Employment Law

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Q. We have been contemplating developing a dress code. What kinds of legal issues do we need to consider?

The NLRB and EEOC are actively enforcing the position that a blanket policy requiring confidentiality during investigations violates federal labor and employment law. That means employers must proceed carefully and thoughtfully when making confidentiality requests during investigations.

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a number of cases during the 2013-14 term that could affect employers.
Amendments to Minnesota’s Par­­ent­­ing Leave Act took effect Aug. 1, expanding the definition of “covered family members” from just children. Now the definition includes not only minor children and those attending school (up to age 20), but also the employee’s own spouse, siblings, adult children, parents, grandparents and step-parents.
As prosecutors try to unravel Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, they are finding his personal life a tangled web as well.
Q. Our company received a report that an employee who called in sick on a Thursday and Friday later posted photos to her Facebook page that indicated she was traveling in another city with friends at the time. It appears she lied to us about being sick. Can we require her to give us her Facebook password so that we can see her online postings?
A bill before the New York Legislature would require employers to provide domestic or sexual abuse victims up to 90 days per year of unpaid leave to deal with the effects of the abuse.
Q. After making several accommodations for an em­­ployee who was recently diagnosed with epilepsy and assigned a service dog, another employee is now claiming he is allergic. Can we ask for medical documentation to confirm his allergy? And aside from moving him farther away from the dog, are there other accommodations we are required to make for him?
Former employees have deadlines for filing complaints over their termination or other employment discrimination claims. In most cases, they have to act within 300 days. Missing the deadline means they ­forever lose the right to sue.
Good news for supervisors who help determine who to cut in a reduction in force: Under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Noti­­fi­­ca­­tion Act (WARN) and the New York State version of the law, there is no individual liability for violations.
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