Or... How can an "Executive," "Administrative," or "Professional" make
The CEO of Wells Fargo recently promised to rehire any of the workers it fired under an aggressive, even abusive, sales structure. Whether some or all of those workers will want their jobs back is an interesting question. If you have been the victim of wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination or other employment law violations, the relief you seek really depends on your goals.
"Or, why we'd like to help everyone, and why we can't"
The Fair Labor Standards Act is a Federal statute that, in essence, and put simply, requires that all workers of the 50 states and territories who are not "exempt" from being entitled to overtime pay (for work in excess of 40 hours in a given week) must get that pay. It's a long statute and there are a lot of twists and turns, but that, in essence, is it.
Employers are forbidden by state and federal laws to engage in a number of abusive or discriminatory behaviors. They cannot, for example, refuse to hire you or bully, abuse or intimidate you based on your race, gender, ethnicity, nation of origin, general identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability or age. Employers generally must comply with rules about minimum wage, overtime pay, family and medical leave and more. Unfortunately, that does not mean that employers must conduct themselves in a reasonable or caring manner. There are any number of common practices among employers that fly in the face of decency and logic. Among those are hiring practices that can turn a criminal record into a lifetime of poverty and dependency.
To hear some employers tell it, avoiding lawsuits for employment law violations is incredibly complex. The truth is that many violations of worker rights involve employers trying to save money or avoid the hassle of firing obviously inappropriate personnel. It is not difficult for employers to obey the state and federal laws protecting employees. Many simply choose not to. An insurance company whose clients include many small- and medium-sized businesses recently conducted a study of employee lawsuits against employers. The advice that came out of that study is that simple measures all employers should have in place would prevent many of these lawsuits.
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination is a civil rights statute that prohibits a wide range of discrimination, including employment discrimination based on gender identity or expression, gender role and transgender status. The law is an attempt to protect some of the most disadvantaged communities in the nation. Transgender people, despite recent progress, still face an uphill battle in securing their rights in employment and other areas of life.
On September 19, 2014, The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey denied an attempt by Avis to appeal the certification of a class of shift managers who were denied overtime pay by Avis. Like the frequent use of so-called independent contractor status to deny overtime, employers also play games with titles, giving employees "manager" titles, even though those employees don't have any real managerial responsibility, in order to avoid paying them overtime and require them to work excessive hours week in and week out.
Designating a worker as an independent contractor, rather than an employee, can save a company a substantial amount of money. The Department of Labor has increased efforts to punish companies who use this designation improperly. The Internal Revenue Service, too, has sought to punish employers who misclassify workers as independent contractors. The practice has continued because the financial temptation to misclassify is simply too great.
Many people here in New Jersey know that there are employment laws that protect a person from wrongful termination. In the event that an employer fires a worker for exercising their employee rights, that employee does have the right to file a complaint against their employer. It's worth noting though that not all cases result in compensation, even if you feel like your rights were violated.