Employment Law

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As part of negotiated settlements or court judgments, employers often sign off on “consent decrees” in which they agree to take (or stop) a certain action or pay damages. The Labor and Employment Law Program at Cornell University has unveiled an online repository of consent decrees, searchable by type of claim.
A recent court ruling in California confirms that the Americans with Disabilities Act does not protect the right of disabled employees to use medical marijuana, even if it’s prescribed by a doctor. Reason: The ADA specifically notes that a person with a legally protected “disability” does not include someone who is currently using illegal drugs.

Non-compete agreements place legal contractual reins on ex-employees who are setting up competing firms or going to work for competitors. Non-disclosure agreements can be separate from non-compete agreements and restrict the disclosure of trade secrets, marketing plans and confidential information.

Employers continue to get marched into court for violating service members’ re-employment rights under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemploy­­ment Rights Act. Man­­agers on the front lines should be aware of the law and these common pitfalls:
On June 28, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Afford­­able Care Act. But the decision does not mean that the validity of the ACA is settled once and for all. Future legal challenges, and, of course, the November elections, may determine the law’s ultimate fate, but for now, prudence is the wisest course of action. Employers should proceed as if the law is constitutional.
Even if you included a new social media policy in your employee handbook recently, it’s time to review it again. The NLRB issued a report recently that called into question the legality of some of the wording employers commonly use in their social media policies.
The Obama administration’s top workplace legislative initiative this year—the Paycheck Fairness Act—died last month when Senate Democrats failed to muster the needed votes.
Back in 2000, the 7th Circuit held that employers are not required to reassign disabled employees to a vacant position for which they are qualified. Although the EEOC recently challenged this position in EEOC v. United Airlines, Inc., the 7th Circuit held its ground, reaffirming its previous decision.
The U.S. Department of Labor has filed two lawsuits against contractors providing workers to South Florida farms, following investigations into migrant laborers’ working conditions.
When it comes to securing em­­ployees’ email accounts against internal hacking, leave nothing to chance. Make it clear that you forbid employees from illegitimately accessing co-workers’ email—and that it’s grounds for dismissal.
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