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Denver Employment Law Blog

Sexual harassment at work is a costly issue for everyone

Sexual harassment is a problem in the workplace and it creates hostility. It is imperative that all employers take steps to ensure that the company is free of all types of harassment. Not only does this make the business compliant with the law so that workers can do their jobs without being placed in an unnecessarily stressful environment, it also helps to shore up the economy. Sexual harassment victims lose around 973,000 hours in leave that is unpaid annually. The overall cost is around $4.4 million per year in this country.

There are several things that everyone should remember about sexual harassment. There doesn't have to be any actual physical contact for a person to be a victim. It is also possible to be a victim of sexual harassment if you are only a witness to someone else being sexually harassed. However, you might not have the same legal rights and claims as the primary victim.

We can help negotiate your severance agreement

No employee in the Denver area wants to get the dreaded call in to the boss's office or up to human resources for an unspecified conversation or, worse, a conversation about their future at the company. These sorts of conversations usually end with the employee's getting terminated, either for cause or otherwise.

Employers too, although perhaps for different reasons, rarely find it best to fire an employee they spent time and money to train.

Famous beverage manufacturer facing retaliation claim

A man who at one time was a high-ranked employee at National Beverage Corp., the manufacturer of the famous LaCroix sparkling water drink, has sued his former employer on claims that he was wrongfully terminated.

Specifically, he alleges he was fired in retaliation for his opposing an alleged scheme to mislead the public. He says that, as part of his duties, he became aware that the President of his company planned to announce that LaCroix's cans no longer contained a chemical referred to as BPA back in 2018.

Did your employer discriminate against you while restructuring?

Businesses are under constant pressure to increase their profits year after year. That can be particularly difficult, as the economy changes and evolves over time. Demands for goods and services ebb and wane, and even the best company can't perpetually turn record-breaking profits.

Unfortunately, obligations to shareholders and investors can sometimes outweigh an employer's sense of duty or obligation to its employees or even to the law. Companies may engage in questionable or even illegal tactics to reduce their operating expenses and increase their profit margin. That could mean firing employees who make more (usually older workers) to replace them with lower-paid staff.

Supreme Court expands employee rights

The United States Supreme Court has clarified an important procedural rule that may serve to allow more Colorado workers who file federal discrimination cases to pursue their claims without having to worry about legal pitfalls.

To file what is called a Title VII claim for discrimination based on gender, race, religion, national origin and the like, a worker in the Denver area would ordinarily be expected to first file an administrative complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC.

Is that non-compete clause even enforceable?

Most company executives and mid-level managers are expected to sign non-compete agreements as a condition of their hire or continued employment. It's a reasonable expectation to prohibit their leaving the company with pilfered recipes or trade secrets or from siphoning off top-tier clients for their new venture.

But not all non-compete clauses will stand up under legal scrutiny, as one sandwich-maker learned a few years ago.

Why do so many choose not to report sexual harassment?

Although recent years have shown a renewed effort to change this, the reality is that many victims of sexual harassment still choose not to report it.

Likewise, many witnesses to workplace misconduct, including sexual harassment, choose to rationalize or it or try to ignore it rather than raising their concerns through the appropriate channels.

Warehouse workers accuse Amazon of wrongful termination

A total of seven women who once worked for Amazon have separately accused the online retail giant of pregnancy discrimination and wrongful termination.

The women, who are from several different states, each alleged that Amazon forced them out of their warehouse jobs because they got pregnant. Amazon denies the allegations and has suggested that these women were fired for good cause, including the violation of workplace rules.

Getting older? Don't let age discrimination hold you back

As you get older, you learn more about your job. You advance in your career, earn more and continue learning to make sure you're keeping up with all the new changes in the workforce. Over time, you find a great position, and you believe that you should continue to advance.

However, age discrimination can get in the way if you're not careful about recognizing it. People who are age 40 or older are protected against age discrimination by law. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that it is unlawful to harass or discriminate against a person due to their age.

Fiscal year 2018 pregnancy discrimination stats are available

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or "EEOC," the number of pregnancy discrimination claims filed with the federal agency dropped from 3,174 to 2,790 between the fiscal year 2017 and 2018. The EEOC is the federal agency tasked with enforcing the employment discrimination laws of the United States. A separate organization enforces Colorado's state-specific anti-discrimination laws. This is the lowest number of pregnancy discrimination charges submitted to EEOC since 2010 and represents about a 12% drop in the number of claims filed in fiscal year 2017.

The reason for the drop in the number of claims is not entirely clear, but what is especially interesting is that, despite the drop, the EEOC reports that it collected $16.6 million in benefits on behalf of pregnant women who alleged their employers discriminated against them because they were pregnant.

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