm fields of Virginia and other states across the country.

Child labor is illegal in the U.S. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), no child ... continue reading

Federal Lunch Law

Monday, December 21st, 2009
Posted by Tamara
The Human Resources profession recommends that every employer give his or her employees a half-hour unpaid meal break and two 10- to 15-minute paid breaks during the workday.

However, no federal law mandates that employers must offer meal breaks for general industry workers.

Among the ... continue reading

Minnesota Holiday Pay Law

Friday, December 18th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Whether it is Christmas, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, or a “federal holiday,” any general industry may be open and may schedule workers to come in on those holidays. Employers are not required to give workers paid holidays off.

This applies not only in Minnesota but nationwide. There is ... continue reading

Idaho Hostile Work Environment

Thursday, December 17th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
If an Idaho employer loses a case in which he or she has been charged with allowing or creating a “hostile work environment,” it can be very costly. In two cases that went before the EEOC recently, for example, the companies involved had to pay out more than $1 ... continue reading

Missouri Comp Time

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Tim is an employee in an Missouri commercial bakery. His employer pays him every two weeks. During the first week of the payroll period, Tim worked for 50 hours. To avoid paying overtime, his employer wanted to have him work just 25 hours the following week and take 15 ... continue reading

Wisconsin Child Labor

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Children as young as six years old are working in the farm fields of Wisconsin and elsewhere in the U.S.

A team of graduate students recently conducted an undercover investigation that revealed regular violations of the child labor laws. Children, some of them age six, were regularly ... continue reading

Mississippi Lunch Law

Monday, December 14th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Mississippi employers may legally require their employees to work 8, 10, or 16 hours a day without a lunch break.

There are 19 states in the U.S. that mandate meal breaks for most employees. Mississippi, however, is not one of them. There is no federal protection either. ... continue reading

Religious Discrimination in Arizona

Saturday, December 12th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
As long as it can be done without “undue hardship,” employers in Arizona and elsewhere in the U.S. must allow for the free expression of an employee’s religion.

This means, among other things, that employers are required by federal law to allow Muslim employees to take prayer ... continue reading

Intermittent FMLA in Michigan

Thursday, December 10th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Employers in Michigan and throughout the rest of the U.S. are asking why the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 allows workers to take what is called “intermittent, unscheduled” leave.

One of the most hotly-debated features of the FMLA is that there is nothing in the ... continue reading

Muslim Prayer in Nebraska

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Muslim employees in Nebraska and all other states in the U.S. must be allowed to take prayer breaks during the workday.

It is federal law. According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, anything else would be discrimination in the workplace and therefore illegal. ... continue reading

Arizona Religious Discrimination

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
The phrases “reasonable accommodations” and “sincerely held religious beliefs” are two that Arizona employees would be well-advised to know and understand.

That is because the federal government requires that employers must make “reasonable accommodations” to workers’ “sincerely held religious beliefs” in the workplace.

Typical “reasonable ... continue reading

Alaska Disciplinary Notices

Monday, December 7th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
There are many company disciplinary policies that may not have grown out of state or federal labor laws.

A good number of them, however, are considered “best practices” and have been developed by the top Human Resources professionals. Policies like these have become the standard among large ... continue reading

Federal Intermittent FMLA

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009
Posted by Tamara
New regulations under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for 2009 require workers to follow their companies’ standard reporting procedures when they take unscheduled, intermittent time off under the act.

The change in the regulations follow the U.S. Labor Department’s release of a 182-page review ... continue reading

Colorado Short Term Disability

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009
Posted by Tamara
The state of Colorado does not require that employees get benefits for short-term disabilities.

Colorado is not unusual in this respect. Only five states have passed legislation mandating that employers pay short term Disability to their workers. Those five are New York, Rhode Island, California, Hawaii, and ... continue reading

Federal Religious Discrimination

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Federal law demands it: many employers throughout the U.S. must allow their employees of the Islamic faith to take prayer breaks.

Muslims, in turn, are required by their religion to pray, facing east, five specific times during the day.

Many employers have answered this spiritual ... continue reading