Employment Law

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Q. We recently fired an employee who worked in our office. Several weeks later, our HR department received a phone call from the man demanding a copy of his personnel file. Are we required to send him a copy?

Canton-based Republic Steel has agreed to settle outstanding training and safety issues discovered in the aftermath of a worker’s fall in 2010.

You never know which terminated employee will sue or for what. That’s why you should treat every layoff as a potential lawsuit. Defend yourself by doing all you can to help employees who may lose their jobs find other opportunities within the company.

Sunset Car Wash had no idea it was about to be cleaned out when it took over the lease from Auto Spa Express. A court has ruled Sunset must pay back wages and penalties owed to Auto Spa’s former em­­ployees.
Presumably, Kamps Pallets heard from OSHA via nonverbal means. The company’s plant in Versailles faces fines for 10 OSHA violations after inspectors discovered conditions so noisy that workers’ hearing was endangered.

Q. We are considering holding, off-site at a park, a “Company Olympics” event featuring sports such as softball and tennis. If an employee were to be injured while participating, would that be considered a workers’ compensation-covered injury? Would it matter if participation was voluntary?

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.
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