law + order

Wondering what’s legal and illegal at work? Answers to your questions about law + order at work.

my new boss is an elder in a sexist church

A reader writes: My new boss is an elder in his church which has very old-fashioned beliefs about women. They believe that the role of women is to obey their husbands unquestioningly and more or less only speak when spoken to, at least when there is a man present. I don’t have a problem with […]

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my boss is discriminating against my pregnant employee

A reader writes: We have a colleague who has just left to spend a year working remotely (well, we’re all working remotely now!) so he and his wife can live near her family for a year. We needed to split his role into two anyway, so we hired someone, “Jane,” to take over his day-to-day […]

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it’s now illegal to fire someone for being gay or trans

As of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling this morning, it’s now illegal in the U.S. to fire someone for being gay or trans. Until today,  some states protected gay and trans people from being fired simply for being gay or trans, but the majority of states did not. That protection now extends to the entire country. […]

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if you have a disability, do employers have to let you keep working from home after they re-open?

A reader writes: My friend’s office is reopening and bringing everyone back to work. They’re refusing (or at the very least being VERY hesitant) to provide accommodations, even though she’s immunocompromised and has a doctor’s note verifying this. She’s asking to be allowed to continue working from home (which everyone in her organization has been […]

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our employer wants to cut our pay — retroactively

A reader writes: I work for a national nonprofit based in the U.S. with offices across the country. On Friday, our CEO sent out the dreaded “due to COVID-19, layoffs are coming” email. In it, we were told that on the following Monday they would be laying off 25% of the staff nationwide, and those […]

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your employer can take your temperature, and other changes

The EEOC has issued new guidance about coronavirus in the workplace — and has clarified that some practices that wouldn’t normally be allowed are permissible during the outbreak. Here’s what you need to know. • Your employer can ask if you’ve had symptoms associated with coronavirus (fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat), if […]

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can my employer lay me off and ask me to volunteer?

A reader writes: My employer, a medium-sized nonprofit, is experiencing a lot of understandable fundraising and budget anxiety during COVID-19. While I know everyone’s doing the best they can to prevent cuts to staff or layoffs, I heard through a coworker this week that one idea our CEO has been kicking around has been to […]

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