Many employees are concerned about reporting sexual harassment claims or sexually harassing acts because of the risk of retaliation. Facing the aggressor, getting demoted, or even termination are real fears for anyone who has suffered sexual harassment in the workplace. Fortunately, Minnesota and federal laws protect victims of sexual harassment against retaliation and their advocates.
Wage and hour violations can cost workers thousands of dollars in rightful overtime pay every year. There are many ways employers seek to skirt state and federal wage laws to deprive their employees of overtime. Some cases involve misclassification, which can arise in specific industries, including the oil, gas, refinery, and maintenance industries. Other employers are in violation for improper calculation of overtime, paying employees with prepaid cards, or flat refusal to pay overtime.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed significant changes to federal overtime regulations that will increase the rights of workers. Under the proposed rules, the salary basis needed to qualify for white collar exemptions has more than doubled. This means that more employees will be entitled to overtime pay, including administrative, executive, and other “white collar” professionals.
Minnesota and federal wage and hour laws regulate overtime, minimum wage, pay deductions, and classification of employees. Regardless of the size of the company or the industry, all employers must comply with wage and hour laws. Violations could result in significant payouts to employees and classes of employees.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently published its data and summary of legal action taken during the 2014 legal year, including details regarding the nearly 88,000 charges of workplace discrimination. According to the reports, the percentage of charges alleging retaliation has reached their highest amount in history at 42.8 percent.
Following a March 24th ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina to certify a class of employees of Flowers Foods, Inc., allowing for the lawsuit to proceed as a class action litigation, the company announced their intent to appeal the decision in an article with Mainebiz, Maine’s business news source.
Current and former bakery distributors for Flowers Baking Company of Jamestown recently won class certification in the Flowers Foods FLSA Litigation.
If you were given a “promotion” to an “assistant manager” or “manager” position, but have also lost your access to overtime despite increased hours, it is important to have a clear understanding of your rights and potential losses. The practice of misclassification of exempt employees has been widespread in the retail, service, hospitality, and restaurant industries. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, all employees are entitled to minimum wage plus one and one-half times regular pay rate for any hours over 40 in a given work week.
Whether you are searching for a job, recently employed, seeking a promotion, or have had a long-term position with your employer, you may have concerns about your position or job status in the event of pregnancy. For pregnant women in the workforce, it is important to have a clear understanding of your rights before you are hired, during employment, and in the event of termination.
Unemployment is down and the job market is up, giving more opportunities to Minnesota applicants in the hiring process. For some, background checks can make the application process more challenging, especially if there are known issues related to a criminal history or bad credit. Fortunately, applicants do have rights when it comes to background checks and employment, and an increasing number of employers are failing to comply with federal background checking laws.