Employment Law

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With more veterans returning from active duty service in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, employers are facing more reemployment claims. Under USERRA, service members are entitled to reinstatement as if they never left for deployment. That right includes seniority and allowance for promotions that would have occurred if they had not been deployed.

Sometimes, employers have to stand their ground and refuse to try an un­­workable accommodation.

Soldiers who take military leave for active service or training are generally entitled to return to their jobs when they finish their military service. They even have protection from being terminated without cause if they served long enough. But USERRA does not protect employees who fail to follow existing company rules when they return or try to return.

Employers have the right to ex­­­pect everyone to behave ap­­pro­­pri­­ately at work. That includes employees with mental disabilities who may have trouble with communication and perception. What that means: You are free to punish inappropriate behavior regard­less of its cause.
OSHA has ordered Metro North Commuter Rail to pay more than $141,000 to a worker after an investigation concluded that the railroad purposely misclassified the worker’s injury and then denied him a promotion as a result.
The Court of Appeal of California has clarified that employees taking California Family Rights Act leave are entitled to reinstatement to the same or an equivalent job only if they return at the end of their 12 weeks of leave or earlier. They can’t take additional non-CFRA leave to ex­­­tend their return rights.
The EEOC and the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI) have settled claims that the company denied benefits and locked out disabled workers before a plant shutdown in Fremont.
Employers can shorten the time employees have to sue by stipulating uniform claims timeframes that cover all disputes. However, you must be very specific about what’s covered.

The National Labor Relations Board has announced its final rule on Notification of Employee Rights under the National Labor Rela­­tions Act. The proposed rule had been pending since December of last year. Now that it is final, employers have until Nov. 14 to put up an official poster stating that employees have a right to form or join a union.

OSHA has cited MM Industries’ factory in Salem for 38 serious safety and health violations. The company manufactures air filtration products at the plant. Safety violations ran the gamut, from not knowing how much weight a floor could bear to failing to install emergency lighting.