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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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Government employees can’t be punished for exercising their First Amendment rights. But that rule has important restrictions. One of those is that, ordi­­narily, filing an internal grievance isn’t protected speech.
When a former employee sues and decides to represent himself in court, expect an expensive case. That’s be­­cause courts typically give so-called pro se litigants every benefit of the doubt, since they don’t have attorneys to guide them (or tell them their cases don’t have a chance).
Q. Do we have any duties or obligations if we discharge employees who are in the United States on work visas?
It's always a good idea to check to see whether an employee who is suing you has filed for bankruptcy. If he didn’t disclose the litigation against your company, he may lose the right to sue.
The hit television reality show “Stor­­age Wars” has suffered a legal set­­back. A court in Los Angeles has given one of its former stars, Dave Hester, the go-ahead to sue the show’s producers and the A&E cable TV network for retaliation.

A former postal worker has been sentenced to three years of probation after pleading guilty to workers’ compensation fraud. Her problems began in 2009 when co-workers spotted her looking quite fit while competing on television’s “The Price is Right” game show ...

Q. One of the employees in our office has been taping conversations unknown to the people he is taping. Does the employee have a right to do this?
Public employees can't be punished for speaking out on matters of public importance, as long as doing so isn’t an official part of their jobs. Until now, it has been an open question whether a police officer’s complaints about police brutality were protected.
If the California Department of Indus­­­trial Relations comes after you, don’t expect to get away with anything illegal. The department reports that since January 2013, a joint enforcement task force of state regulatory agencies looking for pay and safety violations has wound up citing 83% of work sites inspected.
A California appellate court has invalidated an arbitration agreement on the grounds that it was unconscionable. The court said it was both one-sided and oppressive.
A proposed OSHA rule would require employers of 250 or more employees to submit quarterly injury reports electronically. The rule—to be finalized next year—wouldn’t add new recordkeeping requirements but would accelerate the injury-reporting process.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 4 heard oral arguments in the first of several employment law cases to be considered in the 2013-2014 term, this one hinging on the question: What does it mean to change clothes?
Q. We have been contemplating developing a dress code. What kinds of legal issues do we need to consider?

The NLRB and EEOC are actively enforcing the position that a blanket policy requiring confidentiality during investigations violates federal labor and employment law. That means employers must proceed carefully and thoughtfully when making confidentiality requests during investigations.

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a number of cases during the 2013-14 term that could affect employers.
Amendments to Minnesota’s Par­­ent­­ing Leave Act took effect Aug. 1, expanding the definition of “covered family members” from just children. Now the definition includes not only minor children and those attending school (up to age 20), but also the employee’s own spouse, siblings, adult children, parents, grandparents and step-parents.
As prosecutors try to unravel Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, they are finding his personal life a tangled web as well.
Q. Our company received a report that an employee who called in sick on a Thursday and Friday later posted photos to her Facebook page that indicated she was traveling in another city with friends at the time. It appears she lied to us about being sick. Can we require her to give us her Facebook password so that we can see her online postings?
A bill before the New York Legislature would require employers to provide domestic or sexual abuse victims up to 90 days per year of unpaid leave to deal with the effects of the abuse.
Q. After making several accommodations for an em­­ployee who was recently diagnosed with epilepsy and assigned a service dog, another employee is now claiming he is allergic. Can we ask for medical documentation to confirm his allergy? And aside from moving him farther away from the dog, are there other accommodations we are required to make for him?
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