» Discrimination Law

Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) December 15, 2014 – Everyone with a job should have benefits of some kind. The law mandates that an employer must provide them. “Working full-time usually means you get a paycheck – cash to be put into the bank. But you get more than that; you also receive benefits. Those benefits may take the form of paid vacation or health insurance, referred to as non-cash benefits,” stated Timothy J. Coffey, a Chicago employment attorney. Benefits received are to provide for family and improve quality of life. The IRS allows certain tax breaks for many employment […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) December 10, 2014 – Working at home is common in the technology age, and certain laws apply when this kind of work situation is ongoing and not just temporary. “If you work at home, you need to know how you are classified by your employer. You also need to consider the laws that apply in your state of residence. Every state, with the exception of Montana, has “at-will” employment laws,” pointed out Timothy Coffey, a noted Chicago employment attorney. At-will employment means that a company may lay a worker off, demote or fire the worker, […]


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PITTSBURGH, PA (Law Firm Newswire) December 8, 2014 – In November, Charles A. Lamberton co-presented a lively session on Complicated Issues in Sexual Harassment Cases at the annual Pennsylvania Bar Institute Employment Law Institute West seminar in Pittsburgh. Speaking to a room full of employment lawyers, Mr. Lamberton discussed the legal rule in sexual harassment cases that prevents employers from offering evidence of a sexual harassment victim’s past sexual behavior or sexual predisposition at trial. In a sexual harassment case, evidence of a sexual harassment victim’s sexual behavior, fantasies, dress, speech or lifestyle is inadmissible by default. Such evidence cannot […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) December 3, 2014 – Pregnancy discrimination is illegal, but the practice is on the rise. “Being pregnant does not mean a woman cannot play a valuable and necessary role in the workforce. Despite the rules that clearly state pregnancy discrimination is illegal, it continues to happen, with employers attempting to covertly or overtly push pregnant workers out of their jobs,” explained Chicago employment attorney Timothy Coffey. The original U.S. legislation, still active, is the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. It bans employers with 15 or more workers from discriminating in the workplace based on childbirth […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) October 30, 2014 – Non-compete agreements are not always well-received in court. If a non-compete agreement is thrown out, a person may not have to comply with it. “Non-compete agreements are quite popular with employers, but a person bound by one may not have to comply with it. Most non-compete agreements state that an employee may not compete with an employer’s business for a designated time period after leaving the job, They may restrict who you work for, where your future job may be located and even the industry in which you work. Sometimes, it’s […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) October 24, 2014 – The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is applicable to all state, local and federal government and private employers with at least 50 workers who live within a 75-mile radius. “For employees to be eligible for leave, they must have worked for at least 12 months and 1,250 hours prior to starting leave. Many workers do not know that by law, employers are not required to provide paid sick leave. However, they are in certain situations mandated to permit employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave,” Timothy Coffey, […]


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Sacramento, CA (Law Firm Newswire) September 30, 2014 – Collective legal action has not been eliminated in pay disputes in California, but its role has been diminished. Employers may now insist on case-by-case arbitration. “In a highly anticipated ruling, the California Supreme Court has decided that California employers may stop their workers from suing jointly for unpaid wages or overtime and alternatively mandate case-by-case arbitration. In essence, the ruling limited collective legal action in wage disputes,” said noted Sacramento business attorney, Deborah Barron. In a 6-1 ruling, the court indicated that employers may enforce contracts mandating workers to submit all […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) September 30, 2014 – Personal grooming choices are not considered “protected” characteristics. “It is not against federal employment law for a company to decline to hire someone whose appearance does not appeal to them. Companies may base their hiring and work choices on an individual’s personal characteristics, and they may legally treat them differently according to their attributes,” explained Chicago employment attorney Thomas C. Coffey. Nationwide, an employer may not discriminate against an individual because of disability, race, color, nationality, age, sexual orientation or religion. Those classes are referred to as “protected” classes or groups. […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) September 26, 2014 – Employers in some states may legally refuse to hire a smoker. Some employers will screen job candidates during the hiring process, and some include a nicotine test. At such companies, a positive result will disqualify a candidate. This practice is allowable under federal law. However, if a person is hired, many states forbid employers from firing the worker after a negative drug test or if the worker becomes a smoker while employed. “For the most part, an employer may ban smoking in the workplace. Demanding a smoker step outside to smoke […]


