Employment Law

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The Court of Appeal of California has handed a significant victory to employers that use arbitration agreements as a condition of employment. As long as the underlying terms of the agreement are fair and the arbitration process impartial, the court will send a case to arbitration even if the employee had no choice but to sign the agreement.

Q. Can you tell us how the recent amendment to the Illinois Human Rights Act affects employers?
Employers that miss a workers’ compensation premium payment may apply for a one-time waiver of penalties under Gov. John Kasich’s “Common Sense Initiative.”
Employees and their lawyers are getting more creative with their lawsuits. Not content to rely on federal anti-discrimination laws, they add claims under state law, too. That increases their chances of making a claim stick.
Do you worry that encouraging someone to retire when he’s facing disciplinary action could backfire? Relax. In most circumstances, a voluntary retirement that isn’t pressured or forced because of a threat of imminent discharge isn’t considered a constructive discharge.
Over the past couple of decades, there has been much debate over whether arbitration agreements can successfully prevent employees from asserting discrimination and other employment-related claims in court. Arbitration is seen as a risk-limiting tactic because juries are removed from the equation. Lost in this debate, however, is a simpler and perhaps more reliable means of managing an employer’s risk: a jury waiver.
The rules regarding union representation and unfair labor practices are complex and confusing for employees and employers alike. That’s reason enough to get expert help with any union-related problems, including what to do when employees vote out a union.

HR Law 101:  OSHA's special whistle-blower program is designed to protect workers who report employer wrongdoing or dangerous conditions. Under the program, employers may not retaliate or discriminate against workers who file complaints with OSHA ...

The U.S. Department of Transportation issued final regulations Dec. 2 that ban the use of hand-held cellphones by drivers of commercial motor vehicles, including trucks and buses on interstate routes.
We’re now well into the first quarter of the year and already a few trends are becoming apparent in the way the federal government will enforce labor and employment laws in 2012. Two significant em­­phases will be hiring discrimination and workplace safety.
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