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. I know we have to provide milk-expression breaks for new moms, and we do. But now a new mother is having her mother bring the baby in twice a day to nurse. These breaks go more than 30 minutes as the baby is passed around, etc. Can we just tell her to express and refrigerate the milk?

When investigating claims of harassment or misconduct, it’s common to ask employees whom you interview to “keep this information confidential.” But a new ruling from the NLRB says that such a blanket confidentiality rule violates employees’ legal rights unless “legitimate and substantial justification exists” for the rule.

Under the FLSA, employees are supposed to be re­­lieved of all duties during meal periods. If they’re not, then meal breaks are considered paid time. That doesn’t mean employers can’t prohibit some meal break activities without having to pay employees.

Here’s encouraging news for public employers: A fired employee can’t sue for deprivation of due process if she refuses to participate when the employer offers a due-process hearing.
Does your organization set restrictions on when and where off-duty employees can access your workplace? If so, you should review a new NLRB ruling that narrows the circumstances under which you can keep off-duty workers off your premises.

The National Labor Relations Board, the federal agency charged with enforcing the National Labor Relations Act, has increased its focus on employer/employee communications. This matters to all employers, whether or not their employees are represented by a union.

The Obama administration has informed federal contractors—whose funding could be slashed if a lame duck Congress fails to act before the end of the year—that they don’t have to worry about one of them yet: issuing layoff notices required by the WARN Act.
Q. I recently found out that one of our designers has been freelancing on the side. It doesn’t seem to be interfering with her work, but is there anything we can do legally to protect the interest of the company?

When an employee has a life-threatening and acute illness, he may need time off to recover. That’s a legitimate use of FMLA leave. But what if the employee fully recovers and comes back to work with a clean bill of health from his doctors, yet still feels weaker, more fatigued and not quite back to full health?

Q. Is it true that according to federal law, employees must be paid within two weeks of completing their work, no matter the excuse (computer glitch, etc.)?

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