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employee rights Archives

EBSA focuses enforcement on ERISA plans

New Jersey employers that offer certain types of benefit plans have an obligation to observe their fiduciary duties as established by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. In fiscal 2017, the Employee Benefits Security Administration that investigates complaints related to employer retirement plans recovered $1.1 billion, with $682.3 million coming directly from enforcement actions. All monies recovered represented a 42 percent increase from fiscal 2016, and the financial results of enforcement actions nearly doubled compared to the year before.

How power can play a role in the wage gap

When a harasser is removed from a New Jersey workplace, it may not necessarily put an end to the problem. In many cases, victims are vulnerable because of the power dynamics at play. In many cases, power is derived in part based on how much money a person makes. Therefore, it may be possible to link the gender wage gap to sexual harassment.

Your employer should respect your needs related to nursing

As a new mother, there are many decisions you need to make on behalf of yourself and your new child. In many cases, these decisions are simple, while others have more profound and long-term implications. One such decision is the choice to breastfeed your child. Sadly, like pregnancy, breastfeeding can cause issues at your place of work.

DOL rule change may alter how employees are paid

If an employee in New Jersey is considered a tipped worker, an employer may be able to pay a base wage of $2.13 under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The other $5.12 per hour may be made up of tips received during a shift. Employers may use the tip credit if the employee is allowed to keep all of his or her tips. It is also possible for employees to share tips that are pooled over their shifts.

Why it's important for leaders to handle racism in the workplace

Discrimination and racism have unfortunately always been present in workplaces in New Jersey and throughout the U.S. As such, it is important for leaders to handle expressions and acts of discrimination or racism in the workplace in a professional manner. Not only does this establish a safe work culture, but it also allows the workplace to be more inclusive and diverse.

How tips are treated under the Fair Labor Standards Act

When workers in New Jersey and around the country are paid less than the established federal minimum wage or denied overtime pay despite working for more than 40 hours during a workweek, they may seek redress under the Fair Labor Standards Act. While these claims may be supported by documentation such as time sheets and pay stubs when employees are paid a fixed rate, matters can become contentious when workers earn some of their income in the form of tips.

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.

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