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employee rights Archives

Software company ordered to pay $3.4 million in unpaid overtime

New Jersey employees classified as exempt from minimum wage and overtime by their companies might be interested to learn that a major insurance software startup will pay $3.4 million in unpaid overtime to greater than 700 of their workers. The agreement to repay employees came after the Department of Labor found that some of the employees were wrongly classified as exempt.

Court rules arbitration not necessary in dispute

Three certified nursing assistants filed a claim against their employer dealing with how overtime pay was calculated and whether they were paid for their meal breaks. Their employer said that the employees had to go through arbitration because the dispute was related to a collective bargaining agreement. The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey rejected the arguments of the employer, and the employer appealed to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. The higher court affirmed the decision of the lower court.

Senator alleges whistleblower retaliation

Some New Jersey employees may be aware that whistleblowers in the workplace are supposed to be protected against retaliation. On April 27, Sen. Chuck Grassley said that there had been coverups in investigations into retaliation against whistleblowers in the Defense Department. Grassley focused his criticisms on the Office of Inspector General.

Ongoing training helps to address workplace discrimination

Discrimination can emerge in many ways at workplaces throughout New Jersey. When employees experience ongoing negative treatment, such as exclusion from meetings and disparaging comments, it can impact their morale and motivation and reduce overall productivity at the company. A commissioner from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission advises employers to provide training that makes middle managers and supervisors accountable for workplace harassment.

6 things to know if you are sexually harassed at work

Sexual harassment at work is something that no worker should ever have to deal with. You have the right to a workplace that is free of harassment and that isn't hostile. Employees who have to deal with sexual harassment at work can take steps to stop the unfair treatment and rectify the issues.

Damages for emotional distress in FLSA cases

Employers in New Jersey and around the country can face significant penalties for retaliating against workers who have made harassment or discrimination claims, and a ruling by a federal appeals court indicates that sanctioning employees who have filed lawsuits over unpaid wages or overtime could also be costly. The ruling, which was handed down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, allowed a maintenance worker to recover damages for emotional distress in a Fair Labor Standards Act case.

Misclassification can cost workers their rights

Many New Jersey workers are entitled to employee rights like a mandatory minimum wage and overtime compensation. Employment laws also allow workers to claim workers' compensation benefits if they are injured and unemployment benefits if they are laid off. However, workers that are classified as independent contractors are not entitled to these same rights.

Litigation financing is a potential tool for New Jersey workers

If an individual doesn't have the financial resources to pursue a legal case, they may not get the best possible outcome. For instance, it may be necessary to settle a case for less than what the plaintiff may deserve. It may also be necessary to forego a lawsuit altogether if an attorney cannot be convinced to take a case that may take months or years to resolve.

Are you being paid fairly for the hours you work?

Many New Jersey workers are aware of the basic premise of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This is the law that requires employers to pay non-exempt employees at least the federal minimum wage for hours worked. Additionally, overtime must be paid for time over 40 hours in the work week. There are details about this law that are often overlooked by employers and employees alike.

Should sexually harassed employees just 'find another career'?

Recently, a reporter asked presidential candidate Donald Trump what he thought his daughter Ivanka should do if she were to be sexually harassed in the workplace. His response: "I would like to think she would find another career or find another company if that was the case." 

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