Donna Ballman

Contributor

Donna Ballman’s book, Stand Up For Yourself Without Getting Fired: Resolve Workplace Crises Before You Quit, Get Axed or Sue the Bastards, was the Winner of the Law Category of the 2012 USA Best Books Awards and is currently available for purchase. Donna is the award-winning author of The Writer’s Guide to the Courtroom: Let’s Quill All the Lawyers, a book geared toward informing novelists and screenwriters about the ins and outs of the civil justice system. She’s been representing executives, physicians and employees in Florida, including negotiating severance agreements and litigating discrimination, sexual harassment, noncompete agreements, and other employment law issues since 1986. Her blog on employee-side employment law issues, Screw You Guys, I’m Going Home, was named one of the 2011, 2012 and 2013 ABA Blawg 100 best legal blogs, Paralegal 411’s Top 25 Labor and Employment law Blogs of 2013 and the 2011 Lexis/Nexis Top 25 Labor and Employment Law Blogs.

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Pre-Employment Medical Exams: A New, Scary Kind Of Discrimination

Pre-Employment Medical Exams: A New, Scary Kind Of Discrimination

The Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act got lots of media attention when it first took effect in 2009, and then we didn't hear much about it. Until now, that is. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has announced that it filed and settled its first lawsuit under GINA, and that it filed its... Read More »

Facebook Posts And Tweets That Can Get You Fired

Facebook Posts And Tweets That Can Get You Fired

In a recent ruling, the National Labor Relations Board said an employer broke the law when it dismissed an employee who criticized it on Facebook and in an email, and who encouraged employees to unionize. The NLRB ordered the employer to reinstate the employee to his old job with back pay. The employee had... Read More »

Your Job Isn't What The Employer Promised: Is That Illegal?

Your Job Isn't What The Employer Promised: Is That Illegal?

I recently received this question from a reader. Q: I was hired for a specific job with a specific job title. Months later, my employer changed my title without asking me and made me work in a role that I neither wanted nor was qualified for. I wouldn't have left my prior job for the newly changed job title.... Read More »

Can You Be Fired For Calling In Sick -- Even With A Doctor's Note?

Can You Be Fired For Calling In Sick -- Even With A Doctor's Note?

I recently received this question from a reader: Q: I have missed about a week and half of work due to being really sick. I can barely talk and have no voice. Keep in mind here my job is a telesales rep. I call people all day. Are they legally able to fire me even though I have a doctor's note every day I... Read More »

7 Ways You Can Be Fired For Your Appearance -- Legally

7 Ways You Can Be Fired For Your Appearance -- Legally

You've almost certainly heard about the dentist who was so afraid that he couldn't resist sexually harassing his very attractive female employee that he fired her. The Iowa Supreme Court upheld the firing, saying that firing someone because they're too attractive didn't violate Iowa law. If you haven't heard... Read More »

Can Your Employer Demand Your Social Media Passwords?

Can Your Employer Demand Your Social Media Passwords?

You might remember in early 2012 the report of an employer who was demanding that applicants turn over social media passwords. Suddenly, employees came forward with similar stories, prompting Facebook to threaten suit against employers who violate user privacy. Since then, states have jumped into action.... Read More »

An Employer Asks You To Do Work For Free: Legal Or Not?

An Employer Asks You To Do Work For Free: Legal Or Not?

Dear Donna, I run into many problems with employers regarding availability and doing free work to promote business. An example is: A company would tell me that I am an independent contractor but would require me to stay in the area, without pay, in case someone would want to schedule my services last-minute. Read More »

Job Application Questions: Are Employers Really Allowed To Ask You That?

Job Application Questions: Are Employers Really Allowed To Ask You That?

For many employers, the job application is the first contact they have with you as a prospective employee. What can they ask you? What does it mean? What should you answer to some of those questions? Here are some areas of concern in your employment application. Read More »

Biggest Myths About The Right-To-Work Laws

Biggest Myths About The Right-To-Work Laws

If your employer threatens you with termination if you discuss forming or joining a union, you should report them to the NLRB. Read More »

9 Ways Your Employer Can Legally Spy On You

9 Ways Your Employer Can Legally Spy On You

Don't assume you have privacy at work. Employers are turning into real busybodies about their employees' activities. Read More »

8 Ways Employers Can Discriminate Against Workers -- Legally

8 Ways Employers Can Discriminate Against Workers -- Legally

Tthere are many forms of employment discrimination that are perfectly legal but may also have an illegal effect. Read More »

Can I Lose My Job Because Of Hurricane Sandy?

Can I Lose My Job Because Of Hurricane Sandy?

If your workplace is closed or destroyed due to a natural disaster, get in touch with your supervisor to find out what is happening and any plans to reopen. Read More »

Is Weight Discrimination At Work Illegal?

Is Weight Discrimination At Work Illegal?

No doubt about it: Record numbers of American workers are obese. By 2030, half of all American adults are expected to be obese, a new study by the Robert Wood Foundation finds. And many employers are biased against overweight workers, assuming that they're lazy or out of control. There's a correlation between... Read More »

Why Walmart Won't Fire Striking Workers -- And What That Means For You

Why Walmart Won't Fire Striking Workers -- And What That Means For You

You might have heard that non-union workers at Walmarts around the country have been striking. One of the workers' demands is to stop management retaliation against employees who speak up, and in at least one case, Walmart workers went back to work after their employer agreed to many of their demands. But most... Read More »

7 Signs Of Discrimination Against Veterans At Work

7 Signs Of Discrimination Against Veterans At Work

While American troops are overseas, fighting for their country, many people back home have "Support Our Troops" bumper stickers, hang yellow ribbons, and pray for their safe return. But once veterans return stateside, many find their employers aren't jumping up and down to have them come back to work. Veterans... Read More »

Read This Before You Sign That Severance Agreement

Read This Before You Sign That Severance Agreement

Question: I feel that I am being discriminated against at my job. I have worked there for 20 years with no problems at all. In the last month I have been written up once for something that has always been done with no problems. Today I was confronted with a severance package. I am totally confused by all of... Read More »

Late To Work? These Excuses Could Get You Fired

Late To Work? These Excuses Could Get You Fired

Michelle Edwards says she called in one hour late to work, telling her boss she needed to care for her mother, recovering from surgery. But the boss' response was that she was already fired for "no call, no show," according to the lawsuit Edwards filed against her employer, Advanced Temporaries Inc. Read More »

Ask A Lawyer: How Can I Get Paid For Overtime?

Ask A Lawyer: How Can I Get Paid For Overtime?

How can you get paid for all the hours you worked? Whether it's getting paid vacation days or lunch breaks, lots of AOL Jobs readers have concerns about this issue, so I'm going to answer three readers' questions in this column. Please note: I'm giving general answers based on federal law. Your state may have... Read More »

How Do I Prove I'm Paid Less Than My Male Co-Workers?

How Do I Prove I'm Paid Less Than My Male Co-Workers?

A recent article in Newsweek discussed the continuing pay gap between men and women, and suggested some reasons why women still make less than their male colleagues. Another recent story discussed how female doctors are paid less than male doctors. I'm not going to argue here whether or not the pay gap is... Read More »

10 Tricks Employers Use To Cheat Workers Out Of Overtime

10 Tricks Employers Use To Cheat Workers Out Of Overtime

An employment attorney explains the latest tricks -- and what workers can do to get their overtime pay. Read More »

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