The Kansas Human Rights Commission enforces state civil rights laws which prohibit discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability, or age.
I know that discrimination can occur in written and unwritten policies and practices including job advertisements, benefits, demotion, discharge, discipline, harassment, hiring, layoff, maternity, promotion, recall, references, unfavorable reinstatement, involuntary retirement, suspension, terms, training, union representation and wages.
Businesses regulated by these laws include private employers, educational institutions, governmental entities and unions. Employers must hang a poster outlining the anti-discrimination employment laws in their place of business.
My research has revealed some of the guidelines the KHRC gives to employers to protect them from discrimination lawsuits. Understanding employment law is crucial for both the employer and the employee or applicant. The criteria used to select employees should be based on merit and job competency, and should relate to actual job performance. For example, advertisements for jobs traditionally stereotyped as “male” or “female” should stress that both sexes are encouraged to apply. Advertisements for open positions should also not express an age preference unless there is a bona fide qualification of age for the position.
An objective interview provides the best perspective from which to determine the knowledge, skill, and abilities of an applicant. Some areas of questioning are relevant and necessary when exploring an applicant’s qualifications for a position, such as previous work experience, education, training, and authorization to work in the U.S.
In general, an employer should not use any testing or selection procedure that has an adverse impact on members of racial, ethnic, or gender groups. After an offer of employment has been made, an employer may require the applicant to submit to a drug test or medical examination, as long as all entering employees in the same job category face that same requirement, and information obtained remains confidential except to supervisors/managers, or for safety reasons.
I have read that Kansas law prohibits requiring any employee or applicant to submit to a polygraph test, and from discharging, disciplining, or discriminating against an employee or applicant for refusing to take a polygraph test.
If a worker believes they have been discriminated against, they may file a complaint personally or by attorney. An individual may write, telephone or come in to any KHRC office to begin the filing process. Intake workers can assist in drafting a complaint based on information provided by the complainant. The complaint must be signed and notarized before it can be officially filed with the commission. There is no filing fee.
Complaints on any basis in the area of employment must be filed within six (6) months of the last alleged discriminatory act. In some instances, the time limit for filing a complaint with the KHRC does not begin on the effective date of an adverse employment decision, but when the person could reasonably be considered to have received notice of the adverse employment decisions.
The Iowa Workers’ Compensation law requires most employers to provide wage loss and medical benefits to employees who are injured while working.
In Iowa, an injury may include any health condition caused by work activities other than the normal building up and tearing down of body tissues. Diseases and hearing losses caused by work activities or exposures are also injuries. Preexisting health conditions are not considered injuries unless work aggravates or worsens them.
The employer has the right to choose the medical care and must provide medical care reasonably suited to treat an injury. If a worker is dissatisfied with that care, they should discuss the problem with their employer (or its insurance carrier). The employee can request alternate care, and if an employer (or its carrier) does not allow that care, they may file a petition for alternate medical care before the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner.
An employer must pay for all reasonable and necessary medical care required to treat an injury. This includes reasonable and necessary travel expenses for treatment. An employer may also pay temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, permanent partial disability benefits, or permanent total disability benefits. If an employee dies from a work-related injury, their dependents may receive benefits as well.
Unless an employer has notice or knowledge of a worker’s asserted injury within 90 days of its occurrence, the employee may be denied benefits. When an employee reports a work related injury, the employer must file a first report of injury if the employee loses more than three days of work, or sustains permanent injury or death on account of the injury. The employer (or its carrier) must file the first report within four days of notice or knowledge of the alleged injury with the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner.
A worker must receive Iowa weekly workers’ compensation benefits or file an application for arbitration within two years of an alleged injury or benefits may be denied.
The employer must post the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Benefits notice in a prominent place in their business.
California Overtime Law seems to me to be pretty straightforward. Any non-exempt employee 18 years of age or older (or a person 16 or 17 who is not in school) who works more than eight hours in a day or 40 hours a week will receive overtime pay.
