Watch out if a union represents some of your employees, and the union contract does not bar federal discrimination lawsuits. A federal court has ruled that unless there’s a provision making arbitration the exclusive remedy, employees can simultaneously pursue arbitration and litigation.
When you’re disciplining an employee, you don’t have to go into every detail about why she is being punished one way when another employee was dealt with differently. However, if the employee ever sues you for discrimination, you had better be prepared to explain the difference later—in court.
You can’t retaliate against employees who complain about alleged discrimination in the workplace. But what’s retaliation? Tense working conditions don’t always fit that bill. There can be many explanations for rising tensions that have nothing to do with a discrimination complaint.
When you offer employees a chance for drug or alcohol treatment and rehabilitation, make sure you treat them fairly. There’s nothing wrong with telling recovering employees they may be randomly tested for drugs or alcohol without notice. You can even use a “lottery” system that results in some employees being tested more often than others.
Telework is taking off. Although the idea of allowing employees to work from home, at clients’ sites or at remote locations isn’t new, it is gaining popularity as gas prices remain high and commuting times to the office increase. But beyond choosing the right positions for telework, employers must address important legal issues before adopting a telecommuting policy.
Courts understand: Occasionally, romantic sparks fly between people who work together. They recognize that it’s not always harassment, even—under some circumstances—when the couple includes a supervisor. The key is whether or not the conduct is welcome.
Do you automatically terminate employees who can’t return to work after exhausting FMLA leave and personal leave? That could violate the ADA.
Effective July 12, 2011, Philadelphia employers with 10 or more employees will be limited in their ability to inquire about job applicants’ criminal records. Under the Fair Criminal Record Screening Standards Ordinance, employers must treat inquiries into criminal convictions much the same way they must treat inquiries into an applicant’s disability under the ADA.
The latest chapter in an ongoing legal battle opened recently when the Allegheny Port Authority responded to charges leveled by Deborah Blocker, a black employee who has alleged racial harassment.
Philadelphia Councilman Jim Kenney has a bone to pick with some city restaurants. When customers charge their meals, he claims the restaurants deduct from waiters’ tips the credit-card processing fees businesses must pay. Kenney has introduced a bill in the City Council to bar the practice.