Answers to today's legal questions through blogs and articles

Employment Law

Employment law covers the rights and duties between employers and workers. These posts deal with protections afforded to workers under the law governing areas such as discrimination, harassment, unsafe work conditions and more.
https://commonlegalquestions.com/index.php/2018/07/02/what-you-need-to-know-about-employment-law/
https://commonlegalquestions.com/index.php/2018/08/10/women-fighting-for-equal-rights/

Conflict Between Employees

How to Deal With Conflict Between Employees in the Workplace

Conflict is just a fact of life.  Even when we were toddlers, it seems we had issues and were verbal about what we didn’t like.  We argued with our siblings about our possessions and our “standing in the family”… even though being the oldest didn’t always trump other factors.  Things didn’t change once we got to school either – there was always something to whine about it seems.  No two people are alike and we are not cut from the same cloth so there is always bound to be disagreement among our peers.

In the workplace, disagreement and dissension among the ranks is also common.  Sure, there is the differences of opinion over college sport teams and that rivalry is acceptable.  Even the occasional political bickering over one’s favorite candidate or values, as long as it does not get out of hand, may be the topic bandied about the water cooler.

Drop The Box Initiative

What is The Drop The Box Initiative?

On Monday, November 2, 2015, President Obama introduced the concept of the “Drop the Box” initiative in a speech given at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey.  The President announced a new executive order which will be geared to prohibit federal agencies from requesting job applicants to reveal if they have a criminal record.  This initiative is part of Mr. Obama’s overall criminal justice reform effort.  The “Drop the Box” initiative would allow prospective employees not to check a box on some federal applications that acknowledge a criminal record, which essentially thwarts any potential employee who possesses a criminal record from obtaining a government job.  The President says he hopes that one day all companies could abide by this principle, not just federal agencies, and cites the good works of large companies like Koch Industries, Target and Wal-Mart who have already eliminated the question posed of a prior criminal record from their job applications.  Now, it is up to Congress to pass the legislation and push for nationwide acceptance of the “Drop the Box” campaign.

Definition of Spouse

What is The Definition of Spouse?

You might remember when your father referred to your mother as “the little woman” or “the wife” – that was commonplace in years past and I really doubt that Dad would be able to identify his main squeeze using either phrase nowadays without raising some hackles.

There are many definitions that identify someone’s significant other and recent laws have caused employer benefit policies to be revamped as a result.

The ACA

New Reporting Requirements Under The ACA

By now, most Americans are familiar with the terminology “ObamaCare” or “The Affordable Care Act” – the two are interchangeable.  The Affordable Care Act, often abbreviated simple as the “ACA” was signed into law on March 23, 2010 by President Barack Obama.  It was our 44th president’s goal to give everyone in the nation healthcare that was accessible and affordable.  He was able to realize this dream which was fueled, in part, by his mother’s death from liver failure as she lacked the funds and insurance to battle that disease successfully.

Social Media in The Workplace

Using Social Media in The Workplace

Social media in the workplace packs a one-two punch for employers who are often left scratching their respective heads over how to implement or enforce computer policies pertaining to their personnel.  With the exception of computers replacing typewriters, there has likely been no other greater change to the workplace environment and definitely social media is here to stay.

Work on a Federal Holiday (1)

Can Employees Refuse to Work on a Federal Holiday?

The last bite of pumpkin pie has been enjoyed and the mouth has been duly dabbed with a napkin.  The cook looks around the kitchen table with a smug feeling of satisfaction, knowing that everyone has enjoyed their Thanksgiving Day feast.  She knows that soon the men will meander into the den to watch the football game while the women will don aprons and begin the massive clean-up process.

Well, that little scenario might have happened before “Gray Thursday” came along and ripped the Thanksgiving Day holidays and rituals to shreds.  Now, no one wants to linger long past the pumpkin pie as they scoot out the door saying “hate to eat and run but…”   Unfortunately, the eat-and-run crowd isn’t just the bargain hunters anymore – it is the poor retail workers as well.

Well, if shopping for bargains is your shtick, then fine.  Many shoppers were content to wait until the stores opened at the crack of dawn on the day after Thanksgiving.  But now the former “Black Friday bargains” are now available right smack dab in the Thanksgiving Day dinner hour.

Age of Smartphones

Employment in The Age of Smartphones – If My Boss Emails Me When I’m Not At Work Do I Have to Reply?

In this day and age, almost everyone has some sort of a phone, whether it is an old flip phone or a smart phone.  But, surveys show that while many people have Smartphones and cell phones, more and more people are doing less and less work… at work!  In fact, studies show that 20% of an employee’s time at work is wasted doing things like surfing the web, playing games, being on social media accounts, even talking to friends – all while on the clock.  If you use a phone while on the clock or you are an employer that has noticed some or a lot of your workers failing to finish projects or lack of productivity, there are a few things you might want to ask yourself, alternatively, if you are an employee and you think what you do on your phone is your business, here are also a few things you need to think about when at work and using a Smartphone.

Presidential Election

The Presidential Election and The Workplace

Chances are if you work in a company, business or even a store, that water cooler talk is always prevalent in the office.  Especially true when there is some sort of a presidential election going on like there is right now.  People always want to chime in as to who they want to win, think should win, or what their different outlooks are in terms of the election, their political choices, etc.  People often talk about all sorts of things at work, but politics should definitely not be one of them.  In fact, the more you think this is innocent, the more people keep proving you wrong – recently a survey was done on the Career Builders website where 36% of people said that they talked about politics at work and 46% said they planned on talking about politics at work.

What is Pregnancy Discrimination?

It might be the year 2015, but there is still a lot of unlawful discrimination going on in our world, even for pregnant women.  In 2006, the EEOC actually received over 5000 complaints from new moms where they were having trouble at work because they were pregnant.  But, in 2015, while this number has gone down, it’s still quite a problem and is still quite prevalent in the workplace.  There are laws that keep you safe, however, but sometimes it’s less about complaining about being treated unfairly and more about knowing your rights.  If you are pregnant or you want to know more about pregnancy discrimination, continue to read below for more information.

How Does Maternity Leave Work

How Does Maternity Leave Work?

Maternity leave used to be something that was either frowned upon by the male sexes or it was just something you never heard of anyone doing,  its a shame that the younger generation didn’t get enough Mom time, but nowadays things have changed and for the better for once.  Maternity leave or family leave as it’s more commonly called these days (since it’s for moms and dads) is when a mother or father takes off from work for a certain period of time.  This can be time off for a biological child, foster child, adopted child, etc.