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November 2013 Archives

Gender discrimination bill: On the way to passage?

In a ground-breaking move, the United States Senate has agreed to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a bill that would render it illegal to refuse to hire or fire gay or transgender individuals in the workplace. The vote was 64 Senators in favor and 32 opposing. Twenty-one states have legal federal guidelines in place to protect gay and transgender workers, leading many experts to feel the age of tolerance is upon us.

Labor addresses misclassification of independent contractors

A new relationship with the United States Department of Labor and the attorney general's office has pledged to provide protection of employee rights by addressing their misclassification as independent contractors. While the issue has recently been at the core of franchising procedures for some time, companies are only now assuming more control of the way franchises work, an act that benefits only the company.

New health care laws spark contraceptive controversy

With recent changes to the federal health care program, new controversies arise. Since the federal health care law mandates employers to cover health care, at issue is who is responsible for contraceptive care. Many employers provide health care plans for their employees but due to religious and moral issues, they take issue with the obligation to pay for birth control medications. Some federal courts have ruled the employer has to comply with the requirements, but others disagree, rejecting the claims on the basis of violation of constitutional rights.

U.S. Army Reservist Reaches Settlement with Former Employer over USERRA Violations

The U.S. Department of Justice recently reached a settlement with All Battery Sales and Service of Everett, Washington, to resolve a lawsuit filed by Curtis Kirk, a U.S. Army reservist. The lawsuit alleged that All Battery failed to properly rehire Mr. Kirk after he finished his tour during Operation Iraqi Freedom and then demoted and ultimately fired him without just cause.

Terminated correction officer blames boss for inmate's death

A correctional department officer working on Rikers Island claims that he was unjustly let go following the death of an inmate. He has filed a lawsuit charging his boss with negligence, alleging the inmate had swallowed some bleach and that authorities denied him medical attention.

The Incognito-Martin Incident and Workplace Bullying

The biggest story in the sports world for the last several weeks has been the allegations swirling around the NFL Miami Dolphins' offensive lineman, Richie Incognito, and his supposed bullying of his fellow lineman, Jonathan Martin.

Massive changes planned at SUNY dealing with harassment

In one of the most comprehensive, system-wide agreements in the history of the Department of Education, management promised to deal more effectively with sexual harassment and assault cases at State University Systems in New York. The changes come following a sweeping federal review that determined many of the campuses experienced hostile environments rift with sexual harassment.

Mortuary school charged with sexual harassment

A 113-year old mortuary school in upstate New York has been asked to pay $30,000 in damages following sexual harassment charges filed by several female students. According to the state Attorney General's Office, the president and CEO of the school has agreed to the settlement, which will include policy modification and reform. The office filed the suit following multiple complaints from female students charging unwanted sexual touching and pregnancy discrimination.

City may revoke officer's wrongful termination

A recent ruling regarding the dismissal of a New Jersey police officer may be overturned based on two factors. One involves a medical board decision related to the lack of evidence that the officer was unfit for duty. The case has become quite controversial in the local tri-state area and has been the subject of a local news show.

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