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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 has cited a Pasadena film production company for one willful and one serious safety violation for exposing employees to hazards that killed a camera assistant.
Here’s some disturbing news, courtesy of the Minnesota Supreme Court: When a supervisor threatens an employee with punishment or discharge for filing a workers’ compensation claim, that threat alone is grounds for a lawsuit.

“You have been sued.” When employers first read these words and realize the lawsuit launched against them is in a state court, most Texas employers—indeed, most employers—make it their first order of business to get the case moved to a federal court. Why? Defense attorneys cite various advantages to be gained from such a change, which is known as removal.

With the July 2014 enactment of the Compassionate Care Act, New York became the 23rd state to legalize medical marijuana. Employers should become familiar with how the law may affect the workplace.
Lately, courts have landed hard on attorneys who take so-called frivolous cases, hoping to wrestle a quick settlement from ­employers eager to make the case go away. That should theoretically reduce the number of frivolous lawsuits. It probably won’t.
The U.S. Department of Labor has opened a new front in its war to crack down on employers that misclassify workers as independent contractors: It’s helping states scour unemployment insurance records for evidence of misclassification.
In a few short weeks, California employers with 50 or more em­­ployees must change their training programs to include new material. Effective Jan. 1, anti-bullying training is mandatory for covered employers thanks to Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature on A.B. 2053 back in September.
Here’s a warning for supervisors and managers. When transferring an employee to another position, make sure you don’t make promises that create an employment contract. Such promises, under New York state contract law, don’t necessarily have to be in writing. Fortunately, they do have to be specific.
On July 22, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that amends the New York Human Rights Law by adding a new Section 296-c titled, “Unlawful discriminatory practices relating to interns.”
Does standing in line count as work? That was at the core of the Justice’s questions on Oct. 7 as the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk (No. 13-433, U.S. Supreme Court, 2014).
Here’s a warning for employers facing litigation: Don’t wait to check whether the employee filed EEOC or other administrative claims on time. Raise the issue early.
When the EEOC issues a so-called “right to sue” letter, the recipient has just 90 days to file a federal lawsuit. But courts are increasingly reluctant to dismiss cases filed within a few days of the deadline.
OSHA has issued a final rule that goes into effect Jan. 1. Now is the time to train for it.

If your workplace seems as politically divided as the country, and the atmosphere is getting nasty, it’s time for you to step in. But will you be trampling on employees’ First Amendment rights if you ban all political talk?

If your company is classified as a motor carrier, don’t expect the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAAA) to protect you from misclassification claims. That’s the lesson learned by one motor carrier after a recent Cali­­for­­nia Supreme Court decision.
With great fanfare, Minnesota’s new Women’s Economic Secu­­rity Act was signed into law on Mother’s Day in May 2014. WESA is aimed at closing the gender gap by breaking down barriers to economic progress for women. It creates a number of new legal requirements and amends various existing laws.

Not long ago, the U.S. Supreme Court made it harder for em­­ployees to prove retaliation under Title VII anti-discrimination provisions. Under the New York City Human Rights Law, employees need only prove retaliation was an important motive in an adverse employment decision, not the only one.

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that will decide whether a job applicant must specifically request an accommodation before an employer can be held liable for having a dress code that prohibits religious attire or grooming practices.
Q. One of my workers brought a backpack into work today that I have reason to believe contains illegal substances. The worker stored the bag in his company-provided locker. Can I search his belongings?
Employers occasionally become dejected over the prospects of defending against tort and other civil claims in state courts. However, a recent case out of Houston reaffirms that employers can and do win these kinds of cases—if they have implemented the appropriate policies.
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