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Scottsdale Employment Law Blog

Defending employees' rights in the workplace

Employees often believe their employers are the ones with absolutely all the power in any conflict, but this is not as true as it may feel. In many cases, employees have a great deal of power to object to the practices of an employer, especially if the employer is breaking the law or some noncriminal regulation.

If you believe that your employer is operating in some way that violates employees' rights, you should carefully consider how to proceed. You may have a number of protections under the law, but it is always worth careful preparation before you move forward.

More now than ever, women feel emboldened to call out sexual harassment

As sexual harassment and misconduct claims continue to mount against prominent public figures, women in workplaces across the United States are saying out loud, "I don't have to be silent anymore. I don't have to be afraid anymore."

Speaking out about sexual harassment takes courage, and more and more employees are feeling emboldened to assert their civil rights and hold wrongdoers accountable.

Are noncompetition agreements fair?

In many industries and job sectors, employees expect to receive some form of noncompetition agreement at some point during their time with a company or as they exit. Whether or not they are commonplace, are such noncompetition agreements justifiably fair to the employee? To some degree, this question spend on individual priorities and perspectives on employment law, but in the legal sense, viable noncompetition agreements must meet three standards.

First, the agreement must be reasonable in its scope. This means that the agreement cannot place objectively unreasonable restrictions on the employe, especially as it relates to geographical restrictions or periods of time. Many agreements simply ask too much from an employee. If an agreement's reach far exceeds its grasp, it may not hold up on court.

What to do if your paycheck is late

If your employer does not pay you your paycheck on schedule, your personal matters can swing out of control quickly. If you're like most people, you depend on your employer's timeliness to make sure that you can pay your bills and put food on the table. But what do you do if your employer doesn't pay you promptly?

Whenever it comes to employment and wage issues, it is useful to consult with an experienced employees' rights attorney. An employer not paying you is a serious matter, and you may have a number of ways to use the strength of the law to rectify the situation.

Does your employer take workplace sexual harassment seriously?

The matter of sexual harassment in the workplace has taken center stage again in recent months, this time focused on sexual misconduct within the entertainment industry and the political world. However, sexual misconduct and harassment occur regularly in every area of employment, and we must take the fight against such behavior seriously.

Employers can do many things to reduce the likelihood of sexual harassment in the workplace. This begins with establishing clear, appropriate, internal policies that define sexual harassment in plain, effective terms and lays out how employees should respond. Part of an employer's responsibility is to define the consequences of sexual harassment and then follow through on those consequences if an employee violates the policy.

Challenges to a psychologist's license

Undoubtedly, one important reason why you chose to go into the delicate work of psychology is because you want to help people with mental and emotional problems. Perhaps you have a history of such issues yourself, or you watched a loved one struggle with mental illness all through life. Whatever your inspiration, you have spent considerable time, money and effort getting your degree and your license to practice psychology.

You may be surprised to know how easily your license could be jeopardized. In fact, one report revealed that 40 percent of psychologists who practice 20 years or longer will receive notice that someone has filed a complaint against them with the Arizona Board of Psychologist Examiners. If this happens to you, all your hard work may hang in the balance.

Sexual harassment is never 'friendly'

Allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior in Hollywood have cropped up before, and many times, the celebrity at the center of the scandal is able to brush it off or disappear into quiet disgrace. This time, however, the scandal broke with fury, opening the floodgates to dozens of women who spoke up to allege that film executive Harvey Weinstein had sexually harassed, intimidated and or assaulted them.

If you have suffered any such hostility at your workplace, you undoubtedly understand the courage it takes to come forward.

National Parks under fire for discrimination in the workplace

The Grand Canyon National Park and many other National Parks throughout the country came under fire recently regarding allegations that many employees of the National Parks Service suffered harassment and discrimination on the job. Unfortunately, discrimination and prejudice can occur anywhere, even in places like the Park Service where one might not expect it.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke responded to the allegations against the National Park Service in a respectable manner, encouraging those who experience discrimination within the organization to report it confidently. Zinke expressed great concern at the state of the organization and even encouraged employees to bravely keep moving their complaints to higher and higher individuals in the chain of command if they do not feel that their concerns are properly addressed.

Former manager combats wrongful termination

It's easy to think of a wrongful termination as the kind of the thing that arises when someone or some group of people with influence over employment at a company or organization orchestrates the firing of an employee they dislike personally. However, sometimes wrongful termination disputes are not personal at all, but rather entirely about conflicts over procedural issues.

Take, for instance, a wrongful termination suit originally filed in 2011 that is finally moving forward. The suit alleges that an individual was fired inappropriately on misguided claims that he charged the company for a trip that was not business related. The plaintiff contends that the trip in question was not only business related, it also received approval as an expense.

Arizona tribes face criticism for harassment response

A recent report delivered by the U.S. Department of Interior suggests that the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has fallen short of its duties responding to reports of sexual harassment in the workplace by individuals working within Colorado River Indian Tribes organizations. According to the report, the Bureau did not properly respond to the seriousness of these harassment allegations in the workplace.

One of the key areas where the BIA drew a distinction in the complaints was suggesting that it had limited power to discipline the individuals accused of harassment because the subjects of the harassment were not also employees. These claims focused on online interactions between a BIA employee and other members of a tribe. In its initial response, the BIA claimed that because the individuals who received the harassing material were not also employees of the BIA, they lacked either the authority or obligation to punish the suspect.