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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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?

Back in June, the New York Sen­ate and State Assembly passed an amendment to New York’s wage deduction statute, New York Labor Law Section 193. The amendment—effective Nov. 6, 2012—permits New York ­employers to make a wider range of payroll deductions than in the past, but also imposes several new deduction-related requirements.
Nicollette Sheridan, an original cast member of TV’s “Desperate Housewives” series, has won a partial victory in her lawsuit over Touchstone Television Productions’ decision to kill off her character.

Q. May we ask for a diagnosis when an employee ­requests a few days of sick leave? Or must we ­accept any doctor’s note without any explanation?

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