Laws at both the federal and state level aim to protect employees at work from wrongful acts, including discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, retaliation, and many other abuses that, despite legislative efforts, seem to persist in workplaces across the nation.
I'm an activist who uses legal knowledge and experience to help others advance social justice issues in Louisville, in Kentucky, and really anywhere in the United States. I am active in law, labor, faith, and politics, and I got my start working with and for labor unions. I have been on the side of the working class ever since.
You won't believe this one. Some people were working in construction. The company didn't pay them overtime. Instead, it paid bonuses. A bonus, a flat amount every two weeks, instead of time and a half. The same amount each and every two weeks no matter how many hours worked.
In 1968, the Kerner Commission report became a nationwide bestseller, which predicted that "Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white — separate and unequal." Kerner Commission 2.0 picks up where the first commission left off, with education-centric solutions to our most intractable problems.
We have all witnessed how public activity throughout U.S. history has led to fundamental changes in public policy. Whether it’s Rosa Parks refusing to go to the back of the bus, or parents descending on school boards to bring about curriculum change, people in motion make a difference.
Class actions: a group of people banding together against a common opponent for a shared injustice. For instance, when a company continually fails to give its workers the appropriate wages and hours, those workers might come together and decide to file a class action lawsuit against their employer.
Our laws against discrimination were written when racial discrimination was obvious and out in the open. When bigots used racial epithets, loud and proud. When the government enforced business segregation. When the law itself was discriminatory.
What is racism? The word is so much a part of the daily news and daily conversation that it deserves careful consideration. Let’s unpack it. I heard a speaker recently say racism is “a system of advantage based on race.” True, but does that definition explain and clarify?
Too many initial consults start like this: “I feel like I’ve been discriminated against, but I can’t prove it.” Or, “It seems like I’m being retaliated against, but I can’t prove it.” My response is, “You don’t have to: that’s my job.”
The law compensates for lost wages and lost future wages. But your life is more than your paycheck. It’s your life. It’s satisfaction and joy when it’s good. And it’s an embarrassment, humiliation, and emotional distress when your life on the job goes bad. Embarrassment, humiliation and emotional distress are damages (for compensation) under federal and state law.