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Employment Law

Need employment law advice? Your employee’s hungry attorney knows the latest on employment at will, reasonable accommodations, and more.

Minimize employer liability, optimize labor relations, bullet-proof your employee handbook and update your knowledge of ADA guidelines with our employment law advice.

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OSHA inspectors slapped steel contractor National Store Fixtures Division of United Fixtures in South Bend with a $79,500 fine for failing to protect workers at a construction site last year. Following a tip, OSHA conducted a site inspection and found employees working more than 15 feet off the ground without fall protection while installing steel walls ...

Many Indiana employers wisely use noncompete agreements to protect their legitimate business interests in their customer base and trade secrets. But will those agreements stand up in court? While some employers have successfully used noncompetes, others don’t believe they’re worth the paper they’re printed on. Depending on how the noncompete is drafted, either can be true ...

Q. An employee has been out for the past few months on workers’ comp. During his recovery, we placed someone else in his position. His replacement has performed better than the injured employee, and we want to keep the replacement. Do we have to return the original employee to his job following his return from workers’ comp leave? —R.P. ...

Sometimes, employees who have complained about real or imagined discrimination look for evidence that they’re being punished for complaining. Then, when something happens at work that may be completely unrelated to the complaint (e.g., a missed raise because of budget constraints or job cuts due to business cycles), they cry retaliation. Your best protection is to keep detailed records of all pay increases and merit payments ...

Not everyone who has a diagnosed psychiatric condition is disabled and entitled to protection under the ADA. Before you authorize reasonable accommodations or allow a psychiatric condition to become an excuse for poor performance, decide whether the condition rises to the level of a covered disability ...

When an employee claims discrimination, HR should make sure that employee isn’t retaliated against. But retaliation is more than lost promotions, discharge or demotions. Retaliation can be any employer-initiated action that would deter a reasonable person from complaining. That’s why it’s crucial for HR to let supervisors and managers know they shouldn’t change anything about the employee’s working conditions without HR approval ...

Do you routinely keep unfilled positions open and posted? If so, consider removing them until your organization plans to actively recruit to fill them. Otherwise, an employee who is disgruntled for not having been promoted may see the posting and try to argue that he or she is being retaliated against for prior complaints ...

Employers at a post-Hurricane Katrina job site recently agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by the family of a Texas construction worker who died while doing repair work at a warehouse in Louisiana. Bobby Patton was working on a hurricane-damaged roof when he fell through an unmarked skylight to the concrete floor ...

Do you have an employee who doesn’t seem to be getting along with anyone? Has he complained about discrimination or some other supposed wrongdoing? If so, document the problems. If you don’t, you create legal risks ...

Performance evaluations are important tools to help employers gauge whether employees are performing at expected levels. They can help organizations spot talent and leadership potential, while identifying areas where employees need extra training and support. Evaluations also can protect employers from frivolous lawsuits filed by employees who claim they’ve been demoted, fired or otherwise unfairly treated when the real reason was poor performance ...

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