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Yes, employers must reasonably accommodate employees with disabilities. But that doesn’t mean they have to provide a perfect workplace—or tolerate subpar performance. Instead, make the accommodations that are reasonable. If the employee still can’t perform her job’s essential functions, you can terminate her.
Michael DeMarquis worked for the Bexar County Office of the Constable for only five months, but between August and December 2009, he says he compiled an extensive list of illegal practices. Now he’s suing the law enforcement agency, claiming he was fired from his job as a warrant clerk in retaliation after he uncovered the following:
It gets tiresome hearing complaints all day. But managers need to understand that showing any irritation when an employee gripes may taint any subsequent disciplinary action against the complainer. The best approach is to accept every complaint with a smile and send it on to HR.
Employees who file EEOC or other complaints about discrimination are protected from retaliation for doing so. But that doesn’t mean employers aren’t allowed to discipline employees who have complained—if the situation legitimately calls for discipline. You must, however, be very careful to document the underlying reasons.