Blog - Parks Chesin & Walbert
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Can I Get Fired over a Tweet? What NOT to Say on Social Media

In 1942— long before the advent of the Internet or social media— Thumper offered Bambi some sage advice: “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.” That advice still rings true today. When you post on social media, you may feel like you’re just venting or sending a message to a bunch of your friends and family (especially if you are not one of those people who have several million followers). However, it’s important to remember that there is nothing private about your online posts— even if you’ve activated the highest privacy settings. Any one of your “friends” could forward your post to someone— and even a time limited post (like a Snapchat) could be saved and transmitted by a third party via screenshot.

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In the News: Kesha’s Employment Lawsuit

The news about pop music star Kesha’s employment lawsuit is abuzz. Kesha– whose real name is Kesha Rose Sebert— filed a civil lawsuit in attempts to void her recording contracts with Lukaz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald and Sony. Kesha was trying to enter into contracts with other recording and publishing companies without penalty. The lawsuit alleges causes of action of sexual assault and battery, sexual harassment, gender violence, civil harassment, unfair business, as well as intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

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Rehab: Can My Employer Punish Me for Attending?

Addiction affects everyone to some degree. If the addiction is severe enough—and perhaps requires rehab—addiction can affect employment. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are both federal laws that prohibit an employer from firing an employee for attending rehab or seeking treatment. An employer’s own policies or a union contract may also protect employees who attend rehab. However, an employer may terminate an employee for another valid reason such as: coming to work high or drunk, using on the job, increased absences from work, or decreased performance.

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I Need to Take Medical Leave: What Should I Do?

It isn’t always easy to juggle work and family life. If you or a loved one need to request medical leave you and your employer must follow the provisions set forth in the Family and Medical Leave Act. The Family and Medical Leave Act allows employees who are eligible to take unpaid leave from work to care for their family members or to attend to their own medical needs. Only eligible employees are entitled to take this leave. Twelve workweeks of leave within a twelve month period are permitted for the following purposes: the birth of a child/care for a newborn within his or her first year, the placement of a child for adoption or foster care, to look after a spouse, child or parent who is suffering from a serious health problem, any health condition that negatively impacts an employee’s ability to perform his or her job, as well as any other qualifying health reason arising from military duty.

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Can I Be Forced to Pay for a Work-Related Educational Event?

The labor exchange involves trading time and skill for money. Employers are all fully aware that they are required to properly pay their workers for all of the hours they work (as is clearly laid down in the Fair Labor Standards Act 1938). Laws have established a minimum wage and record-keeping requirements. The Fair Labor Standards Act also specifically requires that employees must be fully compensated for time that the employer controls and by which he or she benefits.

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Working for the Government: Discrimination Laws

Workers usually begin their jobs with hope that their relationship with their employer will be long lasting, positive, and fruitful. It is an unfortunate fact that this does not always end up being the case. Employment discrimination, at its most fundamental level, is bias against an individual or group because of their national origin, race, religion, gender or disability. Employment discrimination affects everyone—even those working in the public sector. Now employees in the public sector working for bodies that perform public services (such as the fire service or police) enjoy extra protection and rights.

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Disability Law: What Resources Can Help My Autistic Child Find Work

As autistic children grow up, their parents may wonder how to help prepare their children for adulthood. They may ask: “Will my child be able to live on their own or will they need more regular care?”, “Will they have a social network and the support they need?”, “Will they be able to earn a living and support themselves with their disability?”. While autism may affect some differently than others, it’s important to note that all people with autism have protections and rights when it comes to employment.

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Work Uniforms: What is Legal?

While employers legally can and do set the standards when it comes to the dress and appearance of their employees—employers have to adhere to what’s laid out in a federal law called The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FSLA sets the minimum national standards for employment. States and localities may also pass more stringent laws that provide increased benefits and protections for employees in their geographic areas.

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Politics: Can My Boss Make Me Contribute to a PAC?

Around election time, people become impassioned about politics and the political choices that other people “ought” to be making. This passion can follow them to the most inappropriate of places: work. At work, employers are generally encouraged to be focused on the job at hand. However, when employers are involved in a Political Action Committee (PAC), awkwardness can arise. This is intensified when superiors want their employees to contribute to a PAC—or to campaign for or against candidates.

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Georgia Legislature Considers New Anti-Discrimination Law

The State of Georgia may have an anti-discrimination law on the books. This legislative session includes the introduction of House Bill 849 titled the “Georgia Civil Rights in Public Accommodations Act.” The Bill was introduced by the chairman of the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee Rep. Rich Golick and has wide bipartisan support. The Bill would ban businesses from turning away customers based on their race, color, sex, religion or national origin and applies to places of public accommodation including hotels, restaurants, gas stations, entertainment venues and other service industries across the State of Georgia.

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