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June 2014 Archives

Female employees still face subtle discrimination

As some Indiana employees may know, workplace discrimination can be subtle. There are laws against expressions of overt bias against people on the basis of factors like age, gender and race, but biases that are less obvious can still be damaging. Women may face particular challenges in the workplace that they might struggle to legally define as discrimination.

New York fast food employee wins wrongful termination case

They say no good deed goes unpunished. That’s what’s usually at the heart of wrongful termination cases. An employee turns whistleblower against discrimination, unsafe working conditions or sexual harassment, and the employer retaliates by firing the worker, denying a promotion or adjusting the schedule.

Obama to act on issue of gay rights in the workplace

Many Indiana residents are aware of the ongoing national debate regarding gay rights. While federal laws are in place to guard against race discrimination in the workplace, efforts to expand this protection to cover bias based on an individual's sexual orientation have so far proved unsuccessful. The Senate approved such a measure in 2013, but the initiative has subsequently stalled in the House of Representatives.

Woman files discrimination lawsuit after being terminated

An former Indiana radio personality believes she was subject to discrimination. According to a recent filing in federal courts, the woman believes that her former employer terminated her because of her gender. She charged the station with wrongful termination in violation of federal laws on June 6.

Jury awards man $100,000 in FMLA lawsuit

As an employee in Indiana, you are generally entitled to take time off work for qualified medical reasons, maternity leave or family reasons and keep your insurance and, in some cases, be paid while away. The Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, gives you the right to, at minimum, unpaid leave and the guarantee that your job will be waiting for you. Every employer’s policy varies. Some can force you to use your sick time or vacation hours during your leave or some may let you keep it.

Indiana schoolteacher fired for using in vitro fertilization

A federal judge in Indiana has been asked to grant summary judgment in favor of a diocese that is being sued by a former employee. The former employee had been working for the northern Indiana diocese as a schoolteacher until she was fired for trying to get pregnant through in vitro fertilization. In order to grant the diocese's motion for summary judgment, the judge would need to determine that the schoolteacher had not raised any genuine issues that would need to be adjudicated at trial.

Indiana firm fined for H-1B violations

After a local ABC-TV afiliate initiated an investigation, an administrative law judge entered penalties against an Indianapolis staffing firm. The company uses H-1B visa sponsorships to hire workers from foreign countries including the Philippines and India. It then provides staff to health care schools, hospitals and other facilities.

Age discrimination laws in Indiana

Indiana residents may familiar with the term "equal opportunity employer." This is often added to help wanted ads to indicate that an employer does not discriminate based on factors such as race, religion or age. While the laws concerning race based discrimination are fairly comprehensive, the rules relating to age discrimination are not so straightforward.

Do employer retaliation laws extend to physical self-defense?

In the broadest sense, if you work for a private company, you can be fired for whatever reason at any time. As an employee, you can also quit at any time for whatever reason. That’s what’s called “employment at will.” However, there are exceptions. First, if your contract says otherwise, you are bound by that. Second, you cannot be fired for your religion, sex or race. In addition, employer retaliation protection extends to some forms of speech and political affiliation, protecting you from being fired for being a Democrat, Republican or otherwise.

Bullying in the workplace

While bullying is often thought of in the context of grade schools or middle schools in Indiana and across the nation, the Workplace Bullying Institute reported that the problem affects people at their jobs with more than 25 percent of workers admitting they have been victims of bullying. In light of this, states are now reviewing laws to protect workers in these situations.

NFL scout threatens wrongful termination suit against former team

Beyond just a source of income to provide for your family, a job offers a sense of identity and pride for most Indianans. So, when it's taken away, the sense of loss can be devastating. There are times when employers need to lay off workers as a result of necessary cutbacks or an employee's poor performance, but that's not always the case. Perfectly capable employees suffer wrongful termination all the time for reasons that run the gamut from retaliation to discrimination.

Former HR manager challenges wrongful termination

For a conscientious employee, the prospect of being fired is a daunting one, but also one that seems quite unlikely. If you do your job well, why should you be fired? In an employment-at-will state, it can be for almost any reason at all, but some employers go too far. One woman in Indiana has been forced to sue her former employer for wrongful termination after the company fired her for obeying the law.

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