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Beware of Summer Jobs That Abuse Clock-In Rules

With unemployment near record lows, an increasing number of teens are entering the workforce in the form of summer jobs. Excited to line their pockets with a little change, these new workers are eager to please employers and often don't know their rights. One of the major labor law violations they fall prey to is clock-in rules. What are these? If you have to ask, you may have already fallen victim to them.

Whether you're just getting your first summer job, or you're 20 years in to the workforce, you're probably missing those summer days when work was the furthest thing from your mind. It's no fun working when it feels like the rest of the world is playing.

And whether you have questions about how much you can get paid for working a summer job, or how long you can get paid time off during the summer months, we've got some answers for you. Here are some tips for summer employees, from our archives:

5 Questions to Ask a Workplace Discrimination Lawyer

There are a lot of ways discrimination can occur in the workplace. If you suspect it's occurring at your job, you probably have a lot of questions about the discrimination itself and what you should do. Here are five questions to ask a workplace discrimination lawyer.

Getting laid off is no picnic. While you have a lot more time on your hands, you can have a lot less dough in your wallet and a lot less certainly about your future employment and financial security.

In an effort to aid former employees with their sudden loss of income, employers are required to make contributions to unemployment insurance programs, which pay laid off workers benefits while they are out of a job. While none of us are excited to apply for unemployment, when does it become too late to file for benefits?

When news breaks about someone being punished or fired from their job for things they say -- like the NFL penalizing teams if their players do not show respect for the national anthem -- the first question from many people is, "What about the First Amendment?" And while we generally have the freedom of speech, there are limits on our First Amendment protections.

One of those limits is the employment context. Because most employment is at-will, meaning an employer can generally fire an employee for any reason or no reason at all, you might get fired for something you say, even if it's not at or involving work. There are limits on that as well, and some types of speech that are protected at work. Here are a few of the biggest questions when it comes to free speech in the workplace, and some answers as well.

Who's on the Hook When Public Officials Settle Lawsuits?

It seems like every other week we hear about a new scandal coming out of Congress. Whether it's another sordid affair, allegations of sexual harassment, or an abrupt and mysterious resignation, Congressional headlines are reading like trashy, unoriginal bedside novels these days.

But there are victims to these stories -- usually more than we know given the prevalence of nondisclosure agreements and confidentiality clauses. And although some victims do finally receive some sort of compensation, it begs the question, "Who actually pays for these lawsuit settlements?" In many cases, you do. But that could be changing.

Can Uber and Lyft Drivers Get Employment Status Under New CA Ruling?

Californians have a lot to brag about. Beaches, mountains, the Warriors, and avocados are just a few of their treasures. But the ridiculously expensive housing market and high cost of living leave many residents scrambling for extra income.

Enter the gig economy. Many Californians supplement their incomes by working side jobs for Uber, Lyft, Amazon delivery companies, and the like. And these jobs are usually considered independent contractor positions with fewer benefits and protections. However, a recent California Supreme Court ruling means workers like Uber and Lyft drivers could see their employment status change.

My Employer Stopped Paying Me, What Should I Do?

It's a pretty basic concept. You do the work, you get paid for it. In many cases, people don't even really do the work, and they still get paid. But what happens when you hold up your end of the bargain but your employer doesn't? Here are a few tips to keep in mind for what to do if your employer stopped paying you.

Do You Lose Your Pension If Fired?

Whether you resign or are fired, losing a job is never easy. And, it's not just the loss of income that can be difficult, but also the loss of benefits. For example, deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe was fired just two days before his retirement, which means he's no longer eligible to receive his full pension. Pensions and other benefits are generally terminated when you're fired, but there are certain rights that an employee has after his or her job has been terminated.

Hospital Avoids Racial Discrimination Claim With Religious Exception

People have a general right to work in a place that's free of discrimination, whether it's based on race, religion, gender, age, or disability. In the event that you feel you have become the victim of employment discrimination, you can usually file a claim with the government and/or file a civil lawsuit.

However, that doesn't mean that you'll always have a valid claim against your employer. Just ask Mark Penn, whose lawsuit against New York Methodist Hospital for religious and racial discrimination was recently dismissed by the Second Circuit.