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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.

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Q. The animal care officers who work for us spend 80% of their time driving and responding to rescue calls via cellphone. Requiring them to pull off the road while talking on their phones wouldn’t work. Is there another way to limit our liability?

Q. One of our employees was on military leave for six months. He will be reinstated at the same pay and position. While he was gone, all employees in his department received a 4% pay raise in recognition for their hard work in the past year. Must we pay him that raise?

Good news after a potentially expansive decision on liability for commute-time accidents: The Court of Appeal of California has overturned a workers’ compensation award to an employee who was in an accident on his way to work a swapped shift.
Recent months have seen the NLRB take efforts to regulate employer activity in new and often unprecedented ways. Two recent attacks include challenges to “at-will” statements and disclaimers in employee handbooks and restrictions on an employer’s right to limit access to its property by off-duty employees.

Q. On three occasions, an employee threatened colleagues with physical violence. After the last incident, she explained to her manager that she is bipolar and going through a prescription change. She said she was unaware of making threats, was truly sorry and never meant any harm to anyone. Do we have to tolerate this behavior now that we know she may be disabled?

The New York General Assembly has amended Section 193 of the New York Labor Law to allow ­employers to make payroll deductions for a wider variety of items. The amendment lets employers deduct the cost of an array of employee benefits previously barred by the state code.
Q. One of our employees received a jury duty summons. What are our obligations toward the employee in terms of pay and leave?
Here’s a warning if you use so-called noncompete agreements in your employment contracts: California courts generally don’t like them and are often quite hesitant to enforce them.

You don’t have to accommodate disabled employees who can’t per­­form the essential functions of their jobs under any circumstances. If making reasonable accommodations won’t help, the ADA doesn’t apply. But before you can make that argument, you must be able to show what those essential functions are.

Q. When we were disciplining an employee, the president of our small company told him that he “will always have a job here.” He’s an at-will employee. Are we now obligated to keep him on if he improves?

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