Lexington Legal Blog

Why should I file an hour violations complaint?

Going to work each day brings different stresses. You can avoid some common stresses by changing some of your work habits, but others are just unavoidable. Many employees across the country are protected by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This law requires employers to pay their employees at least minimum wage and no less than time and a half for overtime if they work more than 40 hours per week.

An excellent question to ask yourself is "why should I file an hour violations complaint?" This is important because it can help you recover unpaid wages, unreported hours worked and even the failure of your employer to provide you breaks throughout the day.

Discrimination protections for smokers

Smoking tobacco cigarettes used to be commonplace and virtually everyone did it. It's still perfectly legal to smoke cigarettes, provided you're smoking in an area where the activity is permitted. Nevertheless, numerous smokers -- especially employees who smoke -- are experiencing discrimination on the job.

This discrimination is rampant, and even the people who are discriminated against for smoking do not realize that it's unlawful. Did you know discrimination against smokers at work is unlawful?

Grocery chain sued for religious discrimination by Rasta employee

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is suing the Publix chain of supermarkets on behalf of a would-be employee who wouldn't cut his hair due to his religious beliefs.

Apparently, the young man who sought employment had no trouble getting hired -- until his future manager told him that he had to cut his dreadlocked hair to his shoulders.

What causes workplace injuries most often?

No matter the industry you work in, you can probably list off a few common safety hazards you have on the job. You and your employer work to reduce these risks, but sometimes an accident does happen. Awareness of common injuries and how to prevent them can go far in improving workplace safety. What unseen dangers should you watch out for?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently released a preliminary list of the top 10 workplace safety violations of 2017. Unfortunately, many of the safety concerns that existed last year are still at the top of this list today and continue to affect workers in the mining, coal and construction industries. Here's some analysis of the numbers.

How to report a workplace injury

If you have suffered an injury while on the job in Lexington, you must report it immediately to your supervisor if you wish to receive workers' compensation. Reporting a workplace injury is vital to your case and to protecting your co-workers from possible future accidents that could be dangerous. Here's how you can report a workplace injury.

Aside from reporting your injury immediately, you should also seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if your injury looks minor, have it evaluated by a doctor so you can begin to recover. The sooner you provide notice and receive medical care, the less likely it is that you will have your workers' compensation claim denied.

Concerns raised surrounding new mine safety program

Concerns have cropped up surrounding the new mine safety program instituted by the federal government. Both union leaders and lawmakers have spoken out against the Mine Safety and Health Administration's (MSHA) practices. One state senator requested more information from MSHA after finding out about the methods the agency is using to implement its latest program: Compliance Assistance Program.

The senator, in a letter written earlier in September, discussed issues he's been made aware of regarding the inspection of mines by MSHA members. The senator spoke of miners being denied the chance to send a representative from the mine with a MSHA inspector into the mine when it is being inspected. He also spoke of inspectors leaving their credentials behind when inspecting mines.

How do I report unpaid wages in Kentucky?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is enforced by the United States Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the Department of Labor (DOL). It's not uncommon for employees to file claims against employers for unpaid wages. Most often, these claims center around unpaid overtime wages. So, how does one report unpaid wages in Kentucky?

If you are worried about retaliation should you file a complaint against your employer for unpaid wages, there's no need to worry. All complaints are kept confidential. The name of the person who filed the complaint and the nature of it are never disclosed to the employer. The only time any information is released is when it comes time to pursue allegations against your employer. This is only done with your permission.

Defining the Employee Retirement Income Security Act

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which was passed in 1974, protects employees who are voluntarily enrolled in health and pension plans within private industry. The ERISA is a federal law and it sets forth minimum standards for protecting these employees.

The ERISA federal law requires providers of plans to provide employers with the following information about the plans offered:

  • Features of the plan
  • How the plan is funded
  • Standards for vesting
  • Minimum standards for participating
  • Accrual of benefits and funding

Tips for avoiding workplace accidents

Having a job is an important part of life, but it can also be a dangerous part of life depending on the industry in which you work. Even if you don't work in an inherently dangerous profession, it is still possible for you to suffer an injury at work. Here are some tips for avoiding accidents in the workplace in Lexington so you don't have to miss time at work.

One of the most important things you can do is take part in workplace training and education programs that discuss safety. These programs are typically offered multiple times per year. Attend as many of these events as possible, especially if it's likely that your job could result in an injury to you or a co-worker.

What to expect during an MSHA mine inspection

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) division of the U.S. Department of Labor is required to inspect surface mines twice a year, and underground mines four times a year. Additional inspections are required for mines with higher levels of toxic gas and/or explosives, as well as those that are reported due to hazardous conditions. Knowing what to expect during an inspection can help you avoid citations and fines.

The MSHA inspector will arrive with checklists in hand, and make note of violations as well as all actions taken to correct any violations. These regularly required MSHA examinations will include inspections of equipment, work areas, and certain records that must be kept by mine operators. Mine operators are required to keep records of all examinations and corrective actions taken for one year, and must make them available to MSHA inspectors upon request.

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