Employment Law

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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?
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration has issued a memorandum setting out criteria for removing employers from the Severe Violator Enforcement Pro­­gram (SVEP), the government’s watch list of most dangerous workplaces.
To prevent lawsuits over layoffs, employers often offer a severance agreement that requires the employee to waive the right to sue. When those agreements involve older workers, they have to meet very specific legal requirements.
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