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Sacramento, CA (Law Firm Newswire) September 24, 2014 – California caregivers have filed a class action lawsuit against Kindred Healthcare, Inc. for the company’s failure to pay minimum wage and overtime. “The charges include rest and meal break violations among a plethora of allegations relating to failure to pay overtime and minimum wage,” noted Deborah Barron, a Sacramento business attorney not involved in the lawsuit. “One plaintiff claims that she was denied overtime, and another suggests that she was not paid her full wages for helping an in-home care client.” Kindred Healthcare is one of the largest post-acute health services […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) September 22, 2014 – Personal grooming choices are not considered “protected” characteristics. “It is not against federal employment law for a company to decline to hire someone whose appearance does not appeal to them. Companies may base their hiring and work choices on an individual’s personal characteristics, and they may legally treat them differently according to their attributes,” explained Chicago employment attorney Thomas C. Coffey. Nationwide, an employer may not discriminate against an individual because of disability, race, color, nationality, age, sexual orientation or religion. Those classes are referred to as “protected” classes or groups. […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) August 29, 2014 – In an at-will employment arrangement, an employer may terminate a worker any time for a wide number of reasons. An employee may also quit any time for any reason, but he or she should do so with respect and courtesy if possible. “If you are thinking about quitting your job, make certain you know if you live in an at-will employment state, such as Illinois,” suggested Chicago employment attorney Timothy Coffey. “In virtually all states (with the exception of Montana), workers are presumed to be at-will employees unless the employment terms […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) August 22, 2014 – Most states hire workers “at-will.” Even though employees may usually be laid off at any time without notice, state and federal laws protect workers in some circumstances. “It is good common sense to understand whether or not you are employed at-will in your state. It affects how any labor disputes may be handled. Illinois is an employment-at-will state,” explained Timothy Coffey, a respected Chicago employment lawyer. State and federal laws protect workers in some circumstances. For instance, if a worker in Illinois has an employment contract, they do not have at-will […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) August 8, 2014 – At-will employment means an employer may terminate a worker any time for many reasons. An employee may also quit any time for any reason, but should do so with respect and courtesy if possible. “If you are thinking about quitting your job, make certain you know if you live in an at-will-employment state, such as Illinois,” indicated Chicago employment attorney, Timothy Coffey. “For instance, in virtually all states, with the exception of Montana, workers are presumed to be at-will employees, unless the employment terms fit an exception to the prevailing rule, […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) June 13, 2014 – Any agreements signed upon employment should be vetted with an employment attorney. Be on the alert for a clause indicating arbitration. Employment agreements may have a provision in them that a worker must submit to arbitration should there be a workplace dispute. If that agreement is signed without speaking to an employment attorney, the signatory is agreeing to resolve any disputes with an employer by means of arbitration. The arbitrator would be a privately hired judge. “Agreeing to arbitration as a dispute resolution mechanism means you have signed away your right […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) June 6, 2014 – Every state protects workers from various forms of discrimination. However, not all states protect transgender, lesbian, gay or bisexual workers from discrimination (LGBT). “Every state in the Union prohibits discriminating against workers based on their religion, race, national origin, gender and so forth. However, not every state offers the same kind of protection for LGBT employees,” outlines Timothy Coffey, an experienced Chicago employment attorney. Currently, there are 21 states and the District of Columbia that do offer protection to LGBT employees from discrimination. The remaining 29 states offer nothing in the […]


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New York, NY (Law Firm Newswire) May 13, 2014 – Marjorie Mesidor has been admitted to the Supreme Court Bar, the highest Bar in the United States. Mesidor is the Lead Counsel at Phillips & Associates, a New York employment law firm. On May 4, 2014, Mesidor traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend the Supreme Court’s announcement of its decision in Town of Greece v. Galloway. Following the announcement, Mesidor and 20 other members of the Brooklyn Bar Association were admitted to the court on motion. All 21 attorneys took an oath to confirm the motion, and Justices Alito and […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) May 13, 2014 – Unless an employment contract exists, an individual is likely an “at-will” worker. An “at-will” worker may be terminated virtually anytime, for any reason. “Although an at-will worker may be fired just about anytime and for many reasons, those reasons must not be discriminatory. If you were fired for discriminatory reasons, this is wrongful termination and you need to seek the services of a competent employment attorney. If you have been wrongfully terminated, you have solid legal protection offered by the federal government,” points out well-known Chicago employment attorney, Timothy Coffey. Discrimination […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) May 6, 2014 – Despite most states adhering to an “at will” arrangement for workers, laying off employees is regulated by law. “Many employers do not always realize that laying off workers is strictly regulated by law and if those rules are not followed according to a crystal clear layoff policy, they run the risk of being sued,” explains Timothy Coffey, a respected Chicago employment attorney. These days, with the tough economy, there are many companies forced into mass layoffs to make ends meet and keep their company afloat for the long-term. If a business […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) April 14, 2014 – The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) settled its first systemic class-action lawsuit at the beginning on 2014 claiming a company violated the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). “In this case, the EEOC sued an employer for asking, post job offer, that applicants obtain pre-employment medical examinations that included detailed questions about their family medical history,” recounts Timothy Coffey, a noted Chicago employment attorney. The lawsuit was filed in 2013 and resulted in a $50,000 settlement, as well as injunctive relief. It began when Founders Pavilion, Inc., a New York rehabilitation center […]


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