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Kansas City Missouri Employment Law Blog

How can I deal with a toxic boss?

A toxic, bullying boss can make work a living nightmare. It can also be difficult to deal with this issue since your boss holds authority over you and your position. There are steps you can take to mitigate the situation, however. Forbes offers the following tips on how you can deal with a toxic or abusive boss on a daily basis. 

Seek out the support of others

Employment immigration and discrimination

For those who decide to relocate to another country for work, they may have to work through a lot of different challenges. Not only can moving in and of itself be immensely difficult, but there are various legal issues that may surface. Moreover, the workplace can be particularly difficult amidst immigration challenges, and even when things move forward smoothly it can be hard to adjust to a new job in a new country. Regrettably, some people have an especially difficult time due to discrimination.

Those who have moved to the U.S. for work purposes should do everything in their power to ensure that their rights are not violated. Unfortunately, various violation may still occur, and some immigrants are virtually powerless to prevent wrongdoing. Many people have been taken advantage of or mistreated at work, and some feel stuck and voiceless. After all, living in a new country can be terrifying and the prospect of standing up for your rights by filing a complaint—or even a lawsuit—can seem like a recipe for disaster.

Why won't my co-worker leave me alone?

Most people have experienced unwanted advances from a co-worker. While you would hope that the person gets the hint pretty quickly, especially when you make your displeasure obvious, this isn't always the case. Psychology Today looked into one study that probed the issue of why some people seem oblivious to the discomfort their unwanted advances cause others. The study group, which was comprised of 942 participants, were asked about a time where they rejected someone's advances or had their own advances rejected by someone else. 

Researchers found that those making unwanted advances were not aware of the level of discomfort experienced by the target of their affection. In fact, these people reported being quite stressed by the continued attention, to the point where some even considered changing jobs to get away from the activity. They also reported taking great pains to avoid the person making the advances, which can be difficult in a work setting. 

What problems affect tipped workers?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) designates rules and regulations surrounding tips workers. It's imperative that employers abide by these regulations, or they face serious reprisal from governing entities. It's also important that tipped workers understand their rights as it pertains to their wages. This allows them to take the proper steps when any of the common problems listed below occur. 

Tip pooling is a common practice where all tipped workers, which can include workers like waitstaff and bartenders, combine tips to be shared equally. While this practice is acceptable under some circumstances, workers who generally aren't tipped can't be included in the pool. For instance, a cook shouldn't be included in a tip pool arrangement since cooks often earn the minimum wage or higher. Conversely, tipped workers earn a lower wage of $2.13, which when combined with their tips must equal the federal minimum wage of $7.25 or be higher. If tip pools include traditionally non-tipped workers, employers must provide the full minimum wage as well as the allotted tips to traditionally tipped workers. 

What are the signs of ageism in the workplace?

Older workers often face discrimination based on the belief that they're less capable of doing a good job. Age discrimination may be abundantly obvious in some cases, but it can also be subtle, while still bothersome to accomplished older workers. Being able to identify ageism in the workplace will enable you to seek the proper assistance if you're discriminated against. In this case, AARP recommends looking out for the following signs. 

Older workers being pushed out of a job often has little to do with their capabilities. In some cases, workplaces might be interested in replacing older workers because hiring younger, entry-level staff will ultimately be less expensive. If so, you might be privy to seemingly innocent comments or jokes about when you're going to finally retire. While these comments aren't always meant to be taken seriously, it's best to ensure your boss that you don't have any plans on retiring soon. If the comments persist, consider filing a complaint with your human resources department. 

How can I succeed in a male-dominated industry?

As women make great strides in the modern workforce, they may find themselves the lone female in their male-dominated place of work. This can be a tough situation to navigate, especially when privy to harassing or discriminatory behaviors. Despite these challenges, women can succeed in these environments, according to The Muse

It's often hard to make your voice heard at work, especially when you're the only woman in a team meeting. In this case, you could be missing out on great opportunities, ones that your male colleagues aren't shy about claiming. A little bit of assertiveness can go a long way in this instance. Make sure you're speaking up when a project is up for grabs, so you can be considered alongside your male counterparts. Keep in mind that even if you're overlooked in one instance, your boss may remember your drive and motivation when the next big project rolls around. 

Dealing with wage and hour issues as an immigrant

Workers employed in various fields and from many different backgrounds may be subjected to different employee rights violations in the workplace, such as discrimination and sexual harassment. However, wage and hour violations are especially problematic, and some workers are particularly vulnerable in this regard. For example, those who have immigrated to the U.S. in order to develop their career may have an especially high chance of being taken advantage of, in some instances. If you have experienced any wage and hour violations as an immigrant, it is pivotal to take a firm stance and stick up for yourself.

There are a lot of reasons why immigrants can be particularly vulnerable when it comes to wage and hour violations such as denied overtime, denied breaks or even an employer's failure to pay a worker minimum wage. For starters, immigrants may experience discrimination, which can manifest in various ways including violations regarding a worker's pay. Moreover, workers may not be familiar with the laws and protections that are in place in the U.S., which could cause them to fail to recognize violations when they occur.

Reviewing some examples of wage violations

From minimum wage violations to denied overtime, we have addressed a number of different wage and hour violations on this blog. In this post, we will take a closer look at some of the different ways in which these violations occur. In some instances, employees may not even realize that their rights were violated, while others may be aware that they are being taken advantage of but afraid to speak out. In Kansas City and the rest of Missouri, it is imperative for those who have been subjected to these violations to take a firm stand for their employee rights.

A worker may notice that their check seems to be smaller than it should, or they may be directly told by an employer that they are not eligible for overtime pay when they actually were. Employers may manipulate an employee's work log, or they may even ask someone to work while they are not clocked in. For example, an employer may ask a worker to do a few things after they have clocked out, and this can become increasingly concerning over time.

Is reverse racism real?

Racial tensions seem to be high these days, even within the workplace. As a result, more and more accusations of "reverse racism" are being levied by white people, who often cite examples like TV channels marketed exclusively to minority groups or calls for a more diversified workplace. But how valid are these criticisms and is it possible for a white person to be discriminated against in a place of work? Business Insider aims to answer these questions. 

To get to the bottom of claims of reverse racism, one must first look at what the term racism actually refers to. Unlike prejudice, which entails having a preconceived notion about a race or group without direct experience, racism has a component of power. Racism is a systemic issue, where the group in power routinely prevents minority groups from accessing rights and privileges that the majority group is privy to. In this sense, racism is "prejudice plus power". That means that a person who lacks power in a society, such as a minority, can be prejudicial, but not be racist. 

Why are victims of sexual harassment reluctant to report?

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a serious issue that impacts both women and men. However, when an incident occurs many people are reluctant to report the matter to the proper authorities, and the reasons for this are often quite complex. Psychology Today explains why it's so difficult for victims fo sexual harassment in the workplace to make the matter known. 

Reporting can be intimidating for a number of reasons. Some people worry that their job will be impacted if they report issues to higher-ups. The fear is that proving the harassment will ultimately be an issue of one person's word against another, which can be scary if the person doing the harassing is a manager or supervisor. The victim might worry that their job will be jeopardized or they'll be passed over for promotions and raises. There is also a social fear that the person will be looked at as a troublemaker among peers. 

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