About the Family Medical Leave Act and Its Basic Regulations

FMLA claims

Most, if not all, employees often face certain emergency situations that require them to skip work for an extended period of time. Like most of us, they also have to deal with certain family and/or medical matters. There are those who have to be with their loved ones who are suffering serious health conditions. There are female employees who need to take some time off to give birth and bond with their newborn. Even employees themselves have to take a leave of absence for a week, especially if they are unable to work because of serious health conditions.

In these unexpected circumstances, they must be aware that they are protected under the federal law called the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor, the said Act provides qualified employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. The law also involves their group health benefits, stating that they should be maintained while employees take their leave of absence.

According to the federal Labor Department, the main goal of the FMLA is to provide employees the opportunity to balance their responsibilities between work and family by permitting them “to take reasonable unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons.” Likewise, the federal law also puts into account the general interests of employers, as well as the promotion of equal opportunity within the workplace.

Basic FMLA regulations

Basically, the FMLA provides covered and eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year for any of the following situations:

  • Birth and eventual bonding with the newborn child;
  • Adopting a child or placing a child in foster care;
  • Taking care of the spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition; or
  • Receiving treatment for a serious health condition. 

Another thing people must know about the FMLA is on which employers are covered by the law’s regulations and the eligibility rules for employees. On one hand, employers that are covered by the federal law include the following:

  • Employers in the private sector with 50 or more employees;
  • Public agencies, especially those within the local, state, or federal levels; or
  • Elementary or secondary schools, either private or public. 

Note that the Family and Medical Leave Act disregards the minimum number of employees on public agencies and elementary/secondary schools that are covered by the law.

On the other hand, employees are considered Family and Medical Leave Act-covered if they satisfy the following eligibility requirements:

  • They work for an employer covered by the FMLA.
  • They have worked for their employers for at least 12 months.
  • They have accumulated at least 1,250 hours of service for their employers within the 12-month period before the leave date approaches; and
  • They must have worked at locations wherein their employers have at least 50 employees that are within a 75-mile radius of their work site. 

Taking legal action

As an employee, it is imperative that your employer is not only covered by the FMLA regulations, but must also comply with them. If you are truly entitled to your leave given a reasonable excuse, your employer must not only give you the right to skip work, but must ensure that doing so won’t have any consequences on your job security. In other words, you must be reinstated back to work after you’ve used up your leave. Also, you shouldn’t be discriminated, harassed, or retaliated against by your employer for exercising this employee right. Otherwise, it would be in your best interest to file an employment claim against your erring employer. In order to do this, you must first seek the expertise of FMLA claim lawyers.

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Deflecting Retaliation in the Workplace

retaliation claims

Even to this day when there is an extensive collection of laws that are drafted and implemented by the federal and state governments, it is undeniable that many acts of discrimination still persist. Why is this so? The thing is laws couldn’t really be much of help if they are not implemented efficiently. Implementation plays a key role in ensuring that a piece of legislation is effective or not. Moreover, it is also important that these legal avenues are very much accessible to more people. This would make it easier for them to come forward and report the abuses they have been experiencing.

Retaliation in the workplace 

Thing is beyond that, there are also people who are not able to file and even come up with a complaint because of their fear from being retaliated. Retaliation happens when one person is fired, demotes, and harassed as a form of intimidation by one person responsible for the discriminating act. Some victims are courageous enough to go and file Retaliation claims for employment against the ones retaliating against them. However, there are some that aren’t brave enough to go against influential and powerful people in the workplace.

Laws against retaliation 

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 not only prohibits any act of discrimination against anybody in the workplace, it also prohibits any form retaliation against a victim who files a                                                                                                                                                                                                 discrimination charge against an individual. This law has been implemented since July 2, 1964 and has paved the way for penalizing a lot of companies and officials that have fired, demoted, or harassed an employee because of his or her workplace discrimination complaint.

