Employment Discrimination Blog

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Basics of Worker Misclassification

Employees have certain rights and protections. However, independent contractors have more control over their work and do not have the benefit of many employee protections. Employers sometimes deem workers as independent contractors instead of employees because it is cheaper for them to do so. Independent contractors are not subject to specific laws, including:

  • Protection under the Family Medical Leave Act
  • Unemployment insurance
  • Safe workplace requirements
  • Overtime compensation
  • Minimum wage and hour restrictions

Many of these benefits are expensive for the employer to maintain. To avoid these extra costs, some employers classify workers as independent contractors even though they should technically be considered employees.
Read more . . .

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Explained

What behavior constitutes sexual harassment in the workplace?

Sexual harassment is a form of sex or gender discrimination that is illegal in the workplace under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Sexual harassment can encompass a wide range of behaviors and is not always easy for victims to recognize.  Female and male employees alike should make themselves aware of what constitutes sexual harassment so that they can protect themselves from becoming an unwanted victim of employment discrimination in Georgia.
Read more . . .

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Requests for a Modified Schedule: What is a ‘Reasonable Accommodation’

As an employee, you may have heard of the notion of “reasonable accommodation” in the workplace. What does this mean exaction? The phrase stems from a body of law which governs the ways in which an employer is required to treat an employee (or potential employee) who has a recognized disability that could impact his or her job performance. Under anti-discrimination laws both in the State of Georgia and federal law, an employer is prohibited from discriminating against an employee or candidate due to the disability. Further, the employer must make accommodations for that employee. However, the employee’s rights are not limitless, and an employer is only required to make accommodations that would not be unreasonably burdensome or create a safety hazard for others.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Why Your Business Needs an Employee Handbook

Does my small business need to have an employee handbook?

Many small business owners think that employee handbooks are only useful for large organizations, but this is not the case. In fact, it is crucial for any business to establish formal rules concerning the employer-employee relationship and the rights and responsibilities of the parties. Ultimately, a formal handbook can protect a business owner in the event of an employee dispute.

What policies should be included in an employee handbook?


The first topic to address is employee compensation and whether employees are paid an annual salary, an hourly wage, or commissions. Employees should also be notified when they will be paid, weekly or bi-weekly, although it is customary for sales people to be paid on a monthly basis.

Read more . . .

Friday, December 30, 2016

Georgia court considers controversial workplace sexual assault laws

It goes without saying that sexual relationships in the workplace are often an idea worth rethinking – especially in the education setting. In the academic world, Georgia law expressly and unequivocally prohibits consensual sexual relationships between teachers or administrators and students, even if the student is 18. The reason behind these laws is simple: educational authorities possess an unfair, unbalanced power over students, making any sexual relationship inappropriate – and criminal – on its face.
Read more . . .

Monday, November 28, 2016

Transgender Issues in the Workplace: Where the law stands

Unlike race and religion, gender identity has yet to be cloaked with the highest level of equal protection by the U.S. Supreme Court. Nonetheless, many states and local municipalities have begun the process of implementing regulations and statutes to address the rights of those in the transgender community. While some jurisdictions have put into place exclusive policies concerning bathroom usage, the general upswing is toward offering transgender individuals the same level of protection from discrimination as women, racial minorities and those identifying as a practitioner of a particular religion.

Read more . . .

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Understanding Your Right to Vote During the Work Day

The 2016 Presidential election is fast upon us (in case you hadn’t heard), and the official day to cast in-person ballots is Tuesday, November 8, 2016. Historically, Election Day is always held on the first Tuesday in November, and as such falls squarely in the middle of the work week for most folks. If you are concerned as to how you will be able to find time to vote during the work day – particularly if your polling place is historically crowded with long wait times – the following details your rights with regard to being able to leave work to vote.

Read more . . .

Saturday, September 24, 2016

EEOC Settles Discrimination Claim with Georgia Baptist Church

What is being done about workplace harassment and discrimination?

The U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently settled allegations of employment discrimination and retaliation with an independent Baptist church in Douglasville, Georgia.

The case arose after an employee at the King's Way Christian School, operated by King's Way Baptist Church, complained to the school that she was being sexually harassed by the school's pastor and superintendent. Rather than addressing the kindergarten teacher's complaint, the school not only fired her, but also stated she allowed the harassment to occur.

"This case is a good reminder to employers that complaints of discrimination must be treated seriously," said Bernice Williams-Kimbrough, district director of EEOC's Atlanta District Office.

Read more . . .

Sunday, September 4, 2016

How to Avoid Employment Discrimination or Harassment Lawsuits

How can our company management avoid discrimination or harassment lawsuits?

With the body of anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws in place, it is not only prudent, but essential, for companies to take proactive steps to protect themselves from lawsuits that will be costly, both in monetary terms and in terms of reputation. Here are some recommendations about how to shield your company against an onslaught of complaints and possible legal actions. It is important that you find a knowledgeable and experienced attorney who handles management-based employment issues to consult with should such issues arise.
Read more . . .

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

More Employees to be Eligible for Overtime Pay

What are the new Labor Department rules for overtime pay?

In May, the Labor Department announced new rules regarding overtime compensation that will go into effect on December 1, 2016. The federal agency has long-been considering the issue, so the changes to white collar exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act came as no surprise.

New Overtime Rule at a Glance

The new rule changes the annual salary threshold for administrative, executive and professional employee from $23,336 ($455/week) to $47,476 ($913/week). The new exemption amount will also be increased every three years starting January 1, 2020, based on a percentage of weekly earnings for full-time salaried employees in certain low-income regions. Highly compensated workers will also be affected by the new rule as their exemption threshold will be increased to $134,004, and workers making this amount will not be eligible for overtime pay.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Don't Get Shortchanged: Wage and Hour Claims in Georgia

What are the common wage violations by employers? 

In Georgia, many individuals work hard to make a living and they are entitled to fair pay. Because the state has not enacted wage and hour laws, however, employers are required to pay the federal minimum wage and comply with other provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

What is the Fair Labor Standards Act?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law requiring employees to be paid a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour and overtime pay for hours workers over 40 hours per week at a rate of time and a half.

Certain employees, however, such as executive, administrative and professionals, are exempt from the overtime requirement.

Read more . . .

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