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December 2014 Archives

Workplace pregnancy discrimination

Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace has been forbidden in Indiana and throughout the country since the passage of the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act, or PDA, in 1968. Pregnancy discrimination has received a lot of attention due to its unique circumstances.

Federal law prohibits transgender discrimination

As some Indiana residents may already know, employees are protected in many ways under the Civil Rights Act. Discrimination due to color, creed or sex is expressly prohibited, according to the federal law. The U.S. attorney general recently confirmed that the law also protects transgender individuals from employment discrimination.

Wage and hour laws in Indiana

Indiana is a "right to work" state, which means that the state's workers are not required to join unions. However, that doesn't mean that workers are without protections. The state has a set of laws in place that establish requirements on both employee compensation and work hours. If employers violated these laws, they could face fines from the state. In some cases, employees could file a suit against the employer.

What do you do if your employer asks you to do something illegal?

If you are a diligent worker, the chances are that you are generally ready to take on any challenge presented to you by your employer. If you give it your all, the chances are you'll achieve whatever is required with little worry. But what if that task requires you to do something illegal or something that puts your safety at risk?

Unlawful retaliation in the workplace

Employees in Indiana may benefit from learning some of the facts about workplace retaliation, as described by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Federal law prohibiting retaliation may prevent employers from harassing, demoting, firing or taking some other type of adverse action against an employee or application for opposing discrimination, filing a discrimination charge or participating in a discrimination proceeding. Laws against retaliation are similar to those preventing discrimination based on religion, sex, race, national original, disability or age.

Sexual discrimination defined

Sexual discrimination in any aspect of employment is against the law in Indiana and across the United States. This includes all areas of hiring, training, job assignments, promotion, benefits, firing and all other work-related conditions. Policies not necessary to the operation of a business that apply to all employees may even be considered discriminatory if they result in a negative effect on the employment of individuals of a particular sex.

Indiana woman's suit against the Catholic diocese to proceed

A woman's claim of sexual discrimination was upheld by U.S. District Judge Robert Miller in Indiana, forcing the Catholic diocese to continue its fight in regards to her firing. The woman was fired for undergoing in vitro fertilization procedures. She was teaching language arts at a Catholic school at the time. After an initial procedure failed, the woman was about to undergo a second procedure when she was informed that it was against Catholic teachings. She was then fired for violating the church's moral standard.

Do not tolerate being singled out for your religion

There is usually little reason for the details of your personal life to have an impact on your ability to do your job. It should not matter whether you are married or not or what your sexual preference is. It should not be an issue if you have come from another country, as long as you are legally allowed to work in the U.S. It should also not matter what your religion is.

The political battle over paid sick leave in Indiana

Many Indiana workers make the effort to report to work even when they are not feeling up to the job, and studies indicate that 90 percent of working Americans do the same thing. Sometimes, these sick workers are worried about losing their jobs, but many of them simply cannot afford to take unpaid time off work. Almost 40 percent of the private sector workforce receive no paid sick days at all, and several states have enacted legislation, or have bills pending, to address this issue. However, Indiana passed a law in 2013 that prevents any city or county in the state from establishing sick leave rights for private sector workers.

What should you do if you lose your job?

Being fired is an awful experience, particularly if you did nothing wrong. Working in an employment-at-will state such as Indiana means you are constantly at risk of dismissal, for almost any reason, or no reason at all. However, as we have discussed in a previous post about unfair dismissal, there are certain reasons for which you cannot legally be fired.

Understanding workplace harassment in Indiana

If a worker is subjected to lewd comments, unwanted touching or other sexual actions in the workplace, it may be considered sexual harassment. Even if there is no intent to harass, it could be defined as harassment if there is a pattern of activity that creates a hostile working environment. Sexual harassment can come from a superior or any other employee within a company.

When money can be deducted from a paycheck

Indiana state law places limits on what can be deducted from an employee's paycheck. For instance, if an employee is fined or otherwise owes the employer money, no funds may be deducted from that employee's paycheck. However, it may be possible to ask for the money after he or she receives a full paycheck, and the employee may be terminated if he or she fails to repay any money owed.

Know your rights under the FMLA

It can be difficult to keep on top of all your obligations, especially when someone close to you becomes ill. If a loved one requires care, it can take a lot of time out of your day and require a huge amount of energy and dedication. It is a dilemma many families in Indiana face. Do you continue to work, or try to arrange time off to care for your family member?

Disability discrimination issues

Indiana employers who are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act can face repercussions for the adverse treatment of a disabled employee. The law provides protections for workers with temporary or permanent physical or mental disabilities from being treated negatively due to the impairment. Additionally, employers are prohibited from treating individuals negatively based on a belief of impairment regardless of whether such an issue is real or only suspected. Further, an individual may not be the object of discrimination because of a relationship to a disabled person. Reasonable accommodations must be made unless there is undue expense or difficulty for the employer in doing so.

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