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February 2013 Archives

Does the Secret Service practice race discrimination in promotions?

A group of African-American agents claims it can prove that between 1995 and 2005, the U.S. Secret Service engaged in race discrimination -- knowingly or unknowingly -- by using a candidate evaluation program that tended to limit the promotion of African Americans. Eight current and former agents have filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security, which was responsible for the program, and this week a federal judge approved their request to certify the lawsuit as a class action.

Does Target's criminal record policy result in race discrimination?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has long held that blanket hiring policies that keep out people with criminal records can easily be used as a pretext for race discrimination. If they're not carefully tailored to meet a legitimate business need, the effect of such policies is to penalize members of minority groups who are caught up in the judicial system far more often -- but for no more reason -- than whites.

Federal subcontractor fined for minimum wage and overtime violations

If you work as a contractor, you may believe you have little or no protection from U.S. employment law. While that is largely untrue -- contractors have legal rights under the minimum wage, anti-discrimination and many other laws -- the fact is, many of the protections and benefits of employment law are reserved for employees.

FMLA 20th anniversary survey shows positive effect for many workers

This Tuesday was the 20th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act, the federal law that mandates that most companies provide their employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year in order to deal with personal or family medical issues or to care for a new baby. On the occasion of this anniversary the U.S. Department of Labor released the results of a survey of both employers and employees about how the law is working.

Do you understand your rights under fair job classification rules?

The U.S. Department of Labor wants to know just how much the average worker understands about the job classification system and his or her rights under that system. Unfortunately, according to the Labor Department, it is fairly common for employees' rights to be violated through the misclassification of workers as independent contractors versus employees.

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