Parks Chesin & Walbert | Employment Law
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When to Go to Human Resources

Employers typically use their human resources department for: job design and analysis, recruitment and hiring, training and development, performance, compensation, and legal issues. Employees often turn to their HR department when they have a question or a problem. This article focuses on when it is a good idea to take a problem to HR and how to document the communication.


The Legal Difference between Earning a Salary and Being Paid Hourly

When you get a job offer, you should consider how your salary will be paid as well as what other benefits come with the offer. It is important to know whether the job will be paid on an hourly or a salaried basis. Hourly employees are always entitled to overtime wages salaried employees are usually, but not always entitled to overtime pay. However, some salaried positions are exempt from overtime. These positions are normally executive or management type job. Overtime pay makes a difference. As odd as it seems, it is possible for an employee to take a pay cut when they are promoted to a salaried position that is exempt from overtime.


Top 10 Tips for Using Work Email

Email is a huge part of our world, our workplace and our private lives. Most people use different accounts: work accounts and personal accounts — all of which are accessible via the internet. Because of this, employees can face unintended consequences. Examples include termination for misusing work accounts, or accessing private accounts through their employer’s servers. Here are some tips to help you avoid problems.


Using Sick Leave to Attend a Protest: Are Employees Protected?

Using sick leave to attend a protest is a controversial issue. Employees thinking of doing this should consider the consequences carefully—as sick days exist for a reason: in case of employee illness.

Nonetheless, one can see how, at a time of social turbulence, people are tempted to claim a sick day in order to attend protests. American citizens should be able exercise their rights to peaceful assembly and free speech under the First Amendment. However, joining a demonstration whilst officially on sick leave claimed from an employer is risky business. If the employer finds out, that could very well mean the end of employment. That’s because there are two separate subjects intertwined here: 1. the right to demonstrate and 2. the right to take sick leave.


Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Federal law, specifically Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, makes sexual harassment in the workplace illegal. However, many states have made sexual harassment a violation of state law as well.

Illegal and unwanted sexual conduct falls under two types of behaviors: (1) quid pro quo, which essentially means if you do this for me, I will do that for you and (2) hostile work environment, which is where intentional, severe, actions interfere with an employee’s or a witness’s ability to perform her job. In order to prove that an employee is working under a hostile work environment he or she will have to prove that the offensive behavior was recurrent and pervasive—and that he or she had to endure this workplace environment in order to keep his or her job.


Social Media: Can I Get Fired for That?

Social media has become part of the fabric of our society and our world. Facebook accounts span the generations, and the media regularly reports on celebrity tweets and Instagram posts. A variety of ways for people to connect to friends, acquaintances, strangers, and people you may only get to know through online channels exist. Businesses and employers also use social media to promote their brand, product, reputation, and message. They are looking for employees who enhance, not detract from their public image.