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Employment Law

Need employment law advice? Your employee’s hungry attorney knows the latest on employment at will, reasonable accommodations, and more.

Minimize employer liability, optimize labor relations, bullet-proof your employee handbook and update your knowledge of ADA guidelines with our employment law advice.

Here’s good news for employers that try to do the right thing by fixing harassment they believe did in fact occur: Your liability will be limited if an employee fails to complain to the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) within one year of the last act of harassment.
The former acting head of Franklin County’s emergency management agency has filed federal sex discrimination and hostile work environment charges against the county, alleging her working conditions were so severe she developed a serious health condition that required medical leave.

Employees who complain about discrimination or harassment are protected from retaliation. But some of them mistakenly believe that complaining makes them invincible. That’s not true. Employers can discipline any employee who deserves it—including those who have complained—as long as the rules are applied fairly.

The U.S. Supreme Court has held that an employee who was fired shortly after his fiancée filed a bias charge against their employer may sue for third-party retaliation under Title VII. According to the court, the employee could be considered an “aggrieved person” because he was “well within the zone of interests sought to be protected by Title VII.” What's the practical impact for employers?

The National Labor Relations Board has appointed William A. Baudler as the regional director to its regional office in Oakland, where he is responsible for enforcing the National Labor Relations Act in northern California and northern Nevada.
Some managers worry needlessly that any step they take after an employee complains about harassment will mean a lawsuit. But as long as you can support your disciplinary act with a good reason—and you keep good records showing how you made the decision—chances are good a court will dismiss the suit.
A federal court has dismissed a case that could have created big headaches for any employer trying to prevent a discharged employee from receiving unemployment compensation benefits.

Judges don’t want your job. They don’t see courtrooms as publicly funded HR offices, and will often try to defer to employer decisions as much as possible. That’s a huge advantage for employers. Capitalize on that by giving the court something to hang a favorable decision on. That something is often a clear and fair disciplinary process.

HR can’t right all wrongs. When a supervisor rashly fires an employee for filing a complaint, not even fast action by HR to reinstate the employee can save the company from liability.

Good news for employers: The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that an employee can’t wait until losing one lawsuit to file another one based on the same events, even if the second lawsuit involves a different law. Employees have to file related claims together.