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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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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 ...

An energy specialist with the Ohio Department of Development filed a race-discrimination complaint with
the Civil Rights Division, arguing the department passed him over for promotions to two positions because he is black. The department acknowledged it had created the positions specifically with two other men in mind to keep them from leaving ...

An Ohio public employee collective-bargaining law exemption that allows workers to forgo paying union dues because of religious beliefs has been applied too narrowly, the U.S. District Court, Southern District, has decided ...

Employees seeking relief from on-the-job discrimination on the basis of their race, sex, age, national origin or religion can typically pursue their claims under federal law, Ohio law (Ohio Revised Code Section 4112.02) or both. In most cases, it doesn’t matter whether the employee sues under state or federal law—the court will apply the same cases and reasoning. The same is not true in pregnancy discrimination cases. That’s because the Ohio Civil Rights Commission interprets pregnancy discrimination quite differently than does its federal counterpart, the EEOC ...

Q. Is obtaining a legal release from an employee in exchange for severance pay guaranteed to prevent any legal action by that person? —J.S. ...

You’ve heard a rumor that one of your employees is looking for or has already accepted another job. Then you call him into a meeting to discuss the matter. You ask whether the rumor is true. That’s when the employee admits the job hunt, but hits you with the reason: He claims the work environment is so hostile that he has no choice but to look. What’s your next step? Do you fire him since he’s looking for other work? Or do you tell him you will investigate his claims and then follow up? ...

Employees who complain of harassment may actually be experiencing a personality conflict. Circumstances that lead someone to see harassment based on race, disability or gender may be nothing more than the result of difficulty getting along with others. If your internal investigation reveals no real discrimination, you may be tempted to move the feuding parties as far away from each other as possible. But that may backfire, especially if the person you transfer is the one who complained of discrimination in the first place ...

Q. Recently, one of my employees quit without giving notice. I was advised that under New York labor law, I have to pay all earned and unused vacation. Is this true? If so, what can I do to prevent this from happening in the future? ...

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