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In the wake of flooding or heavy snow fall countless businesses close their doors, and many individuals are coping with homes in disrepair. If you are wondering whether your employer should pay you for lost time, here are some simple rules: pay during bad weather.

If you do not have an employment contract that specifies the exact amount of time that you are to be employed and the conditions under which you can be dismissed, you are considered an "at will employee". What is that? Find out more about your dismissal rights.

Union members make 28% more on average.

Most union members have excellent healthcare benefits.
Union members enjoy greater job security.
Formal grievance procedures prevent employees from being dismissed for arbitrary reasons.
Unionized workplaces are not usually subject to employment-at-will.
Find out more about Labor Unions.

US House Delays White Collar Overtime Pay Exemptions

10/01/16 - The U.S. House of Representatives approved a measure to delay by six months the Obama administration's rule to extend mandatory overtime to more than 4 million workers, despite a White House promise to veto the bill. The new legislation would provide overtime pay to low paid managers, who currently don't qualify for that. At the moment, under the federal law, if an employee makes at least $23,660 per year - or $455 per week - their employer doesn't have to pay them overtime. The new policy would raise that bar to $47,476 annually or $913 per week for a full time worker. This new salary threshold would become effective on December 1, 2016.

Seven states - New York, California, Massachusetts , Hawaii, Oregon, Connecticut and Illinois - have extended provisions to give domestic workers protections on minimum wage, overtime pay and paid leave, and some of them also provide discrimination and harassment protections. Read more on Domestic Workers Rights.

Nursing Moms at Work

Under the Affordable Care Act, employers are required to provide new moms with reasonable breaks and a private place -- not the bathroom -- to pump breast milk for her nursing child. Read more about the laws for Nursing Moms at Work.

Are you shackled to your job?

09/01/16 - Millions of Americans signed contracts with noncompete agreements they probably didn't understand. And they are not well paid executives with knowledge of trade secrets.
15 % of workers without a 4-year college degree are subject to noncompetes, and 14% of workers earning less than $40,000 have noncompetes. Most of these workers are locked into low-paying jobs until they can make enough money to move to another city or can suspend their careers for a year to let the noncompete run out. 
Illinois prohibited noncompetes for low wage workers. Oklahoma and North Dakota passed laws making noncompetes unenforceable. California, Idaho and Oregon only allow noncompetes under special circumstances, but legislation stalled in Washington and Texas seems to use noncompetes as a tactic to lock low wage workers into jobs without future.
So, check your contract! Don't let a company steal your future!
Source: SeattleTimes, White House

The United States is the only developed country without laws providing paid maternity leave. The Labor Department is awarding half a million dollars to help feasible studies on new paid leave policies. See the accompanying video at our Maternity section.

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