Thursday, March 08, 2007

Legal Snippets: It's all about Employment Law

American teenagers are working too much in dangerous and unsupervised conditions according to a new study released in the March issue of Pediatrics. The results come from a 2003 study of 928 teenagers by University of North Carolina. Teens under the age of sixteen are not supposed to work past 7 p.m. under federal regulations, but often do. There are also restrictions limiting the dangerous equipment that those under the age of eighteen can use, but this study found frequent violations. To learn more check out this Reuters article.

There's an interesting Nevada case involving Walgreens and claims by former employees that they were racially discriminated against and forced to tolerate a violent workplace. Click here. It only took the jury 45 minutes last month to decide that the employees weren't discriminated against. But an appeal is planned that could illustrate just how elusive defining discrimination and violence are. Would you consider kicking a box or slamming a door violence? I suppose it depends. And that's the challenge - it all depends on the jury you get - if your case survives long enough to reach a jury.

In Denver, two women were more successful in raising their claim that they were discriminated against by their employer. The jury believed their claim they were fired because they refused advances from a manager -- believed them to the tune of $3.175 million. Click here.

A Ohio man claims he was discriminated against for the 32 years that he was employed by a company. Click here. He alleges that the union and company only made token investigations after he complained. This case has a long way to go before a jury considers it.

There's all kinds of fodder for external conflict in your characters' lives if you insert some of these kind of threads to your book. I can't think of much that is more disruptive to life than problems at work.

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