Steps in filing California Retaliation Claims 

  • Get all the information needed. In filing a claim, even the smallest detail about your claim can affect the outcome of the case. So make sure you supply all the information needed to help expedite the agency’s assessment of your claim.
  • Undergo Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) online assessment. This tool asks you questions that will help you verify if the Retaliation claims you are filing has the best chances of winning and helps you improve your claims’ weak points.
  • Send a complete intake questionnaire that is completely filled out to the EEOC office. A completed form with all the information can help speed up the process of actually filing a claim which also boosts your chance to win your claim. 

Nobody wants to be discriminated. Moreover, nobody wants to be abused and retaliated against for standing up and fighting for your rights. However, only you alone can make these acts of abuses stop. You have a choice and you can make these things end now. If you have been a victim of any of those, have the courage to stand up against discrimination and retaliation. File the necessary Claims for Retaliation now, fight for your rights and never lose hope. In the end, you will be surprised to be able to win your claims and see all of your efforts pay off.

Knowing What Religious Discrimination Laws Can Do For You

religious discrimination claims

Every person should be free to make the choices about their lives, which include the freedom to choose the way they profess their faith in God. This basic right should be respected by everybody including people in the workplace. However, discrimination is still a great hurdle that the society faces. That is why it is important for people to be aware of their rights especially in the workplace. Over the last few years, there has been a number of religious discrimination charges filed before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). However, this could not be used to gauge the effectiveness of the campaign against discrimination on the basis of one’s religion. Not a lot of victims come forward to seek justice. This is caused by the people’s lack of knowledge about employment laws and how these legal remedies can help them. Here are some very important information about anti-religious discrimination laws and how these can help protect you from abuses.

What is Religious Discrimination? 

Religious discrimination in workplace happens when a person, whether an applicant or an employee, is treated unfavorably because of his or her beliefs religiously. Anti-religious discrimination laws helps protect people who follow big or minority organized religions. Whether it is Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, nobody should be treated differently because of their chosen religious organization. This includes people with no affiliation with any organized religions.

Protections offered by anti-religious discrimination laws 

Under this law, companies are prohibited from making religion as the main reason for one’s hiring, firing, determination of pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, as well as any other terms or conditions of employment. Moreover, people should never be discriminated because of religion. Frequent or severe teasing and making comments that are offensive to one’s beliefs is likewise strictly prohibited. Additionally, one employee should never be segregated because of religion such as assigning them to a non-customer contact position because of feared and even actual customer preference.

More than doing something to offend the employee, failing to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee’s request in relation with his or her religious beliefs is also unlawful. As long as the request causes minimal burden on the operations of the employer’s business, the requests for reasonable accommodation of an employee should be allowed. Some of such reasonable accommodation includes flexible scheduling, voluntary shift substitutions or swaps, job reassignments, as well as modifications to workplace policies and practices. Also, employees should be allowed to follow their religion’s dress and grooming policies, long as it does not cause undue problems to the company’s operation.

Finally, an employee experiencing discrimination in the workplace on the basis of religion should be allowed to voice out their frustrations and their grievances tackled, investigated, and resolved. Retaliation against an employee who reports about acts of discrimination is strictly prohibited by the law.

Knowing your rights and fighting for it 

Acts of abuse and harassment against an employee because of his or her religion and other forms of discrimination is not and will never be acceptable. That is why victims must have the courage to come forward and fight these abuses by their employers. Being aware of your rights as an employee is just winning half the battle. Standing up and fighting for it helps provide you the complete protection that these laws offer. There are religious discrimination lawyers that you can consult to help you with your predicament. However, you should not just hire any legal representative and get only the services of the best employment lawyers for religious discrimination to ensure your chances of winning your claims.

Source:  http://eeoc.gov/laws/types/religion.cfm

Skin Color Discrimination: How It Differs With Race Discrimination

skin color discrimination

One of the most common forms of workplace discrimination is on the basis of one’s race and/or skin color. This form of employment maltreatment can happen in any aspect of employment, from hiring to termination. Fortunately, employees are protected by various federal and state laws that prohibited this kind of discrimination. Under both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), covered employers are not allowed to discriminate, harass, or retaliate against any employee or applicant on the basis of race or color.

