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Joel Efrem Cohen

Joel Cohen’s Answers

426 total


  • Do I have to tell my employer I am pregnant? If so when do I let them know? If I am to tell them on my own, can they fire me?

    Can my employer fire me for being dishonest about being pregnant?

    Joel’s Answer

    If you have the requisite number of employees at your company (speak with a lawyer to learn of how the word "employee" is assessed by the federal government), generally speaking 15+ in Texas (15+ employees on the payroll for 20+ weeks during the year of the discrimination or prior year), then the employer isn't allowed to fire you simply because you reveal that you're pregnant. If you choose to notify your employer, you may want to do so in writing (keep a copy; or send an email from your home address). If you have fewer than 15 employees at your company, then you risk not being protected by the laws if you reveal your pregnant status.

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  • Petco now requires part-time associates to work a minimum of 15 hours a week now or they are terminated. IS this legal?

    My son is 22 years old and has left cerebral palsy and seizure disorder. He currently can't drive so he has a weekend end work schedule so that I can take him. He has worked at Petco for 14 months with an avg of 10-12 hours per week. Now due to a ...

    Joel’s Answer

    Your question is a difficult one to answer, given that companies normally can require X hours for Y employee to work. But the ADAAA in theory allows for reasonable accommodations, and one would hope the company would grant one to your son.

    You and he ought to engage in the "interactive process" by communicating with management your desire for a schedule that can meet your son's needs, namely a reasonable accommodation. I'd be hard pressed to believe the company can't make a slight adjustment (exception). You probably want to put your request in writing, so as to establish a track record.

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  • Case worthy? I filed a complaint citing clearly unfair treatment for promotion opportunity - Employer responded by retaliation

    a. Working conditions changed without cause or explanation b. Deprived of military pay by being removed from flying schedule twice c. Protected Communication disclosed d. Commander’s threatening comment that if I did not provide statem...

    Joel’s Answer

    You should speak with an attorney about your specific complaint regarding promotion opportunities. Depending upon how you couched it (e.g. lack of promotion based on age, race, etc...), you may or may not have a valid retaliation case.

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  • How long does it typically take for the EEOC to deliver its findings on a discrimination complaint?

    I initially filed the complaint in November, received final paperwork saying it was under investigation in March and still have not heard anything back. I have attempted to contact my case worker but they have not responded.

    Joel’s Answer

    It depends. Some of my clients have cases where the investigation starts about a year later. In contrast, I have a client whose case has been sitting at EEOC for 3 years (despite my plea for the investigation to begin, given we have ample corroboration and seek a particular outcome). So it is difficult to give you an answer for the "typical" length of time prior to the EEOC rendering a determination on a particular case.

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  • How do I represent myself during an unemployment hearing?

    I am with a temp agency. They denied my unemployment benefits. The reason they are denied is they are saying I didn't follow the rules and conduct of the job which I did. I reported two incidents where two guys used provocative offense language to...

    Joel’s Answer

    If by the word "provocative" you really mean the two male co-workers used sexual, racial, religious, national origin-related, age-related, disability-related derogatory language towards you, I suggest you contact an attorney to speak about the matter. If you simply mean they said something mean to you, then you won't succeed in any hearing or future agency filing.

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  • Can I file a lawsuit on the company I work for if my boss is making sexual and inappropriate remarks to me and other employees

    He has been extremely inappropriate and unprofessional

    Joel’s Answer

    Possibly, depending upon the minimum number of employees that this company employs, as well as taking various steps beforehand that will increase the odds that you have a legitimate case. You ought to consult with a lawyer before taking any further steps. There are many hurdles to overcome in this area of the law, and a consultation with an attorney will help guide you.

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  • Religious Accomodations Regarding Appearance

    My religious beliefs require me to grow a free flowing beard. Can my employer deny my request for accommodation for an exemption of a new policy requiring beards to be trimmed to a set length? I have asked for am accommodation to be made, and ha...

    Joel’s Answer

    It depends (your relig. accommodations issue). Title VII applies to any practice that is motivated by a religious belief, even if other people may engage in the same practice for secular reasons. However, if a dress or grooming practice is a personal preference, for example, where it is worn for fashion rather than for religious reasons, it does not come under Title VII's religion protections.Examples of religious dress and grooming practices include wearing religious clothing or articles (e.g., a Muslim hijab (headscarf), a Sikh turban, or a Christian cross); observing a religious prohibition against wearing certain garments (e.g., a Muslim, Pentecostal Christian, or Orthodox Jewish woman's practice of not wearing pants or short skirts), or adhering to shaving or hair length observances (e.g., Sikh uncut hair and beard, Rastafarian dreadlocks, or Jewish peyot (sidelocks)).

    In most instances, employers are required by federal law to make exceptions to their usual rules or preferences to permit applicants and employees to observe religious dress and grooming practices.

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  • I filed sexually harassment with my place of employment and they kept harassing and writing me up so i filed with eeoc

    they finally fired the supervisor and eeoc said the company want to offer me 3weeks of pay because i found another job pretty quickly and yes i did after the harassment but less pay and i lost my seniority at that company because i had no choice ...

    Joel’s Answer

    An attorney would need to know plenty more facts before being able to offer solid advice. I suggest you contact an attorney , if you wish, to go over the issues you presented above.

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  • Do I need an attorney to get a well deserved promotion as a civilian employee of the Department of Defense?

    I am a 55 year old female with a Bachelor's degree who has applied for four positions within my department and have been found qualified and referred to the hiring official, but have been passed up each time. The last position I applied for requi...

    Joel’s Answer

    It is up to you as to whether you hire an attorney. You may have an age discrimination claim.

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