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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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Charlotte-based Sandoval Con­­struc­­tion was forced to suspend work on a Radisson Hotel in New London, Conn., after the Connecticut De­­part­­ment of Labor charged the company with improperly classifying employees as independent contractors.
OSHA has cited Troy-based welding equipment manufacturer Hobart Brothers Co. with 55 safety violations totaling $174,600 in fines.
Cal/OSHA has cited Lamont-based Community Recycling and Resources Recovery for 16 workplace safety violations after two brothers died from hydrogen sulfide gas exposure while working in a storm drain.
It is illegal in Ohio for an employer to discriminate because of the em­­­ployee’s disability. But it’s not always easy to figure out who this proscription covers, because Ohio’s statute and the federal ADA have their own respective definitions of “disability,” which vary slightly.
A federal court has upheld a Cali­for­­nia state requirement that nurses who want to renew or apply for a professional license must submit a set of fingerprints along with their applications. The prints are needed to conduct criminal background checks.
North Carolina teachers whose contracts aren’t renewed by their school districts have the right to challenge those decisions in state court. That doesn’t mean they give up their right to sue later in federal court. In effect, teachers get two bites at the apple.
Q. We recently received a letter from an attorney representing one of our employees. It requested “all personnel files and records, including all medical ­rec­ords” that we have on this employee. The letter contained an “authorization” that the employee had signed, but which did not specifically name our company. Do we have to provide this information? What if we don’t? And is there any risk to the company if we do provide it?
In a case that’s already being appealed, a federal district court has ruled that a federal agency must enroll an employee’s same-sex spouse in the employee’s health care plan.
Golden Living Center, a nursing home in Dartmouth, faces an EEOC disability discrimination lawsuit in a case that highlights the difficulty of dealing with mental disabilities under the ADA.

Q. During our introductory period, new hires accrue PTO but they can’t use it until after six months. Can we dock an exempt employee’s pay if he wants a vacation day or sick day during this time? Or, after the six-month period, if an exempt employee has exhausted his PTO accrual, can he be docked pay?

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