Nashville Legal Blog

Follow these insurance claim tips after a car accident

In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, it's natural to have a lot running through your mind. This is particularly true if you've suffered an injury and require medical attention.

As time allows — typically after your health has stabilized — contact your car insurance company to file a claim. This sounds simple enough, but don't forget that your agent isn't necessarily on your side. They're going to do what's best for the company, not you.

Supreme Court to hear cases on LGBT workplace discrimination

LGBT employees in Tennessee may be concerned about the outcome of three upcoming cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. At the same time, they may be heartened to receive the support of hundreds of major corporations in a friend-of-the-court brief filed in the cases. On Oct. 8, the high court is expected to hear oral arguments in the three cases stemming from decisions by federal appeals courts in New York, Cincinnati and Chicago. The courts in those cases ruled that gay, lesbian and transgender workers were protected against discrimination under existing federal civil rights laws prohibiting sex discrimination.

While the Obama administration's Justice Department supported those rulings, the Trump administration has changed course, arguing that civil rights law does not protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. LGBT workers have been concerned about the outcome of the Supreme Court cases, especially since the court has new conservative justices. However, while big corporations often advocate for positions adopted by conservative jurists, in this case, major corporations are urging that LGBT workers be protected against discrimination.

Study finds black women more likely to be harassed at work

Black women in Tennessee and elsewhere are more likely to experience sexual harassment in the workplace than white women, according to a new analysis of federal data. The study was published in the journal Gender, Work and Organization.

For the study, researchers examined data from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, between the years of 1997 and 2016. They found that overall workplace sexual harassment complaints have decreased over the last 20 years, but they have not gone down as much for black women. Instead, white women, particularly young white women, have been the primary beneficiaries of the efforts to reduce sexual harassment. Meanwhile, the study also found that sexual harassment complaints tend to increase when unemployment rates go up. According to the authors of the study, this is because men are more likely to commit acts of sexual harassment when they feel economically threatened.

Company sued by former executives for discrimination

Two separate lawsuits have been filed against WeWork by two former company executives, alleging gender and age discrimination. Discriminatory actions by companies in Tennessee may give employees causes of action. A 62-year-old man who was once a WeWork vice president says the company discriminated against him because of his age just after he started to work there. He came on board with WeWork when the company acquired a portion of a construction company that he was then a part of.

Once he was hired, he says he relocated for the company but another person was hired with the same title shortly thereafter. The man says he was soon being excluded from meetings while the other employee, who is 20 years younger, took over many of his duties. The man raised the issue with the company's human resources department in February and was told he was being terminated in April. He would have begun to receive stock options as part of his compensation less than a month later.

Survey finds 47% of LGBTQ workers hiding identity at work

Many LGBTQ workers in Tennessee might nod their heads in agreement when they learn about the findings of a survey conducted by Glassdoor, an online workplace review site. Out of the 6,104 adults who responded to the survey, 47% believed that revealing their sexual orientation or gender identity at work could damage their careers. These people worried about missing out on promotions, being sidelined from projects, or outright job termination.

Many respondents acknowledged that they conceal or partially conceal their true selves on the job. Among LGBTQ workers, 53% reported witnessing or being the target of negative comments from co-workers. Comments of an anti-LGBTQ character took the form of statements like opposition to same-sex marriage or calling things "gay".

Boeing faces lawsuit from employee who says he was harassed

Some Tennessee employees may be aware that they are usually protected against workplace harassment that is based on such qualities as race, national origin or religion. In South Carolina, a 57-year-old man who was a quality inspector with Boeing says he was subject to racial harassment at work and that when he complained about it, the company retaliated against him.

The man says the harassment began in 2017. He says he faced racial slurs from white employees and that someone urinated on his desk and seat. He also says someone hung a noose above his desk. After complaining about the harassment, he says that in a retaliatory action, he was moved to an office without air conditioning. He says further retaliation occurred when white employees who were less qualified than he was received promotions that he was denied. He said that he was unable to perform the duties he was hired for or focus on his work and that his sobriety lapsed. The man took medical leave and also sought help with the company's employee assistance program

Tennessee health care group to pay workers $92,510 in back wages

A Tennessee health care provider that once operated 10 pediatric clinics in the state will pay 31 of its current and former employees $92,510 in back wages for violating provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. According to a Department of Labor press release, an investigation conducted by the agency's Wage and Hour Division uncovered evidence of violations of the law's overtime, recordkeeping and minimum wage requirements. During the course of the investigation, seven of the company's 10 clinics closed their doors.

The DOL press release suggests that the wage and hour law violations may have been caused by the company's financial struggles. Investigators discovered that workers had not been paid on time on many occasions and were sometimes issued checks that failed to clear because the payroll account they were drawn on had insufficient funds. This resulted in workers not being paid the hourly wages and overtime rates they were entitled to.

Drunk and distracted drivers could endanger you on the road

Traffic laws exist for a reason, and that reason is the safety of everyone on the road. By following the rules of the road, drivers can reduce their risk of a crash. Although most of us can ignore the fact that we are hurtling around at high speeds encased in a box of glass, polycarbonate and metal, some drivers get rude awakenings and reminders of the danger of driving when they wind up involved in a collision.

Since many people take their daily commute for granted as part of their life, they may not have the necessary safety focus to protect everyone on the road. Individuals can choose to engage in dangerous behaviors, such as driving while texting or driving after drinking, because they stop thinking of driving as the inherently dangerous activity it is.

SGO survey finds sexual harassment among gynecologic oncologists

The problem of sexual harassment can appear within any profession in Tennessee, including medical professionals. When the Society of Gynecologic Oncology surveyed its 1,566 US members, 255 women and 147 men responded. The responses indicated that both women and men had experienced sexual harassment while training for their careers or in practice.

The lead author of the study acknowledged that selection bias probably influenced the results because people who had experienced harassment were likely motivated to respond. Even so, the responses revealed that many of the society's members had been victims. Among respondents, 71% of women and 51% of men experienced harassment, especially sexist remarks or requests for sexual favors.

What is employment discrimination?

Employees shouldn't have to deal with work decisions that are based on something that doesn't have anything to do with their job performance. Unfortunately, people in this country deal with discrimination at work on a daily basis. There are state and federal laws that help to protect workers from discrimination, but some employers do not always follow these laws.

There are specific types of discrimination that are always forbidden. When a worker is subjected to them, the employee might choose to file a lawsuit against the employer. It is imperative that all workers know a bit about discrimination.

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