Employment Law

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Here’s some good news—and more incentive to settle discrimination cases before the EEOC: If the agreement is signed, sealed and delivered, the employee can’t later sue in federal court to have the agreement invalidated—even if she has seemingly good reasons to argue she didn’t consent to or otherwise wasn’t capable of settling the case.
You may have heard about homeowners’ associations and towns demanding DNA tests when a pooch does his business on someone else’s lawn or in a public park. That’s fine for canines and their owners. But when an employer tried the same thing, the law intervened.
The Court of Appeal of California has reversed a lower court order denying arbitration and ordered the case into arbitration instead.
On July 1, 2015, medical cannabis became lawfully available under Minnesota’s Medical Marijuana Law (MML). The MML’s employment protections are more extensive than those offered in any other state legalizing medical marijuana use. Legal compliance will be challenging, making it important for employers to know what constitutes protected use and to understand the MML’s effect on testing programs and substance abuse rules.
The Supreme Court’s landmark decision legalizing same-sex marriage means HR departments must review company policies to root out all references to the gender of an employee’s spouse.
Q. We have a server at one of our restaurants who has open sores on her face. She claims she can’t get a bandage to stick to her chin, leaving the sore uncovered. As a result, we have received a few customer complaints. May we remove the server from her shifts so that we do not lose business?
A Philadelphia jury has awarded $38.5 million in punitive damages to the families of two Kraft Food employees who were shot to death by a co-worker in 2010.
Courts are losing patience with employees who act as their own lawyers in discrimination cases but don’t complain to the EEOC before filing lawsuits. A federal court recently gave such a pro se litigant just 15 days to prove she had first gone to the commission.

When a New York City employee purports to report wrongdoing on the part of the city government, all that’s required is a good-faith belief that the alleged conduct constituted an “improper governmental action.” It’s illegal to retaliate against an employee who makes such a report.

Public employees have the right to speak their minds on matters of public importance without punishment. However, that right is clearly limited. A public employee can’t claim that free speech includes the right to use derogatory terms at work.

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