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. A couple of weeks ago, an employee came into work smelling like alcohol. His supervisor later reported that day that the employee “acted drunk” in a staff meeting. Yesterday, one of the same employee’s co-workers indicated that the employee came back from lunch “smelling like marijuana.” Can these reports justify requiring the employee to undergo a drug or alcohol test?

Some employers favor arbitration agreements as a way to cut down on expensive and time-consuming litigation and avoid rogue juries that often sympathize more with workers than big, bad employers. But the reality is that arbitration agreements often cause more litigation, not less.

Election Day is just a few months away, and everyone should exercise their franchise. You can help by letting employees take time off from work to vote. In fact, you may not have much choice in the matter. Some states require you to grant leave so employees can vote.
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on their own or their family members' genetic information. Employers cannot acquire or disclose genetic information, or use such information to make employment decisions.
Retaliation is prohibited under numerous state and federal laws. What must employers know to avoid accusations of retaliation?
Here are some nuggets of employment law advice from the speakers at this summer’s Society for Human Resource Management annual conference in Atlanta.

Q. I recently read about an employer laying off an entire division and then making those employees reapply for newly reconfigured jobs in that division. This sounds like a good way to get rid of deadweight and lower our payroll. Are there any legal problems with this? Will those who don’t reapply still be eligible for unemployment compensation?

Remember: Applicants—not just em­­ployees—are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act, as the following case shows.
Q. We have heard that employers are increasingly screening applicants online, including by going to their Facebook pages. Can we require an applicant who has a private Facebook page to give us the password to that page?
A white Chicago teacher was suspended for five days after he used the N-word in what he described as a “teachable moment.” The teacher used the epithet after he caught students passing a note containing rap lyrics that included the word.
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