In these laws, covered employers are likewise prohibited to subject employees and applicants based on racial stereotypes. They can’t also discriminate on someone who is married to a person of a different race, as well as on someone who is known to be associated with an ethnic organization or group. Job policies that are neutral on the surface but disproportionately exclude minorities are also not allowed.

Race vs. Color Discrimination

Title VII explicitly states that discrimination on the basis of one’s race also includes one’s skin color, as well as texture of hair, or any other certain physical characteristic linked to one’s race, is illegal. Though race and color often overlap and are usually regarded as the same thing, they are not necessarily synonymous. Employment laws, like Title VII and the FEHA, distinguish these two terms as different. Notably, both laws have a separate protected category for “color” discrimination.

Basically, skin color discrimination in the workplace occurs when an individual is discriminated, harassed, or retaliated against based on his or her lightness, darkness, or other color characteristic of his or her skin. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which enforces Title VII, read the term “color” as pigmentation, complexion, or skin shade or tone. This form of discrimination can happen to anyone, even if the harasser or discriminatory is of the same race or ethnicity as the one being discriminated, harassed, or retaliated against in any aspect of employment.

Explaining color discrimination even more

A common example of discrimination because of skin color is this: suppose an employer decides not to promote a qualified employee and instead goes for an inexperienced one. If the qualified employee is an African-American, and the inexperienced one is white, then it is considered discrimination on the basis of race. However, if the qualified employee is a darker-skinned African-American and the inexperienced one is a lighter-skinned African-American, then it is deemed as color discrimination because the employer favors the former over the latter, despite both being of the same race.

Seeking legal representation

This form of discrimination can oftentimes be hard to determine, given the fact that is often associated with workplace bias on the basis of race. However, an employee or applicant who was discriminated against because of skin color can always seek legal guidance and representation from a workplace discrimination attorney. It might be challenge for the victim, but a lawyer can help figure out whether there is a case for either race or color discrimination.

About Workplace Discrimination on the Basis of One’s Nationality or Nation of Origin

workplace discrimination

Most employers in California, either public or private, assert workplace diversity by promoting themselves as equal opportunity employers. This means that they widely accept individuals regardless of the class in which they belong, including their ancestry, ethnicity, or their countries of birth. As such, they are given equal rights in employment as other workers who were born and raised in the U.S. However, there are still instances wherein people of a certain nation of origin, ancestry or ethnicity are subjected to acts of discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation. Decades removed from the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, workplace discrimination on the basis of one’s nationality still occurs today.

What is nationality discrimination?

Discrimination because of national origin involves making adverse employment decisions towards an employee or applicant based on his or her ancestry, ethnicity, birthplace, or certain characteristics associated with his or her ethnicity, including his or her surname, accent, physical features, and cultural identity, among others. It is worth noting, however, that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which enforces laws that prohibit nation of origin discrimination, does not link nationality discrimination with race, color, or religion discrimination. These characteristics, race, color, religion, and nation of origin, are defined separately under EEOC’s guidelines and Title VII.

Basically, nation of origin discrimination may be either direct or indirect. On one hand, it is a direct form of discrimination if an employer denies an applicant a job because his or her surname is Hispanic-sounding (e.g. Reyes, Cruz). On the other hand, it is indirect discrimination if an employer decides to enforce an English-only policy on employees who speak Filipino or any other language. Either way, they are still illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).

What is considered illegal under anti-nation of origin discrimination laws?

The two aforementioned laws forbid this form of discrimination in any aspect of one’s employment, from hiring, termination, pay and compensation, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, and any other term or condition of employment. Any form of harassment is also illegal under these two laws. Uttering offensive or derogatory remarks on an employee’s place of origin, ethnicity, or ancestry is considered discrimination if it is done frequently that it promotes a hostile working environment, resulting in an adverse employment decision, including suspension or termination.

