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March 2017 Archives

FMLA leave and discrimination

Florida employees who work at companies that have at least 50 employees and who have worked at least one year and 1,250 hours may be eligible to take leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. As a courtesy, an employer might also extend unpaid leave to an employee who has not yet been employed long enough to qualify for FMLA. However, if this is the case, and employees pass their 12-month anniversary while they are on leave, they become eligible for FMLA.

Miki Agrawal accused of sexual harassment

Some Florida residents may have heard of Miki Agrawal, the founder and former CEO of Thinx. A complaint has been filed with the New York Commission on Human Rights by a former employee that details allegations of rampant sexual harassment and abuse by Agrawal of her employees.

Are you an independent worker or an employee?

When you perform a job for a business, you can either be paid as an employee or as an independent contractor. As an employee, your employer has an obligation to pay for your taxes, provide certain benefits and offer workplace rights, such as minimum wage and rest breaks. When you are an independent contractor, you are considered self-employed and do not get those benefits accorded to an employee.

What behaviors qualify as sexual harassment?

Whether you work for a large corporation, a small cupcake shop or a mid-sized real estate business, you have the right to do your job in an atmosphere that is safe and comfortable. Unfortunately, sexual harassment is a common problem in many industries, and one that does not discriminate between men and women.

Tech industry not immune to sexual harassment claims

Following the sexual harassment and sexual discrimination claims made by two engineers working at Uber and Tesla, a spotlight is being put on how women are treated at Silicon Valley startups. In fact, more women have come forward with their own experiences of harassment and discrimination. Some of the companies that were called out for discriminating against female employees included Zynga, Mircosoft and Sun Microsystems.

How a strong HR department can help startups

Florida residents may have heard about a blog post by an Uber employee who claimed that she experienced sexual harassment at her job. Some have commented that this may have been avoided if the company had a stronger HR department. Uber's CEO reportedly believes that the role of a human resources department is to recruit and hire employees. However, that department may also be used to facilitate employment development and management training.

Transgender legal protections in the workplace

Transgender issues have been a hot topic in Florida and across the U.S. in recent years. Last fall, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of a Virginia transgender student who wants to use the boys' bathroom in his high school. The case is the latest example of a federal court taking the lead on LGBT legal issues when other courts continue to struggle. The case and others like it are shaping the way employers must deal with transgender rights within the workplace.

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