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August 2016 Archives

Are you a waitress or waiter being paid unfairly for the work you do?

Are you a waitress or waiter who is required to do "side work" - but isn't paid minimum wage to do that work? The Fair Labor Standards Act may protect you and require your employer to pay you wages you're owed. A waitress in North Carolina recently sued her employer, alleging that "the company paid her and hundreds of other workers $2.13 an hour but required them to do side work for which they should have received minimum wage." And they aren't the only ones. Applebee's, Mario Batali, and the New York Yankees have faced similar lawsuits in the past. In 2012, the Supreme Court sided with workers when it "deferred to Labor Department rules, which hold that tipped workers are entitled to the full minimum wage for so-called side jobs or non-tipped work if they spent more than 20 percent of their time on such duties."

Town of Alsip, IL finds out the hard way that sexual harassment at work is illegal

Sexual harassment at work is illegal, as the town of Alsip, IL found out the hard way. It recently settled a lawsuit, brought by former Treasurer Elizabeth Gonzalez, that accused Mayor Patrick Kitching of making unwanted sexual advances toward her. As the Chicago Tribune reports:

The Deck is Stacked Against Plaintiffs in Employment Cases - But the Fight Goes On

The U.S. Supreme Court recently decided a case that attracted little attention. On the surface, CRST Van Expedited, Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission[i] (5/19/16) was about the definition of a "prevailing party" for purposes of awarding attorney fees. The Court unanimously held that a defendant does not need to obtain a favorable judgment "on the merits" in order to be awarded attorney fees.

Jealous Ex-husband Admits to Planting Marijuana, Framing An Innocent Man

Sometimes we comment on issues of national importance. Sometimes, not. In this juicy case, arising from suburban Toledo, a male teacher was dating a woman whose ex-husband admits to planting marijuana in his car out of jealousy! Most of the time we tend to think that the state and federal governments have way too many criminal laws. But this case shows an unusual gap. Ohio lacks a felony that fits the planting of false evidence. Creatively, the prosecutor charged kidnapping-- on the grounds that the guy who planted the evidence intended the victim to spend time in jail. The case is in trial. The defense lawyer, Stevin Groth is very good. We shall see what the jury does. To view the Toledo Blade story, click the link or paste it into your browser.  http://www.toledoblade.com/Courts/2016/08/11/Teacher-tells-of-Wood-County-love-triangle.html

Speak Up and Speak Out to End Sexual Harassment & Discrimination in the Workplace

For more than fifteen years, I have represented employees who have been discriminated against by their co-workers, supervisors, and employers. I can safely say that sexual harassment hasn't gone away, as Gretchen Carlson's lawsuit against Fox shows. And, as it turns out, Ms. Carlson wasn't the only woman harassed at Fox News. As the New York Times reports, "Rudi Bakhtiar, who worked for the network a decade ago, said Fox News let her go after she rebuffed advances from a colleague and filed a complaint about it internally." Ms. Bakhtiar settled her claims against Fox, but finding out that she isn't the only victim of illegal discrimination has "emboldened to tell her story publicly". And as another woman who faced discrimination at work, and sued her employer, realized, "The takeaway was that this is not unique to me. It's epidemic."

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