The Georgia Vacation Notice protects an employer from false claims of unemployment, and also lets them take absenteeism and excessive time off into account when determining unemployment benefits.
I read that under Georgia law, unemployment insurance is not payable when an employee is on:
- leave of absence at their own request
- paid vacation
- unpaid vacation, up to two weeks in a calendar year if provided by employment contract, or
- by established employer custom, practice or policy
Unemployment insurance provides limited replacement wages to workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.
Before the vacation notice was put into effect, I know that an employee could be ineligible for unemployment benefits if they were let go for excessive absences in violation of the employer’s attendance policy. The employer merely had to have advised the employee that excessive absenteeism was grounds for termination. If the employee unjustifiably failed to notify the employer, the employee would be ineligible for benefits (even if the absences were due to illness).
The law was changed in December 2005 so that now, when the absence leading to a discharge is illness-related, an employer seeking to disqualify the offending employee from receiving unemployment benefits may be required to show that it warned the employee, in writing and in advance of any absences, that unemployment benefits may be denied because of a violation of the employer’s attendance policy.
This warning (in writing and in advance) is accomplished by posting the Vacation Notice poster in an employer’s place of business. The Georgia Complete Labor Law poster is available to reflect the vacation notification. For more information, contact the Georgia Department of Labor.
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination makes it illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, national origin, physical or mental disability, age, nationality, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, sex, or liability for military service. The law also makes genetic discrimination illegal, preventing employers from testing for an atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait or genetic information.
Although New Jersey law regarding age discrimination is similar to the Federal law, comparing it to the Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act shows that they differ in several significant ways. I noticed that New Jersey law protects workers under 40, unlike the ADEA which covers only workers over 40. In New Jersey, workers 70 and older cannot bring an age discrimination claim for not getting hired, but they may bring an age discrimination claim for other forms of discrimination. Also, New Jersey workers involved in age discrimination cases may recover emotional pain and suffering damages and punitive damages, which the federal law prohibits.
Discrimination claims can be filed with either the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The two agencies cooperate with each other to process claims, so filing a claim with both agencies is unnecessary. Just let the agency you file with know that you want them to cross file the claim with the other agency.
One important point is that the New Jersey anti-discrimination statute covers employers of every size, while the EEOC enforces federal law which covers only employers with 15 or more employees. So if your workplace has fewer than 14 employees, you may want to file with the DCR. Your complaint must be filed within 180 days of the date you believe discrimination occurred. It’s also important that you know if the DCR finds no probable cause, you cannot pursue your claim further in court.
All states have laws and regulations that govern child labor. I found that the Tennessee Department of Labor has a very helpful Web site that clearly spells out the Tennessee Child Labor Act, which is applicable for all Tennessee residents.
In general, the Child Labor Act states that it is prohibited for minors to be employed in occupations or working conditions that may be hazardous. In addition, minors that are aged 14 and 15 may not be employed during school hours, between 7pm and 7pm if the next day is a school day, between 9pm and 6am or more than 3 hours on a school day. I have found that these restrictions are much tighter than in many other states.
A student aged 14 or 15 also may not work more than 18 hours a day or 8 hours on a non-school day. Total, the child may not work more than 40 hours a week.
The rules, of course, are less restricting for older teens. They state that students are not allowed to work during the hours when the minor is required to attend classes. Additionally, the minor may not work between the hours of 10pm and 6am Sunday-Thursday on evenings preceding a school day. This clause is active except when the minor has parental or guardian consent.
The minor aged 16 or 17 may work until midnight no more than 3 nights from Sunday through Thursday. Employers must also keep detailed records about their employees, including their minor employees. These forms should remain valid until the end of the school year in which is submitted or until termination or the employment (whichever situation occurs first.)
The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Division of Labor Standards are the offices that make these forms available and enforce the laws and regulations.
The Tennessee Complete Labor Law poster is available with all of the most current child labor laws as well as all of the federal labor laws.
In my opinion any employee may be reluctant to report possible illegal or unlawful procedures within the workplace. That’s because traditionally, employers could retaliate by firing, demoting or suspending the conscientious employee. The New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (or “Whistleblower Act”), enacted in 2002, was passed to prevent that from happening, and to encourage reporting of unlawful activities.
The law covers a number of scenarios in which an employee may become what we all know as a whistle blower:
The employee discloses (or threatens to tell) about an unlawful activity he witnesses being done by his employer or anyone his employer does business with.
The employee testifies at a hearing, public inquiry or investigation of wrong-doing by the employer
The employee objects to or refuses to participate in any activity, policy or practice which is criminal, unlawful, endangers environmental protection, or goes against public health, safety, and welfare.
In such cases that the employee is found to be wrongfully terminated or suspended by the employer after having reported any unlawful or illegal incidents, the courts can rule that:
· The employer is restrained from continuing their illegal activity.
· The employee must be reinstated to his former position, with full benefits, and can also receive compensation for lost wages, benefits and other remuneration.
· The employee can also receive compensation for reasonable costs, and attorney’s fees; or punitive damages.
There is a short, one-year statute of limitations on filing whistleblower complaints under this New Jersey law. In contrast, most other legal actions or contract disputes have at least a two-year statute of limitations. Personally I think it is important to be well informed. The Conscientious Employee Protection Act as well as the New Jersey Complete Labor Law poster both cover this extremely important topic.