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May 2013 Archives

Demotion doesn't satisfy FMLA return requirement

The Family and Medical Leave Act is a federal law that understands that employees may need time off for medical or family issues beyond vacation time -- if any -- that is offered by an employer. The legislation is applicable in Minnesota and across the nation and allows employees to take unpaid time off while having their job protected.

Wage and hour complaints skyrocket past an already record high

According to research by a national, employer-side law firm, wage and hour litigation is still on the rise. As we discussed on this blog in August of last year, the number of Fair Labor Standards Act cases brought by workers reached a 20-year high as early as March 2012, and it appears they continue to skyrocket this year despite some indications they had reached their peak.

New Wet Seal CEO settles 'brand image' race discrimination case

Last July, we discussed a class action lawsuit brought against the clothing chain Wet Seal and its parent company Arden B. because of alleged discrimination against African-American managers and sales staff because they didn't fit the "brand image." For example, one woman was told she had fired been replaced by a white employee after a visiting store executive apparently expressed that the company's brand image would be better served if the store's more visible employees were people "with blonde hair and blue eyes."

Can a top sales rep be a victim of pregnancy, sex discrimination?

You might think it doesn't make much sense for a multinational corporation to discriminate against its top sales representatives, but corporations often make employment law decisions that don't make sense, except from a certain perspective. One of the most successful salespeople at the pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co., Inc., has just filed a federal class action for gender discrimination, claiming that Merck's policies toward maternity leave and parenting issues forces women to choose between motherhood and success. She is seeking at least $100 million in compensation for women put in that position by Merck.

School workers can sue for wrongful firings based on old offenses

In 2008, the state of Ohio passed a law requiring public schools to go through their personnel files, perform background checks, and summarily fire any school employee who had ever been convicted of certain crimes. This was to be done regardless of how long ago the crimes had been committed and without any consideration of the individual employee’s work record or whether he or she had any contact with children.

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