July 2017 Archives

Unpaid work and the FLSA

Workers in Tennessee should not perform work that is not compensated or is not applied to overtime. Employers are generally required by the Fair Labor Standards Act to pay overtime to employees who work over 40 hours a week.

EEOC commissioner vows to keep sexual harassment a priority issue

Now that the Trump administration has assumed its position in the government, it seems apparent that there could be some sweeping changes in regard to federal policies and regulations. As an employee, you may feel concerned that these changes will affect your rights in the workplace. This sense of insecurity is quite reasonable when you consider that President Trump and the Republican party reportedly want to roll back no less than 75 percent of certain business regulations.

Back pay awards in employment discrimination cases

Tennessee employees who pursue workplace discrimination lawsuits under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act may be awarded damages for back pay if they prevail. Courts award back pay to compensate workers for income that they would and should have received if they had not been discriminated against, and these awards may include unpaid bonuses, vacation pay, pension benefits and health care costs as well as salary. Back pay awards are generally made by federal judges because they are considered a form of equitable relief. Legal relief awards, such as punitive and compensatory damages, are usually determined by juries.

The impact of wage discrimination

Almost any Tennessee employee can be a victim of wage discrimination. Women, men and older workers all face problems when it comes to equal pay, and workers with disabilities also have problems when it comes to being paid the same as others. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 15 percent of wage discrimination claims were filed by men over the past four fiscal years.

Executives may be covered by federal employment law

Companies in Tennessee and around the country with 15 or more workers must abide by the requirements of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. However, there has been legal confusion regarding whether senior executives should be classed as employers or workers. While workers are protected by Title VII of the landmark federal law, employers are not. The issue was addressed by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 2003 case involving a claim made under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The test the justices used to decide the matter is now generally followed by courts when deciding federal workplace discrimination cases.

Panda Express settles employment discrimination lawsuit

Tennessee Chinese food enthusiasts might have heard that Panda Express settled for $600,000 in a lawsuit involving discrimination against non-citizen employees. The fast-food restaurant chain will pay out $200,000 to employees who lost pay because they were unfairly required twice to provide documentation of their legal status to work in the United States. The company will also pay $400,000 in fines.

Startup ordered to pay $3.4 million in unpaid overtime

Employers in Tennessee and around the country are required to follow the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and they can be ordered to pay penalties, fines and damages when their worker compensation policies violate the landmark 1938 law. A June 20 news brief from the Department of Labor suggests that technology startup Zenefits has avoided such sanctions, but the human resources and insurance software developer has agreed to pay more than $3 million in unpaid overtime to 743 of its sales representatives and account executives.

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