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. Can we legally prohibit female workers from breastfeeding at work?
The Tribune Co., the U.S. Department of Labor and Greatbanc Trust Co. have agreed to restore $32 million to the media giant’s employee stock ownership plan.
Think twice before shutting down one of several related businesses just to stop the spread of pro-union sentiment. It’s likely to prompt a lawsuit, and a court may well take organized labor’s side.
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?
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