Employment Law

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Q. Do the individual taxpayer identification numbers (ITIN) issued by the Department of the Treasury authorize an alien to work without any other documentation, such as an employment authorization? 
Using temporary workers can be an effective way to stretch your labor budget without making a long-term staffing commitment. But if a temp sues over alleged discrimination, you may not have saved much money. To prevent surprises, make sure you treat the temp as a guest—leave the employment details to the agency that supplies the temp.
A recent court decision on the availability of seating at work suggests the best approach may be to just offer everyone a chair. It seems employees sue without actually requesting a place to sit down.
A bill before the North Carolina House of Representatives would require employers to give employees notice of their employment status at the time of hire and when any material change in the employment relationship occurs.
Q. Our executive director wants to change an employee’s shift. The employee does not want the change. Can we force it? 
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments in two lawsuits challenging a state law requiring judges to retire at age 70. A 1989 decision, Gondelman v. Com­­mon­­wealth, upheld the practice as constitutional, but several judges are asking the court to look at the issue anew.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a class-action lawsuit filed by a worker under the FLSA was properly dismissed because the ­worker’s suit was moot when she failed to accept an offer of judgment from her employer.

Like most employers, your em­­ployee handbook probably in­­cludes a disclaimer informing employees that nothing in the document creates a contract. But what if your handbook also includes a clause that says employee disputes must go to arbitration instead of state or federal court, where a run­­away jury might bankrupt the company? Bad idea.

When we think of bullying, we usually think of kids at school, not adults in the workplace. But, according to a 2010 survey, 35% of American workers have been bullied at work. Unfortunately for those employees, there are currently no federal or state laws that specifically prohibit bullying in the workplace. That may soon change.
The Obama administration has decided to wait a year before requiring organizations with 50 or more full-time employees to provide health insurance benefits under the Affordable Care Act health care reform law.
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