Employment Law Archives - Page 9 of 17 - Parks Chesin & Walbert
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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.


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?


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.


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.


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.