Employment Law

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Job applicants aren’t required to reveal dis­­abilities during the hiring process. That means you may occasionally find yourself making a job offer to someone you don’t realize is disabled. At that point, what you say and what you do may mean the difference between smoothly integrating a new employee into the workforce and a costly, drawn-out lawsuit.

Creating independent-contractor agreements is not a do-it-yourself job. Always get expert legal help.
Now there’s a price tag on an ADA case that has been percolating through Illinois courts for years. The Auto­­Zone chain of car-parts stores must pay $415,000 to a former manager who balked at doing custodial chores because of a debilitating neck injury.
Not every injury causes a disabling condition that qualifies for ADA protection.
Don’t make a common, but potentially expensive mistake. You can terminate an employee who isn’t ready to return to work when he has used up his FMLA leave without violating the FMLA. However, you may be violating the ADA by doing so.

Sometimes, layoffs are inevitable, something that’s always hard—and often a legal minefield. Get it wrong and your attorneys’ fees can easily exceed the labor costs you hoped to save. Decide who should go in much the same way you decide who should fill a new position.

Q. We hired a temp worker through an agency while one of our employees was out on a 12-week pregnancy leave. Five weeks after she started with us, she was injured at work. Are we responsible for her workers’ comp claim, or is the temp agency responsible?
Q. I will soon either sell my business or close it down. Either way, I will most likely have to lay off all eight of my employees. What are the legal requirements in Pennsylvania in connection with these layoffs?
Q. We run a small printing company and have an employee whom we want to move from the day shift to the swing shift. Although this employee has the most seniority, he has the least experience with the presses we run during the day. When we told the employee of our plans, he said that moving him would be illegal. Is he correct? We are worried that if we move him and he quits, it won’t be the last time we hear from him.
Here’s a situation you can use to your advantage if you offer light-duty work to an employee who claims he has become disabled: If he turns down your offer, that could sink any disability discrimination claim he later makes.