Parks Chesin & Walbert | Employment Law
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Sick and Fired: Medical Leave Does Not Always Protect Your Job

Being sick is the worst… except when being sick means you need to be away from work for an extended period. Then, that is the worst. Many employees worry about taking even one sick day, so the thought of taking a medical leave for weeks – or even months – can be terrifying. What if I lose my job? How will I manage without my benefits?

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Prior Arrests & Employment Law

Federal employment law does not prohibit employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal history. However, federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) laws do make it illegal for employers to discriminate when using criminal history for information. For example, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from treating people with similar criminal records differently because they are a member of a protected class. Protected classes under Title VII include: race, national origin, color, sex, and religion. Title VII does not allow employers to use screening practices that look at an applicant’s criminal history if 1. Such a policy significantly disadvantages protected classes, and 2. If such policies do not actually help the employer accurately determine if the applicant is likely to be a responsible, reliable, or safe employee.

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Are Employees Entitled to Vacation in Georgia?

Federal law, specifically the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets the national minimum standard for wages and only requires payment for time actually worked. Some states have laws that provide their citizens with additional benefits including paid or unpaid vacation. Georgia does not have a state law governing wages and benefits, so the FLSA standards are also the standards in Georgia, and paid or unpaid vacation is not required.

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Whistleblower Protection: an Overview of Federal and State Law

What Is Whistleblowing and Why Is It Necessary?

Whistleblowing occurs when an employee reports or objects to an employer’s illegal behavior to a supervisor or an external law enforcement agency. Whistleblower protection in the workplace often falls under federal and state laws enacted to encourage employees to speak up when they witness illegal activities by their employers.

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Laws about Sick Days

Federal Law sets the minimum requirements that each employer must meet regarding sick days. Currently, Federal Law does not require that employers provide paid sick leave for their employees. However, companies that meet certain criteria are required to comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a Federal law that provides employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid sick leave for certain medical situations for either the employee or a member of the employee’s immediate family.

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The Law on Getting Paid for Lunch Breaks

Employer policies on time and wages are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Act includes requirements around minimum wage, travel, training, and meal periods. While states may have additional rules in place on top of the FLSA, others (like Georgia) have no other requirements.

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Overtime: What Are My Rights?

In Georgia, whether an employee is entitled to overtime wages is governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act. The Fair Labor Standards Act is a federal law that sets the minimum standards. The law applied nationwide. Individual states are able to pass laws, which provide their citizens with greater protections than are provided by federal laws. According to the Georgia Department of Labor, the FLSA is more exacting than Georgia law. Therefore, employers in Georgia will be in compliance with Georgia laws and federal laws if they comply with the FLSA.

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