Parks Chesin & Walbert | employment law
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Sexual Harassment: Blurred Lines

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes workplace sexual harassment illegal. Sexual harassment includes sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other sexual conduct that “explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment”. This includes “quid pro quo” behavior, and any conduct that works to create a hostile work environment. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is tasked with enforcing Title VII. An investigation will consider the wider picture of the workplace by asking questions like: What is the nature of the sexual advances? What is the context of the workplace?

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Employment Rights: Minimum Wage for Fast Food Employees

The person that handed you your last greasy hamburger, plate of fries, or coffee cup could very well be making less an hour than your entire order costs.

The Fair Labor Standards Act was implemented in 1938 to set employee payment regulations. Minimum wage, the forty-hour work week, and overtime are just a few of the items covered under the FLSA. Although employers are required by law to meet at least the minimum requirement nationwide, the federal minimum wage is still only $7.25 an hour, and this doesn’t reach the living wage in even the poorest areas in the United States. It doesn’t even pay for a coffee and sandwich at Starbucks.

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Bitcoin Payments: Are the Risks Worth the Rewards?

You may have heard the term Bitcoin and wondered what it means. Bitcoin is the most well-known form of digital currency. It came about in 2009 seemingly as backlash to the financial crisis created by big banks and their unscrupulous lending practices. “Satoshi Nakamoto” created it. However, it is unknown who Nakamoto is (or if he or she is a person). For example, Nakamoto could potentially represent a group of people.

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Can Employers Spy on Workers?

Can employers spy on their employees? It is legal? Today, almost all employees use some type of electronic device as a part of their work. Whether its a time clock, company car, mobile phone, tabet or a computer? Whether we know it or not, our personal information and travel informatoin is being captured and in some cases stored. Can your employer collect data about how you live your life, who you call, when you see people, what you do online, and what goes on in your house (if you work from home)?

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Overtime Rule Changes: What Does the FLSA Say?

On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor updated their rules on overtime pay. This could end up affecting more than four million workers nationwide. The rule changes the standard for determining which workers are eligible for overtime pay under the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA governs both public and private workers.

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China and the US: Their Legal Influence on One Another

The laws that govern employment in one nation have an impact on other nations, too. This is perhaps most true when it comes to China and US. In this era of globalized trade, the way that a nation creates jobs and governs employment will inevitably affect commerce. Many products that sell in the United States are made in China. Many American workers, particularly professionals, leave the United States to work in China. Though Chinese employment laws aren’t necessarily of concern to American law firms and businesses alike, these laws and regulations affect people, and they affect trade. Chinese laws’ affect on the United States is inescapable.

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The Use of Medical Marijuana and Employment Law

Progress has been made in Georgia as people suffering from certain medical conditions are now able to use medical marijuana products to alleviate their symptoms. However, since Georgia is a conservative state—the use of marijuana for medical reasons is currently the only type of marijuana use permitted. In addition, these products are often oil based and contain cannabidiol, but are designed to contain very low amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (this chemical provides the sensation that smokers of cannabis achieve when they smoke the drug).

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In the News: The Gender Wage Gap

April 12, 2016 was Equal Pay Day. In 2015, Equal Pay Day was on April 14th. In 2013, it was on April 9th. Why? The date moves not with the day of the week or the calendar, but based on what the gender pay gap is for the previous year. In 2015, a woman would have had to continue working until April 12, 2016 to make the same salary a man did in the year 2015.

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LGBTQ Anti-Discrimination Laws Around the US

Georgia, North Carolina, and Mississippi have all made the news recently because of legislation that allows discrimination towards LGBT people. However, so far each state’s legislation has resulted in very different outcomes. North Carolina continues to face significant pressure from businesses, artists, and public figures regarding the HB2 “bathroom” bill. This bill requires transgender people to use the gender that was assigned to them at birth when determining where to use the restroom. HB2 prohibits local governments from passing LGBT anti-discrimination ordinances.

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Antonin Scalia and the Supreme Court: The Impact on Employment Law

The hugely respected Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death has had massive implications for developments in employment law across America. As predictions about ongoing cases are made, ripples of uncertainty are being created throughout law firms across the country. Scalia acted as the embodiment of conservatism in the Supreme Court for three decades, and he was respected even by those who disagreed with him. His death will undoubtedly be accompanied by consequences for employees, employers and businesses.

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