Employment Law

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More employees are acting as their own attorneys when they sue employers or prospective employers. The reason may be simple: Word is getting around that some federal courts are making it easy to do.
President Obama made good on his June 16 promise that he would ban federal contractors from discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers and job applicants. An executive order signed July 21 applies to companies with contracts worth $10,000 or more.

Employees have to file EEOC complaints within 300 days of alleged discrimination or lose the right to sue. Similarly, they have to file state claims within 180 days of the alleged discriminatory act. If they miss those deadlines, they can’t sue. Repeatedly changing one’s mind about a situation involving an allegedly discriminatory act doesn’t extend or revive the deadline.

On July 22, a three-judge panel of the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals dealt a potentially lethal blow to the Affordable Care Act, ruling that health insurance premium subsidies on which the ACA’s individual mandate depends are illegal in states that don’t run their own insurance exchanges. Two hours later, a panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals reached exactly the opposite conclusion.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology was schooled in the NLRA after it disciplined five employees who challenged lab policies.
Frivo­­lous lawsuits can take up lots of time and cost thousands of dollars in legal fees before it’s all over. Fortunately, courts are becoming more willing to punish truly frivolous lawsuits and the employees who bring them.
Taking a page from the Democratic Party’s midterm election playbook, Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bill raising the state minimum wage. The state’s current minimum wage of $6.15 per hour is below the federal rate of $7.25.
Before the Randleman Police Department moved to new facilities last Novem­­ber, Chief Steve Leonard ordered an inventory of the evidence room. The tally found that $7,800 in cash was missing.
The ACA health care reform law amended the Fair Labor Standards Act to require employers to provide a place for nursing mothers to express breast milk. The law includes specific requirements the space must meet to comply.
Sometimes a case that looks like it will end in a win for the employer ends in a surprise adverse jury verdict. Before you despair, remember that it’s not over. There may be room for a reversal.
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