Kentucky Employment Lawyers

Female physicians negatively impacted by sexual harassment

In Kentucky and across the United States, sexual harassment has garnered major attention for its prevalence. Unfortunately, despite the strides that have been made to prevent it and give victims ways to receive justice, it is still a problem in a variety of industries.

A report from the New England Journal of Medicine says that female physicians are confronted with a variety of workplace violations including sexual harassment, verbal abuse and being discriminated against due to their gender. This has resulted in an increasing number experiencing burnout. For medical professionals, burnout can cause personal problems including feeling fatigued, exhausted, cynical and less productive. It can also place patients in danger. While this is frequent among medical professionals in general, it happens more often with females, especially those who are surgical residents.

Are you the victim of disability discrimination?

If you are living with a disability, you probably work hard to maintain your independence and overcome the many obstacles you face each day. Fortunately, many government agencies have established laws to protect your right to access the same places and opportunities available to those without disabilities. This includes the workplace.

An employer who posts a job for which you are qualified has the responsibility to consider your qualifications apart from any disability you may have. A disability that does not prevent you from performing the essential duties of the job may simply require your employer to make reasonable accommodations so that you can successfully do the work. However, not every employer understands that refusing to make such accommodations may be a form of employment discrimination.

Sexual orientation/transgender rights and the fairness ordinance

In Kentucky, there has often been concern about how LGBTQ people are treated in a variety of situations, including when they are seeking employment or are dealing with violations of the sexual orientation/transgender rights when they already have a job.

While there are certain laws that are designed to protect these individuals, there have been worries that employers can use various loopholes to commit employment discrimination or flout the law entirely. Now, an increasing number of cities are passing the "fairness ordinance" to provide protection to LGBTQ people.

New rules for overtime might lead to wage and hour claims

Kentucky workers have long been concerned about overtime and when they will be eligible to receive it. One of the most common reasons for wage and hour claims is unpaid overtime and it is critical to understand the law when it comes to when there should be these extra wages paid.

The U.S. Department of Labor is in charge with the rules for when U.S. workers receive overtime and a recent ruling will grant overtime to as many as 1.3 million workers.

Workers claim sexual harassment and discrimination at local jail

Kentucky workers have the right to be treated respectfully and within the confines of the law when at work. Unfortunately, there are employers, supervisors and coworkers who fail to adhere to the law. Often, a person doesn't realize that he or she is a victim of sexual harassment, workplace discrimination, or wrongful termination until they become aware of how the law protects them. When workplace violations have occurred, it can help to discuss the matter with an experienced employment law attorney, which may be the case for several employees at one jail.

There, a local jailer is accused of making derogatory comments about female workers and crafting an unprofessional and hostile work environment. This behavior was apparently caught on surveillance video. One female former worker stated that these types of incidents were common at that workplace. The jailer demeans female employees and behaves in a chauvinistic way toward them. She said that as many as 35 female workers have departed the workplace due to his treatment.

Fast food franchise plans training to curtail sexual harassment

Fast food workers in Kentucky and across the nation are vulnerable to a variety of workplace abuses, from wage and overtime issues to sexual harassment. Although the plight of these workers is being addressed with new laws designed to ensure they are compensated fairly and are not subjected to harassing behaviors without recourse, it is still an issue. When there is sexual harassment or other workplace illegality that may be taking place, it is imperative for the victims to understand their rights so that they can take legal action to protect themselves, if warranted.

The fast food franchise McDonald's has been inundated with allegations of harassment and how it has handled them. Now, there will be a required training program that is designed to show supervisors and lower-level employees how to behave within the confines of the law. The program is set to start in the coming months. The training is meant to prevent violence in the workplace, show workers how to intervene, stop bullying, and detail how to complain about wrongdoing. The training program began in late-2018 and was directed at franchisees and management personnel.

Proposal could impact sexual orientation/transgender rights

Kentucky residents who are part of the LGBTQ community have natural concerns that their personal lives can negatively impact their employment. While their rights are supposed to be protected under the law, it is unfortunately common for there to be attempts by those who discriminate against LGBTQ people to find ways to infringe on those rights. Recently, there are concerns regarding a new proposal that might implicitly allow employers to discriminate against those in the LGBTQ community. Although the new proposal is not yet the law, it is important for those who believe their sexual orientation/transgender rights are in jeopardy or have already been violated to understand what steps they can take next.

A Labor Department proposal by the Trump administration has sparked concern that LGBTQ people could be targeted by employers. It would allow religious organizations that contract with the federal government to consider religious tenets when making determinations on whom to hire and retain. Under this plan, a group or company that has a "religious purpose" and gets a federal contract could use this law. They will not be allowed to take part in discriminatory behaviors, but critics believe the law would leave significant room for them to do so.

Do not let employers commit workers' compensation retaliation

Kentucky workers are accorded various rights under the law. These laws protect them from wrongful termination, wage discrimination, sexual harassment, disability discrimination and more. If a worker is injured on the job or suffers from an illness or condition from the work they were doing, they may need to seek workers' compensation benefits. Employers are not allowed to retaliate against employees who need workers' compensation. Still, some will do just that to deprive the worker of those benefits and to dissuade other workers from doing the same. Having legal help is crucial to combat workers' compensation retaliation.

Workers' compensation benefits provide the injured employee with the financial help they need to be free from worry that they will suddenly be stuck with massive medical expenses and lost income that they cannot handle. Employers and their workers' compensation insurers are expected to treat the worker within the confines of the law. Trying to coerce the employee from limiting the claim or not making the claim at all is illegal. Unfortunately, the employer might use various tactics to negatively impact the workers' compensation claim.

Greater attention and scrutiny has reduced sexual harassment

In the past, workers in Kentucky and across the nation who were confronted with sexual harassment of any kind in the workplace were frequently reluctant to speak up for fear of not being believed or experiencing a negative impact at work. With the rise of complaints and the #MeToo movement on social media sparking greater attention to the problem, more women are deciding they will speak out when they are mistreated in this way. Simultaneously, this is creating a more welcoming environment to lawsuits for compensation. People who are sexually harassed should be aware of the improvement and how legal filings can be effective.

A recent study is showing that the #MeToo movement is helping women to fight back when they are sexually harassed and has lowered the amount of harassment from 2016 to 2018. Women have stated they are experiencing greater amounts of support and are encouraged to complain when harassed. That includes speaking directly to the alleged harassers. The study looked at surveys prior to the #MeToo movement and after it from when it started toward the end of 2017. The movement is believed to have had a part in ensuring better conditions for workers.

Can I file wage and hour claims for required tip pooling?

In Kentucky, there are many reasons for workers to file wage and hour claims. It can happen in jobs where people earn salaries, make commissions or work hourly. For those who are in the service industry and rely on tips, there are certain issues that will frequently arise and negatively impact their take-home pay. In some cases, the employer is committing violations and workers are unsure of how to go about putting a stop to it. With workers for whom the bulk of their salary comes from tips, there is often a fear of the idea of "tip pooling" when it is forced by the employer. It is important to know the state law for this, so you can seek justice if illegal behavior is occurring.

When employees are working for tips (gratuities), they are not required to hand them over to the employer in full or in part, except so there can be withholding due to the law. If it is for legal withholding, it cannot go beyond the amount the law says should be withheld. A tip is a voluntary bonus given to a worker by a customer, guest or patron. If there is a pool arrangement among the workers, the employer cannot order it nor can an employee be required to take part.

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