Workers are classified as either exempt or non-exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The majority of employees in West Virginia and elsewhere in this country are considered to be non-exempt employees. They're entitled to be paid minimum wages for the first 40 hours that they work. Workers should be paid overtime for any time put in beyond that. Sadly many employers intentionally misclassify workers. This results in employees not receiving the benefits that they deserve.
While there is significant importance focused on adequate training for workers in West Virginia and properly educating them to adhere to company protocols, employees also have rights that should be honored. Among those rights is the ability to maintain a job free of judgment or wrongful treatment based on background, race, religion or sexual orientation.
Most in Charleston view the average workday as being from 9 to 5. While many working professionals do indeed follow this schedule, several others show up for night, swing and graveyard shifts. Indeed, according to information shared by the American Psychological Association, roughly 15 million Americans work odd hours.
One of the more common reasons people in Charleston seek medical leave is to accommodate the birth of a child. Your time on maternity leave gives you the perfect opportunity to bond with your new baby. Going back to work after welcoming such a bundle of joy into your life can be difficult (and not simply due to you being separated from your new baby for several hours every workday). As a new mother, your body acclimates to providing your newborn with needed sustenance, and as you know, that does not stop simply because you have to go back to work.
In a perfect world, federal agencies with offices in West Virginia would always conduct themselves in a way that was responsible, lawful and beneficial to the general public. Unfortunately, the world is not perfect and those in power can become greedy and corrupt. When that happens, it is necessary to hold those in charge to account for their actions and inactions. That duty often falls to whistleblowers, who are ordinary employees that make the difficult decision to report wrongdoing by their employers.
It may be well-known amongst many in Charleston that certain industries can place those who operate in them in potentially dangerous situations. Some might question, then, why people would be willing to work in such professions. In many cases, employees working in potentially dangerous injuries may simply have a love for the work. They likely also have confidence that their employers (knowing the dangers that they face) have taken every step necessary to ensure their safety. It is typically only in the event that such an expectation is not met that workers chose to seek legal action against the companies that they work for.
Blatant discrimination at work is usually easy to identify. However, microaggressions, which are smaller, yet still hurtful, slights aimed at minority workers, are much harder to pin down. Even if the worker has a completely valid claim about poor behavior, it can be difficult to communicate the issue to others. This is especially true for the person responsible for the slight, who might be coming from an ignorant, yet well-intentioned place. CNBC offers the following examples of microaggressions and how employees can deal with them.
Dress and grooming codes are work are quite common. Some employers dictate that workers can't dye their hair certain colors or must wear a specific uniform to retain employment. While in many cases these codes of conduct are legal, employers do walk a fine line. Some rules can be construed as discriminatory when certain factors are in place. Being able to understand what is and isn't permissible is important for workers, as explained by WorkplaceFairness.org.
Sexual harassment is not only unlawful, it also creates a hostile working environment. It's incumbent upon management to take the proper steps to discourage sexual harassment and to help workers who make complaints about improper behavior. The Balance offers the following information to help business owners, as well as employees, address this contentious issue.
Federal law stipulates that new mothers must have time for nursing breaks at work. It's important for women to understand their rights in this case, especially if they've been violated and steps must be taken to hold an employer accountable. The Office on Women's Health offers the following guidelines so you can rest assured your rights are being honored.