Employment Law

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Q. We are a union shop. We’ve heard the NLRB has new rules about unions. What do they involve and what do they require us to do?
Pepsi Bottling Group has agreed to settle an EEOC lawsuit filed on behalf of a truck driver at the company’s Hayward facility who claimed he was fired after requesting time off during a medical emergency.
If you intend to use arbitration as a way to manage employment discrimination claims and avoid court, make sure the agreement is reasonable. The more one-sided the agreement appears, the more likely a court will rule it unconscionable and unenforceable.

The North Carolina Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act (REDA) prohibits retaliation when employees engage in protected activity at work. Since REDA protects employees, some employers have argued that the law doesn’t apply to former em­­ployees. It does.

What began as an investigation into a foul odor recently turned into something far worse for Safas Corporation, a Clifton company that makes kitchen countertops. OSHA found $135,000 worth of willful and serious violations. None had anything to do with the original stench.
Arbitration agreements with onerous terms are sometimes struck down under California contract law. But in some cases, courts will grant arbitration anyway.
OSHA has issued 11 serious safety citations to Troy Chemical Corp. arising from a chemical spill at the company’s Newark facility. OSHA fines will amount to $62,100.
Just because an employee takes FMLA leave to deal with a serious health condition doesn’t mean he’s disabled under the ADA—and therefore entitled to reasonable accommodations when he returns to work. Before jumping to the conclusion that a returning employee is entitled to whatever accommodation he requests, ask yourself whether he is, in fact, disabled. What counts is his condition at the time he requests the accommodation.

Government employees have a few rights that private-sector employees lack. One is the right to “some sort of” hearing before being terminated. A public employee essentially gets the right to challenge the decision to terminate him before it is final. But what happens if the employee signs on to a so-called last-chance agreement?

The New Jersey Supreme Court has just made it easier for whistle-blowers to recover back-pay damages. In Donelson v. DuPont Chambers Works, the state’s highest court expanded the definition of “adverse employment action” and held that an employee can recover lost wages if the employer’s retaliation caused a disability that made the employee unable to continue working.
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