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Sexual harassment at work: How to identify the signs

Sexual harassment is a type of workplace behavior that (1) is sexualized or sexual in nature and (2) makes someone feel uncomfortable. Whether verbal or physical, a court might construe a specific behavior -- especially if it is repeated -- as sexual harassment and take action to protect the victim. When evaluating a case, courts generally classify sexual harassment into two primary types: quid pro quo and hostile work environment.

Quid pro quo: This type of sexual harassment may involve a manager or supervisor asking an employee to perform a sexual act or go on a date in exchange for an employment benefit -- like a promotion, raise or bonus. The request could also come with the threat of punishment if the employee refuses to comply. Generally, the manager or supervisor will use their power over the employee to manipulate or pressure them into complying with the request.

Mediation can be an effective solution to workplace problems

No matter how hard Kentucky employers try to foster a harmonious workplace environment, disputes will pop up. It's inevitable. How employers handle any signs of discord can set them apart from other work sites.

But if troubles pop up, mediation could be a solution.

Your company likely has an avenue for employees to voice their concerns through the human resources department. Sometimes, though, employees see human resources as an extension of the boss and don't place complete faith in a resolution. That's why calling in the services of a mediator - a neutral third party - can be so important.

Kentucky law protects rights of new and expectant moms

Gov. Matt Bevin has signed into law the Pregnant Workers Act, making Kentucky the 25th state to enact laws to protect the rights and health of pregnant women and new mothers on the job.

It will take effect on June 27 and require employers to make a "reasonable accommodation" for new or expectant mothers. Under the law, those accommodations "may include more frequent or longer breaks, time off to recover from childbirth, acquisition or modification of equipment, appropriate seating, temporary transfer to a less strenuous or less hazardous position, job restructuring, light duty, modified work schedule."

Defenses against truck accident fault accusations

When a truck is involved in an accident, it's common to assume that the trucking company or driver will almost certainly be held liable for causing the accident. However, truck drivers by law need to be highly trained, and trucks are subject to much higher safety regulations than passenger vehicles. Therefore, often it is the case that another party was at fault.

Since trucks have such a high capacity for causing damage, they are often blamed by the other parties involved. But these parties must be able to prove that the damages were due to the negligence of either the truck driver or the trucking company before they can be successful. The following are some strategies that many trucking companies use to defend against accident fault accusations.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Update on Overtime

Sammons Capture.JPGSince 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor has been working to update the minimum wage and the "white collar" exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The effective new minimum salary level for the "white collar" exemption was to be raised as of December 1, 2016, from $23,660.00 per annum to $47,892.00 per annum, in what has been called the Overtime Final Rule. This left those employees who did not meet the minimum salary threshold as potentially qualifying for overtime pay. While employers frantically evaluated how these changes would affect their bottom line, a federal district judge in Texas granted a nationwide emergency preliminary injunction that prohibited the U.S. Department of Labor from enforcing the Overtime Final Rule. The case went up to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, where in 2016 a stay was put in place while the U.S. Department of Labor considered formulating a new rule.

The potential disadvantages of partnerships

Many people decide to enter partnerships because they believe that building a business with other talented people will lead to a successful endeavor. While partnerships can become very successful, they can have the potential to make the legal aspects of business become more complex.

It is, therefore, important that you fully assess the disadvantages of starting a partnership before you commit to creating a partnership agreement.

How am I protected from discrimination as an employee?

All employees should be treated fairly and based on the effort they put into their role. The law in the United States tries to make sure that no employee has to suffer discrimination for any unfair reason, and because of this, there are several different laws that have been put in place.

Discrimination in employment laws tend to apply to all aspects of employment and do not only apply to official employees. For example, if you believe that you were discriminated against in a job interview, and you were never employed by the company in question, you may still have the opportunity to take successful legal action.

Considering mediation as a disgruntled employee

If a dispute has arisen between you and your employer, you may want to take action in order to restore justice, but it is likely that you are wary of undergoing a stressful and time consuming legal battle. If you still feel that you have not got the settlement that you deserve, it is important to not back down and understand that there are several options for you to consider.

One of these options is going through the process of mediation. This can be a nonintimidating way of reaching an agreement with your employer that is fair, allowing both parties to move forward with minimal stress.

Going through mediation to resolve a truck accident dispute

Truck accidents often lead to disastrous consequences and fault can be particularly difficult to attribute. This is because truck drivers are trained to avoid collisions but often have to make split-second decisions based on another driver's actions.

If you are a truck driver or the owner of a trucking company and you want to successfully defend your party from blame regarding a collision, it is important that you consider the best strategy for you. Going through a lawsuit can be expensive, inefficient, and potentially unsuccessful. Before resorting to a lawsuit, you may want to consider mediation in order the get the desired result.

My employer accused me of filing a false harassment claim

If you witnessed or experienced what you believed to be sexual harassment in the workplace, you will have undoubtedly felt upset, angry and that you needed to take action. The most obvious thing to do in a situation like this is to report what you witnessed to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

All employees in the state of Kentucky are protected from any type of unwanted sexual advances or requests in the workplace. They also have the legal right to be in a workplace that is not hostile, meaning that the employee can work without fearing ridicule, inappropriate jokes or bullying.

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