A federal appeals court has ruled that telecommuting is not always a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. The case involved a Ford employee suffering from a disability, but the court found that on-site attendance was an essential function of the plaintiff’s job.
Don’t assume case is over after state court case ends. A recent case shows that even after a decade of litigation, the former employee may add a second federal lawsuit.
Employees discharged for willful misconduct aren’t eligible for unemployment benefits. Generally, refusing an assignment is willful misconduct. But what it you only fire one and not others who refuse the same assignment?
Train all supervisors about the FMLA. Instruct them to refer any perceived problems to HR. Direct supervisors should not, for example, conduct their own “investigations” into whether an employee is abusing intermittent FMLA leave by conducting surveillance or taking other intrusive steps. Doing so may net a lawsuit alleging interference with FMLA rights.
Employees who file discrimination complaints are protected from retaliation. When a complaint is closely followed by termination, it becomes easier for the fired employee to show the two were linked and that one caused the other. Smart employers cut this causal connection by making sure that whoever makes the termination decision wasn’t involved in the employee’s original complaint.
Under the Equal Pay Act, men and women performing substantially similar jobs must be paid the same. But what exactly constitutes “substantially similar” jobs?
Over EEOC objections, a trial to determine whether FedEx discriminated against deaf employees has been moved from Baltimore to a Pittsburgh courtroom. FedEx sought the change of venue, noting that its headquarters and those responsible for developing company policies on training and accommodation are based in Pittsburgh.
The National Labor Relations Board has ruled that Pennsylvania-American Water Co. violated the National Labor Relations Act when it disciplined two Pittsburgh-area workers for refusing to cross a picket line. The board also censured the company for removing a union letter from a bulletin board.
On April 1, Holy Spirit Hospital in Camp Hill began refusing to hire anyone who tests positive for nicotine use.
Employees who lose their jobs because of willful misconduct aren’t eligible for unemployment benefits. But whether misconduct occurred can be called into question by any agreement the employer and employee may have signed calling for a suspension instead of termination.