From what I have read up to 12 hours of overtime nets a worker one-and-a-half times their regular salary and anything over 12 hours is double their regular salary. For the weekly rate, the distinction is made that a work week is seven consecutive days. The first eight hours worked over 40 is time-and-a-half, and anything over that is double the regular salary.
But the key phrase to me within California law is non-exempt employee. There is a whole list of people who are classified as exempt, including computer software workers, any state or political workers, outside salespersons, taxicab drivers, some truck drivers, airline employees, carnival ride operators, actors, fishing boat crew members, student nurses, motion picture projectionists, sheepherders, irrigators, radio and television announcers, editors, or engineers, personal attendants and even babysitters.
Then, there is the broad category that includes most “white-collar workers” who are basically considered any employee who is engaged in work that is primarily intellectual, managerial, or creative, and which requires exercise of discretion and independent judgment.
Of course there are also controversies in applying this law to the real world.
Some employees take unauthorized overtime. The employer can warn or sanction the employee, but California law insists that employers must pay the overtime.
There are employers who fire employees for reporting (or threatening to report) their overtime violations. The employee has the right to sue.
There are employers who fail to pay overtime in a timely manner. Overtime must be paid by the next pay period.
And there are employees who want to count vacation and holiday hours as part of overtime compensation. The law says no.
Some of the more gray areas can make it slightly harder for both employers and employees to understand the law. The California Complete Labor Law poster reflects all of this information regarding overtime and personally to me I would find having that information readily available a definite way to decrease the confusion. Overtime can be a complicated topic for some. Using posting resources can hopefully increase awareness for all employees.
I know that every state has laws that protect its minors from certain labor opportunities, such as the number of hours and time that minors are allowed to work. Ohio is a state that protects the rights of minors under ORC Chapter 4109: Employment of Minors.
The law first defines what a minor is. I learned that a minor is any person that is under the age of 18 (not 16) who has not yet obtained a high school diploma or the equivalent of one. There are certain exemptions from this definition and those exemptions can be found in section 4109.06 of the law.
What I did not know is that if a place is frequented by minors and known to be a place where minors enjoy spending time, the place must have printed and clearly visible the abstract of the minor labor laws which is covered on the Ohio Complete Labor Law poster. If an establishment employs minors, it must maintain a complete list of the minors’ name, age, date of birth and occupation.
I also didn’t know that the Ohio Board of Education must authorize the minor to be employed in a particular job.
Not all minors can obtain jobs. They have to be at least 14 years old in order to obtain a work permit and that work permit needs to be changed when a minor changes jobs. The permit also has to be returned to the state if the employee leaves his or her employment and all unpaid wages must be returned. However, during the summer months, if a minor is aged 16 or 17, he or she does not have to obtain a work permit as long as the employer is aware of the age along with the parental consent from the minor’s parent.
In the state of California, hours worked on holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays are treated like hours worked on any other day of the week. California laws do not require an employer to give its employees paid holidays, or require that an employer close its business on a holiday, or that employees be given the day off for a particular holiday.
California state laws do not mandate that employers must close their business on any particular day, or at all. It is up to the employer to select which days, if any, it chooses to be open and closed for business.
If an employer chooses to close its business on a holiday and gives its employees time off from work with pay, it is completely up to the discretion of the employer, or the result of terms of a collective bargaining agreement, or due to the terms of an employment agreement between the employer and employee.
California employers are also not required to pay their employees any special premium for work performed on a holiday, Saturday, or Sunday, other than the overtime premium if it applies (the premium that’s required for work performed in excess of eight hours in a workday or 40 hours in a workweek), unless the employer has a policy or practice of paying a premium rate for working on a holiday, or the employee is subject to a collective bargaining or employment agreement that addresses holiday premium pay.
Although some California employers choose to pay their employees on holidays when they did not work (the employers was closed), it is completely up to the employers whether or not to do so.
In the case of the employer who does pay for a holiday not worked, any overtime due is based upon hours worked, more than eight in a workday or more than 40 in a workweek, and not upon pay received.
The full details of all laws on holiday pay are available on the California Complete Labor Law poster.