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January 2015 Archives

2 women file sexual harassment lawsuit against employer

In most states, including Indiana, employees have the right to be free from sexual harassment in the workplace. It was reported on Jan. 20, however, that two Vermont women filed a lawsuit against their former employer claiming that they were fired after complaining about unrelenting sexual harassment.

Wrongful discharges in Indiana

Even though Indiana is an at-will employment state, certain types of situations are still considered wrongful when a person such as yourself has been fired from your job. You may have heard that employers may fire you at any time and for any reason, and while this may be generally true, they may not do so as a retaliatory action or for your exercising your statutory rights.

You have the right to a safe workplace

As many employees in Indiana are all too aware, in an employment-at-will state, you can be fired for almost any reason at almost any time. This is a great encouragement to do your best and try not to get on the wrong side of your employer, but at what cost? You still deserve to be treated fairly and with respect and, most of all, to be safe in your place of work. However, some employees suffer retaliatory discharge simply for reporting hazards in their workplace.

Understanding employee rights at the workplace

Indiana employees may be wondering what their employee rights are when it comes to issues like wages, overtime and lunch breaks. According to Indiana state laws, most work institutions are covered by minimum wage provisions by the federal law. In unique situations where a workplace is not covered under the federal law, the state's minimum wage provisions may still cover employee laws. If a job involves a situation where the employee also receives tips, they must be compensated at the state's minimum wage rate of $2.13 an hour. As long as their tips equal that rate, the employer has met the required conditions.

What is considered good cause for dismissal?

As many employees living in Indiana will know, working without an employment contract can be a risky business. However, even if you have a contract, there are several reasons that are considered good cause for dismissal. It is important to be aware of these to avoid putting yourself in a position that could cost you your job. As this article on wrongful termination explains, some examples that may be considered good reasons to dismiss someone include the following:

Mining company challenges EEOC conciliation process

Workers in Indiana may not be aware that on Jan. 13, the Supreme Court heard a case that may change the way discrimination cases proceed. Depending on how the Supreme Court rules, it may become more difficult for plaintiffs in a discrimination case to win. In recent years, several cases have tightened restrictions around lawsuits based on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

American Apparel managers forbidden from sexual advances

Indiana residents may be interested to learn of American Apparel's recent unveiling of a new company ethical code directed toward the issue of workplace sexual harassment. Following a long battle with the company's founder as well as numerous sexual harassment lawsuits filed against him and the company, the company reacted by firing him and changing its policies.

When an employer can make deductions from a paycheck

Workers in Indiana may want to find out when an employer is legally permitted to make deductions from a paycheck. There are some circumstances when an employer can make a deduction, but the employer must let the employee know about the deduction ahead of time. An agreement about the deduction must also be made in writing, and the agreement must be signed by both he employee and the employer.

Becoming pregnant should not cost you your job

The arrival of a new baby in Indiana is a happy occasion and also the beginning of a very busy period for the parents. In many cases, one or both parents will take time off work to spend time with and care for their new arrival. Usually, a mother will also take time off work toward the end of her pregnancy so she can focus on her own well-being and prepare for the birth.

Can an employer require overtime?

In the state of Indiana, an employer may require that a worker stay late or work additional unscheduled hours. However, an employer may not require workers to work overtime or stay late if it is forbidden by a collective bargaining agreement or any other contract. State law generally does not say how much notice an employee must be given if asked to stay late on a given day.

You do not need to use all your leave at once

When you need to be absent from work to deal with health issues, the last thing you want to have to worry about is job security. Unfortunately, in an employment-at-will state like Indiana, jobs are rarely very secure to begin with. However, the Family and Medical Leave Act is intended to give you some security when you are faced with illness or injury within your immediate family.

Indiana teacher to receive $1.75 million

In an employment-at-will state such as Indiana, it can be difficult to hold on to a job. You need to ensure that you give your position your all as if you fail to impress, your employer may simply decide to let you go. However, there are some reasons for which an employer is not permitted to fire you. If these rules are ignored, you may be able to file a wrongful termination lawsuit.

What is workplace discrimination?

Under Indiana and federal law, employees have the right to be treated fairly and in accordance with the treatment of other employees with similar training, education and experience. Employers may not legally subject an employee or groups of employees to more punitive treatment because of their membership in a group defined as a protected classes under law. Protected classes include race, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and religion.

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