Tag Archives: Rights

I’m on Medical Leave, Can I be Fired? Do I Have To Do Work?

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is one of the most important protections for workers dealing with their own medical issues or the health issues of a family member.  It provides time off for medical care or recuperation and guarantees that you cannot be disciplined or terminated for taking the leave (if you need to get acquainted with the basic protections of the FMLA, here is a video presentation I made with all the info).  Unfortunately, while the FMLA does protect you from termination for taking medical leave, there still may be other grounds that an individual can be terminated even while on leave.  Additionally, many employers now require some amount of call-in or work done while on leave, but the contours of what exactly can be required are fuzzy.  Hit the link for a few cases that illustrate these aspects of the FMLA… Continue reading

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Filed under Family Medical Leave Act, Uncategorized

U.S. Supreme Court Limits Employer Liability for Discrimination

In two cases over the summer, the U.S. Supreme Court clarified some important aspects of discrimination law. Unfortunately, in both cases they decided in favor of the employer, creating new limitations on when an employee can successfully sue for discrimination. These cases are guaranteed to have impacts for all employees so we will summarize them each below.  Hit the jump for all the details… Continue reading

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Filed under Discrimination, Rights

New Resources on Pregnancy and Lactation Rights

Pregnancy and Lactation PRresentation

Missouri NEA has developed two new resources that explain the legal rights of individuals related to pregnancy and lactation.  For those who just want a basic FAQ, there is a basic explanation designed so that anyone should be able to understand what rights they have (soon to appear on the Legal Q&A page of mnea.org and available here).

For individuals who prefer a more interactive explanation, they can use this automated Prezi that includes a full voice-over presentation on pregnancy and lactation rights.  The entire presentation only takes about 7 minutes and addresses not only rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act, but also the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and Family Medical Leave Act.  Either way you choose, Missouri NEA makes it easy to learn about your legal rights!

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Filed under Family Medical Leave Act, Resources, Rights

Billionaire Attacking Teacher Rights in Missouri

A retired financial industry executive and billionaire, Rex Sinquefield, has decided again to use his own personal fortune to attack the rights of middle-class teacher’s in Missouri.  Perhaps best known for comparing public education to the KKK or attempting to remove Missouri’s income tax and replace it with a “Everything Tax” that would blow a huge hole in Missouri’s budget, Mr. Sinquefield has chosen this year as the one to remove the basic procedural work protections that are provided to teachers in Missouri.  It’s time that we stop looking to hurt employees in Missouri and start looking for ways to make working conditions better for everyone.  Mr. Sinquefield’s route is not the way.

Hit the jump for the complete news release on the proposed changes to the Missouri constitution… Continue reading

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Filed under Legislation, Missouri

Social Media and Public Sector Employment

With the terrific title “Can’t Escape From the Memory” William A Herbert, the Deputy Chair of the New York Public Employment Relations Board, has created a thorough analysis of the interaction between social media use and public sector law.  Part of my job is traveling around Missouri and educating public school employees about the legal, and practical, realities of using social media.  Mr. Herbert’s paper does a great job of analyzing how social media use by public employees implicates free speech rights, privacy rights, and collective bargaining rights and is a must-read for public employees who regularly use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.  Unfortunately, the only state-specific labor information is for New York, Michigan, and Florida, so public employees in Missouri will need to keep in mind that our legal structures here are a bit different.

Hit the jump for a brief analysis of the differences for Missourians and the paper’s official abstract. Continue reading

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Filed under Collective Bargaining, Missouri, Social Media

Salary Schedule Credit for Out-of-State Teaching Experience

Missouri is somewhat unique in that its two major metropolises both straddle state lines, with one part in Missouri and another in either Kansas or Illinois.  Due to this geo-political quirk, nearly all professionals in Missouri are faced with the decision of whether or not to secure a license or certificate in one of Missouri’s neighboring states.  A recent case from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals identifies another aspect of work that could be affected by crossing state lines: placement on salary schedules.  See Connelly v. Steel Valley Sch. Dist., No. 11-4206 (3d Cir. Jan. 24, 2013).

Hit the jump for the “Show Me” the money goodness (Was that a pun within a pun?? Yes it was)… Continue reading

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First Amendment Principles, or in this case Principal

One of the issues that teachers ask me about the most is what First Amendment speech rights public employees have.  Most of those individuals are then shocked when they realize just how limited the right really is.  The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals recently delivered just such a shock to a principal who was fired for trying to do the right thing.  See McArdle v. Peoria Sch. Dist., No. 11-2437 (7th Cir., Jan. 31, 2013).

Read on for more information but first… From my post last week, you may recall that this week is Missouri NEA’s Legal Week, where we provide free webinars on legal subjects to Missouri NEA members.  Conveniently, one of those presentations is a full primer on First Amendment rights of public employees that I put together with my coworker, Susan Wagner.  A recording of the presentation is available here and I definitely recommend checking it out to help understand all of the aspects of the case.

Without further ado, on to the case… Continue reading

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Filed under First Amendment