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Over the past couple of decades, there has been much debate over whether arbitration agreements can successfully prevent employees from asserting discrimination and other employment-related claims in court. Arbitration is seen as a risk-limiting tactic because juries are removed from the equation. Lost in this debate, however, is a simpler and perhaps more reliable means of managing an employer’s risk: a jury waiver.
Q. Can you tell us how the recent amendment to the Illinois Human Rights Act affects employers?
The rules regarding union representation and unfair labor practices are complex and confusing for employees and employers alike. That’s reason enough to get expert help with any union-related problems, including what to do when employees vote out a union.
Do you worry that encouraging someone to retire when he’s facing disciplinary action could backfire? Relax. In most circumstances, a voluntary retirement that isn’t pressured or forced because of a threat of imminent discharge isn’t considered a constructive discharge.
Minnesota law doesn’t give employers a clear right to demand the return of copied documents when an employee leaves. It’s one reason that you may want an employment contract, noncompete agreement and confidentiality guarantee all wrapped up into one for employees who work with sensitive information.
Finding a reasonable accommodation is a two-way street. Both the employer and the disabled employee are supposed to engage in the ADA’s interactive accommodations process. But part of that interactive process includes determining whether the employee is, in fact, disabled. If he’s not, the process need go no further.
Employers, not disabled employees, have the right to decide which reasonable accommodation will be used. As long as the accommodation works and the employee is able to perform her job with it, no additional help is due.
Employers that miss a workers’ compensation premium payment may apply for a one-time waiver of penalties under Gov. John Kasich’s “Common Sense Initiative.”
Employees and their lawyers are getting more creative with their lawsuits. Not content to rely on federal anti-discrimination laws, they add claims under state law, too. That increases their chances of making a claim stick.
Dealing with the multitude of federal and state laws governing leaves of absence in California can leave employers feeling lost and disoriented—and expose even the most well-intentioned employer to liability. The best prevention is education.