Employment Law

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Although public employers may be aware of their obligation to provide certain types of employees with an opportunity for a hearing before imposing discipline (such as a written reprimand), the line be­­tween a nondisciplinary counseling memorandum and a disciplinary reprimand is not always clear.
Participants in Ameriprise’s 401(k) plan are suing the investment firm, claiming it operated the retirement program for its own benefit, not its employees and retirees.
Some disabled employees think employers should drastically modify their jobs so they are do-able, even if that means removing essential functions from job descriptions. Fortunately, there’s no such requirement.
The federal government has been busy adding to its regulatory agenda. Here’s the latest news from the regulations front about the new Form I-9, proposed regs on truncated TINs and proposed regs on payroll agents.
Q. An employee recently complained that we have failed to accommodate his left-handedness. He argued that all our desks are constructed for right-handed people. To accommodate his left-handedness, he is requesting an expensive new piece of office furniture. Do we have to accommodate him?
An employee who files a complaint or returns from a leave of absence and shortly thereafter suffers an adverse employment action is likely to smell a retaliation rat. But what’s considered an adverse action? Consider these managerial actions that often give off a perception of retaliation.
Q. Many of our 60 employees fail to correctly clock in or out and it’s creating major payroll issues. I’ve met with employees who are chronic time-clock abusers and placed warnings in their files. Can we dock an employee for failing to clock in or out?
Q. We recently hired someone who will be working from home three days a week. Do OSHA’s regulations and standards apply to home offices? And are there any other laws we would need to be concerned about regarding telecommuting?
Wage-and-hour litigation is the fastest-growing employment law threat employers face, according to a study by the Crowell & Moring law firm. It costs an average of $5.8 million to settle a wage-and-hour case, largely because so many are class-action lawsuits.
Q. Can I consider safety when deciding whether to hire a disabled applicant or retain an employee with a disability?
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