Employment Law

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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.
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?
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.

On June 24, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Marriage Equal­ity Act, which allows same-sex couples to be married in New York and to have, with certain exceptions, the same legal protections available to opposite-sex couples married in New York. The law has important implications for employer-provided benefits.

Even if an arbitration agreement is fair and evenhanded enough to meet California standards, employers still have to clear the hurdle of showing that employees knew about the policy and agreed to it. That means making sure that employees actually read the document—or at least sign off that they did or had the opportunity to do so.