Expect this summer's blockbuster U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Burlington Northern v. White, to swell the number of retaliation complaints and legal claims ...
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Q. One of our employees went on disability after a motorcycle accident. We terminated him at his request, as he wanted to cash out his 401(k). His doctor recently released him from disability, and he's seeking re-employment for a different position. Our owner is concerned that if he doesn't offer the ex-employee a job, we may face legal retribution. And he's concerned that if we do bring him back, we'll end up with a workers' comp claim from a slip/fall injury. Do we have any obligation to rehire this employee? —B.O., Pennsylvania
Courts view interns the same as employees: as “agents” of your organization. So should you. If you use interns or plan to, advise supervisors to manage them as closely as employees, if not more so. And apply your workplace policies to them ...
Expect a call from an employment lawyer when a disgruntled employee is fired. If the axed employee belongs to a protected class (race, sex, disability, etc.), expect more than a call ...
Q. Is there a law or reasonable standard regarding how many weeks maternity leave should be? And should we make that a written policy in our employee handbook? Even with FMLA, to which our employees are entitled, we thought maternity leave was either six or eight weeks, depending on type of delivery. —J.F., Pennsylvania
Q. One of our managers has medical problems (she qualifies for the ADA and is in an age-protected class) and has used a significant amount of sick pay. Because we don't have a defined sick pay policy, this manager is paid sick time whenever she's out (full day or half day). How can we legally cap this? Is the development of a policy with specific hours our only alternative? —F.E., Georgia
Q. Is it legal to require management employees to give us a longer resignation period than other employees? —M.L., Missouri
Q. How long is a company supposed to keep paper records? We'd like to throw out some of our old, archived paperwork. —B.H., Pennsylvania
Q. Are there any questions we cannot or should not ask a reference when screening applicants? —B.B., Louisiana
Q. We’re a small business with eight employees. One employee frequently takes off for six to eight weeks with medical problems. She’s done this each year for the past three years. It’s a huge burden because very few people have her training, so we can’t hire a temp. How long do we have to allow her to disappear for months at a time? —M.S., Ohio