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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When employees represent themselves in court, their court documents are often woefully short on specifics. More courts are getting aggressive, quickly tossing out these pro se cases. That’s good news for employers.

Shakopee-based Hawkins Tree and Landscaping will pay $500,000 to pay misclassified workers as part of a consent agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor.

The ADA requires employers to work with employees who need reasonable accommodations. Show you did so in good faith by documenting the process. That means tracking email exchanges, taking notes during meetings and generally responding as quickly as possible. Be sure to note the employee’s actions, too.

Under the state’s workers’ compensation law, Pennsylvania employees have 120 days to report workplace injuries to their employers. But em­­ployers are free to require more immediate reports. Firing the employee for breaking a timely accident reporting rule doesn’t violate the law.

Sometimes, employers settle an employee lawsuit and expect that to be the end of the matter. But unless the settlement includes an agreement not to apply for any new job openings, the former employee may do just that. And if he’s not hired, he may allege retaliation for prior litigation.

Disabled employees who need reasonable accommodations are entitled to what the ADA calls the interactive reasonable accommo­­dations process. What exactly that means varies by the individual and may change over time. Employers that consider the interactive process as a one-time thing may end up in court.

Q. My company uses a time clock to track the hours of nonexempt employees. When we determine the wages to be paid to employees, can we round up or down to the nearest five-minute increment?
Q. We sometimes require our hourly employees to commute from the office to a two-day meeting that includes company-sponsored social activities and an overnight stay. They then return to the office after meetings on the second day. How do we pay them for this time?
In a union workplace, the collective bargaining agreement outlines rights for both employees and the employer. It also defines the powers an arbitrator may have if called on to interpret the contract. If the arbitrator goes too far, a court can reverse his or her decision.
A federal court has refused to open up yet another avenue for employees who want to directly sue their em­­ployers.
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