Also, employment practices that create a negative impact towards employees of a certain nation of origin, ethnicity, or ancestry are also prohibited. An example of such is on the English-only policies of many workplaces. The Title VII and the FEHA differ when it comes to this, especially in the issue of English-only policies in workplaces.

Seeking legal action for this form of workplace bias

Getting discriminated because of nationality, ethnicity or ancestry, is never a good thing. Most instances of this kind of workplace bias often revolves around stereotypes, and unfortunately, we still live in this day and age where people either directly or subtly hurt other people’s feelings through generalizations, double standards, and stereotyping. If you happen to be working in California and you have been subjected to this form of discrimination, then you must know that you can always seek the legal assistance of employment lawyers, as well as the EEOC and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).

The EEOC: An Agency That Enforces Anti-Discrimination Laws

equal employment opportunity commission

Getting discriminated, harassed, or retaliated against in any employment situation is one of the most horrible things that can happen to an employee or a job applicant. Such instances, however, are not uncommon in most workplaces in the United States. In fact, almost every day, an applicant or an employee suffers discrimination, harassment or retaliation in any aspect of employment, and most of the time, such actions are motivated the former’s race, color, religion, sex, nation of origin, age, and disability, among other many protective characteristics.

Almost all people are aware that any discriminatory action done towards an employee or applicant is illegal under various employment and labor laws. To begin with, every employee or applicant is entitled to their rights. Employers, on the other hand, have to make sure that they promote fairness and equality in their workplaces. If an affected employee or applicant cries foul, then he or she can always air his or her grievances with his or her company’s human resources department or, if possible, the administration of the company itself. But if it fails to address the issue, then the victim of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation can always file a charge against his or her employer through the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

About the EEOC

The EEOC is a federal agency responsible for enforcing U.S. anti-discrimination in employment laws. Basically, what the agency does is to investigate discrimination, harassment, and retaliation charges filed by victims against their erring employers who are covered by the laws that the agency imposes. It would review and assess the allegations as fairly as possible, and then make a finding.

If the EEOC finds that the employer in question indeed discriminated, harassed, or retaliated against the employee or applicant, then the agency will try to settle the charge. However, if it does not, the agency has the right to file a lawsuit on behalf of the victim in order to protect his or her rights and the public’s interest.

In addition, the EEOC also educated workplaces through training programs and seminars, as well as engage in monitoring and evaluation on employers who were already charged by the agency in an effort to prevent untoward incidents of discrimination from happening again. The agency makes it an effort that employers comply with the federal anti-discrimination laws that they enforce.

Some of the laws the EEOC enforces

It would be worth showcasing what the EEOC laws they enforce, so here is a list of some of them:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This important federal law prohibits employers with 15 or more employees to discriminate against an employee or applicant in all aspects of employment on the basis of his or her race, color, religion, national origin, or sex. Retaliation is likewise illegal under the said law. 
  • Age Discrimination Act of 1967 (ADEA). Under this law, employers with 20 or more employees are prohibited from discriminating, harassing, or retaliating against older employees or applicants who are 40 years or older. 
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employers covered by this federal law are prohibited from discriminating, harassing, or retaliating against a qualified person with a disability in all aspects of employment. Also, the law requires covered employers with 15 or more employees to provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities, unless doing so would cause undue hardship to the businesses. 
  • Equal Pay Act (EPA). This federal law requires covered employers to pay men and women in their workforce the same amount of wages for their equal and substantial work. 

Employees and applicants who were subjected to adverse actions in employment may think that the laws that prohibit discrimination, harassment, and retaliation are straightforward. However, going after their erring employers involves complex legal processes. For them to get compensated for the actions done to them by their employers, it would necessary for them to seek immediate legal advice and representation by hiring top EEOC Lawyers.

Resource Links: http://www.employmentdiscriminationlaw.org/2013/07/eeoc-enforced-laws-mastered-by-top.html