Employment Law

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Q. Can I consider safety in deciding whether to hire an applicant or retain an employee with a disability? —G.P., Pennsylvania

Q. We are a small but growing construction company, and we don’t have formal policies in place. Recently, one of our employees was involved in an accident at a construction site. This is his third accident. After the second time, we had him sign a warning notice that said he’d be terminated if it happened again. We sent him for drug testing after this third accident and he came back positive for cocaine. We want to terminate him. But we suspended another worker who tested positive for marijuana. Can we fire him? —B.O., Pennsylvania

The mantra in real estate is "location, location, location." But the mantra in employee discipline must always be "consistency, consistency, consistency" ...

Whenever one of your employees files a discrimination claim, you now need to be ultracautious about making any changes to that employee's job. That's because almost any change—including lateral transfers with the same pay and title—can now be deemed an illegal "adverse employment action" by the court ...

Make sure your managers and supervisors know that politics and religion are individual choices and don't belong in the workplace. Otherwise, you could face stiff fines or penalties under New Jersey's new Worker Freedom from Intimidation Law ...

If you're facing an employment lawsuit, don't bother probing into the employee's immigration status during the lawsuit's discovery phase. The EEOC has long held that immigration status is irrelevant to any underlying discrimination claims, and a recent federal court ruling supports that stance ...

A reader of our weekly e-mail newsletter, The HR Specialist Weekly, recently posed this question: "How do you let other employees know when you've fired someone?" Following are some of the responses from other readers ...

Even if you have a fairly restrictive e-mail and Internet policy, you probably allow employees a certain amount of latitude in sending personal e-mail. If so, be aware that you should also allow employees to use that system to discuss your organization’s pay, benefits and working conditions, plus any union-organizing efforts ...

Q. I’ve heard that not all industries are covered by the FMLA. Are trucking companies exempt? If so, we have several employees out on workers’ compensation and FMLA leave. Can we fire them? —T.Z., New York

Zablocki Industries, which operates Aunt Heddy’s Bakery in Brooklyn, has agreed to pay $25,687 in back wages and interest to six employees to settle a U.S. Labor Department lawsuit ...

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