Employment Law

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Some employers favor arbitration agreements as a way to cut down on expensive and time-consuming litigation and avoid rogue juries that often sympathize more with workers than big, bad employers. But the reality is that arbitration agreements often cause more litigation, not less.

The former director of public information at the Texas Department of Crimi­nal Justice (TDCJ) is suing the agency after she was demoted and subsequently resigned. She says her demotion was retaliation for blowing the whistle on internal violations of state law and policy.

Q. How many hours must employees work to be considered full time? Part time?
Buffalo-area cheese manufacturer Sorrento Lactalis faces $241,000 in fines following an OSHA inspection that revealed numerous hazards at its plant.
Ernest Milewski, the Wilkes-Barre union official who earlier this year pleaded guilty to embezzling union funds and the assets of a health care benefit program, used his sentencing hearing to come clean on the reason why he stole the money—to pay for an out-of-control gambling habit.

You never know which terminated employee will sue or for what. That’s why you should treat every layoff as a potential lawsuit. Defend yourself by doing all you can to help employees who may lose their jobs find other opportunities within the company.

Patricia Smith, the former comptroller for the Baierl Acura dealership in Wexford, lived lavishly for 6½ years. Now Smith is trading in haute couture for prison coveralls after pleading guilty to embezzling more than $10 million from her employer between late 2004 and July 2011.
Presumably, Kamps Pallets heard from OSHA via nonverbal means. The company’s plant in Versailles faces fines for 10 OSHA violations after inspectors discovered conditions so noisy that workers’ hearing was endangered.
There’s no collecting attorneys’ fees from the EEOC in mid-litigation. A court said that it must wait until a case ends.

Q. A couple of weeks ago, an employee came into work smelling like alcohol. His supervisor later reported that day that the employee “acted drunk” in a staff meeting. Yesterday, one of the same employee’s co-workers indicated that the employee came back from lunch “smelling like marijuana.” Can these reports justify requiring the employee to undergo a drug or alcohol test?