Employment Law

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In a continuation of its recent anti-employer rulings, the National Labor Relations Board is now focusing on a staple of employee handbooks—at-will employment clauses that notify employees they can be terminated at any time for any lawful reason.

Promotion and demotion decisions are often subjective, so they leave employers open to charges of bias. To alleviate even the perception of discrimination when making promotion and demotion decisions, an employer should have sample letters and objective documentation, rules for dealing with unhappy employees and checklists for reducing the risk of bias in promotion and demotion decisions.

The Equal Pay Act amends the Fair Labor Standards Act to prohibit employers from paying male and female employees different wages for equal work in jobs that require equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and are performed under similar conditions.
In an effort to track employment of minorities and females in the workforce, the EEOC requires certain employers to complete and file an Employer Information (EEO-1) Report by Sept. 30 of each year.
Complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act is like walking a tightrope over Niagara Falls, only without a tether. If you fall off, you end up getting whisked away by lawsuits and drowning in litigation. That’s especially true when it comes to the ADA’s rules on medical inquiries about employees.
On the June 20 anniversary of the Supreme Court’s 2011 Wal-Mart v. Dukes decision, Sen. Al Franken, D–Minn., introduced the Equal Employment Opportunity Restoration Act, designed to make it easier for employees to file class-action lawsuits.
Q. How many hours must employees work to be considered full time? Part time?
Benedictine Health Services at Innsbruck has agreed to settle a disability suit lodged by the EEOC. Two former employees initially complained that Benedictine required them to be free of medical restrictions before they could return to work from medical leave unless the restrictions were due to an on-the-job injury.
Ernest Milewski, the Wilkes-Barre union official who earlier this year pleaded guilty to embezzling union funds and the assets of a health care benefit program, used his sentencing hearing to come clean on the reason why he stole the money—to pay for an out-of-control gambling habit.
Patricia Smith, the former comptroller for the Baierl Acura dealership in Wexford, lived lavishly for 6½ years. Now Smith is trading in haute couture for prison coveralls after pleading guilty to embezzling more than $10 million from her employer between late 2004 and July 2011.
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