Employment Law

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If a recent ruling is any indication, federal judges may not look kindly on any immigration laws enacted by state or local governments. For employers, that means continued uncertainty over how to handle foreign workers ...

If you use independent contractors or have your employees sign any type of employment contract, make sure those agreements state that both parties agree to litigate any disputes in New Jersey. If the contract is silent on the issue—or, worse, says the lawsuit forum must be California or another inconvenient place—you may end up spending thousands of dollars on travel and lost time ...

Insubordination is a perfectly logical and legal reason to fire an employee. But juries will be suspicious if it looks like one of your supervisors "set up" the employee to give you a reason to terminate ...

When the threat of an employee lawsuit looms, most employers are advised to take a tough stance, fight the charges and never admit guilt. But some attorneys now advocate that an often-overlooked option of simply saying "I'm sorry" in certain situations may actually soothe feelings and even defuse legal action ...

You and the supervisors at your organization may already know how to handle a sexual harassment complaint that appears genuine. But what should you do when you seriously doubt that a claim is legit? ...

Try this one: A New York City school psychologist who suffered from asthma and migraines approached an incoming principal about continuing his accommodations, which included an air-conditioned office. The principal allegedly replied, “If you require an accommodation, you should get yourself a job that doesn’t require an accommodation” ...

When you know it’s time to discharge an employee, don’t let excessive fear of a lawsuit immobilize you. The fact is, employers do make mistakes, but not all their errors lead to liability ...

Q. We have a number of Hispanic employees who speak little or no English. One of these employees recently resigned through a Spanish-speaking co-worker acting as interpreter. She quit after we denied a raise because of problems with her timecard. Her mother called and demanded that we rehire her daughter. Are we under any legal obligation to rehire? —W.K., Maryland

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