Employment Law

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Q. An employee brought to the attention of his supervisor that a co-worker had posted a comment on social media saying that her supervisor is Scrooge, that the supervisor is probably planning to fire a bunch of people right before the holidays, and that everyone should complain about her unfair behavior so that the supervisor is the one who will get fired. The company has a social media policy that prohibits making disparaging comments about it or its employees. Can the company discipline the posting co-worker for these comments?

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act prevents employers from discharging returning service members for anything except “cause” for a year after their return. But what if the service member is working under an employment contract? What if that agreement has a termination clause built in? Does USERRA prevent the employer for exercising that contractual term?

The recently negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement will go before Congress for ratification next year. Organized labor has been one of the most vocal critics of the pact and certainly labor leaders will be scrutinizing the agreement’s Chapter 19.
A new California appellate court ruling shows that employees who are terminated for reporting the alleged theft of personal property at work have a right to sue for wrongful termination as a whistle-blower. The report merely has to involve criminal activity. It doesn’t have to be work related or concern a matter of public interest.
Borrowing liberally from a bill that has languished on Capitol Hill (the Paycheck Fairness Act), California lawmakers have passed SB 358, which requires employers to allow employees to discuss their pay. It also makes it easier for employees to bring unequal pay claims against employers.
Among the cases that the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear during its 2015-2016 term is one of particular significance to those in the public sector—Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. A decision in favor of the plaintiffs has the potential to affect the implementation and regulation of union agency shop fees nationwide.
Don’t look for release of those controversial changes to federal overtime laws anytime soon.
Elizabeth took intermittent leave after hurting her back in an auto accident. Eventually, her boss told her she wouldn’t get a raise for poor attendance ...
The battle to collect the largest EEOC verdict on record continues. A U.S. district judge has overridden a confidential settlement involving a Texas land deal that would have re-directed over half a million dollars away from a class of 32 intellectually disabled former employees of Hill Country Farms.

The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that simply complaining to one’s boss  about allegedly illegal activity is not whistle-blowing protected by the Texas Whistleblower Act. Employees must inform law enforcement.

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