Employment Law

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There’s a good chance that what your employees actually do every day has little in common with what’s written in their job descriptions. That’s a problem. Inaccurate or in­­complete job descriptions can cause legal liability for ­­employers, especially if the EEOC or the DOL comes calling.
The federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) doesn’t grant employers any legal recourse if an employee misuses information obtained from company computers, according to a recent Minnesota Federal District Court ruling.
USERRA is not a veteran’s preference law. It merely guarantees that service members can return to work no better or worse off than if they never left.
Here’s an important note in this rocky economy: Employers are free to change many of the terms and conditions of employment for at-will employees, including changing their compensation.
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.
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