An employee's right to privacy in the workplace used to apply only to personal items, storage lockers, mail, and life outside the office. However, when technology entered the equation, the right to privacy became more complicated. Both state and federal laws govern the employer-employee relationship and common problems that can arise with employer monitoring of employee telephone and computer usage.
Mr. McArdle is a former teacher in the public schools of the town of Dracut, Massachusetts who began working there in 1997. In 2007, he entered divorce proceedings with his wife and began to drink excessively. Mr. McArdle suffered from depression, anxiety, his home was foreclosed on, and he filed for a personal bankruptcy. Dealing with these personal crises, Mr. McArdle began to miss work. He went to work only ten (10) of twenty-one (21) days in September and did not appear at all in October, November, or December of 2008. His record improved following winter break but in total, he appeared at his job for only eighty-two (82) days in the 2008-2009 school year. These absences exhausted the fifteen (15) days of sick leave and two (2) personal days to which he was entitled. He also borrowed the fifteen (15) days from his 2009-2010 year and deducted fifty-two day for which he did not work and was not paid.
The television show "Desperate Housewives" has many fans in the Denver, Colorado, area. Nicollette Sheridan, a star of the series, is involved in a long-running dispute with the show, its creator and the ABC Television Network. Sheridan's position is that she was fired from the show in retaliation for filing a claim against the show's creator. Last week, a Los Angeles judge dismissed the star's wrongful termination lawsuit.
In January of 2011, the US Supreme Court in Thompson v. N.Am. Stainless, LP, 131 S.Ct. 863 (2011), held that a terminated employee, who was fired three weeks after his fiancé filed a sexual harassment claim against the employer, had standing to bring a Title VII retaliation action against the employer.
Two former New Hampshire state employees have filed a lawsuit claiming they were bullied by a supervisor after reporting that she regularly took paid two-hour lunch breaks. The employees complained to the Department of Health and Human Services about their supervisor's behavior but nothing was done. The supervisor learned that women had made the report and called a mandatory meeting where she threatened to punish her subordinates for being even a minute late for their shifts. Following the meeting, the supervisor began to accuse them of insubordination and failure to do their job, she sent them threatening emails and piled unreasonable amount of work on them to set them up for failure.
Unfortunately, employee theft is a reality business owners in Colorado have to confront. There are measures employers can take to prevent theft, but any attempt to keep retail or company property where it belongs should be in compliance with current state and federal laws. Maybe a solid security system with cameras can reduce the risk, or a bag check policy might be implemented. In any case, business owners may want to check with their attorneys before instituting a policy.
Allegations of discrimination on the job should always be taken very seriously by managers and employers in Colorado. If someone is being treated unfairly because of their gender, race or religion, they have the right to take legal action against their employers for engaging in or allowing such behavior to occur.
There are many state and federal laws in place that are aimed at protecting both employers and employees in the workplace. Whether they protect a company's trade secrets or an employee's time to take a medical leave, these laws can be very important to understand. This can be a challenge for many people in Colorado and nationwide, however, as employment laws can be complex and they change periodically.
On September 2, 2011, Administrative Law Judge Arthur J. Amchan issued the decision that employees' off-hours griping about their working conditions was protected by the National Labor Relations Act. This Act, 29 U.S.C. § 151-169, was created in 1935 to protect the rights of employees and employers, to encourage collective bargaining, and to curtail certain private sector labor and management practices, which can harm the general welfare of workers, business and the U.S. economy. The Act also created the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) which is an independent federal agency vested with the power to prevent and remedy unfair labor practices committed by private sector employers and unions.
Employers are required to comply with many state and federal regulations when it comes to certain employment practices. It can be confusing and overwhelming for people to fully understand all the requirements when it comes to hiring and firing employees and designing acceptable policies for operations. If an employer fails to comply with employment laws, he or she can face some serious consequences.