Category Archives: HR Law

5 Things Employers Can Do to Avoid Disability Discrimination Lawsuits

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charge statistics, over 28,000 disability discrimination charges were filed with the agency last year. It’s no secret that discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims based on disability cost employers plenty—and it’s not just the dollars awarded in damages. It’s the expense of litigation. It’s the time employers must spend defending claims. It’s the bad publicity for the company. It’s the damage to employee morale. This article provides suggestions to help employers avoid Read the rest

Medical Marijuana: When a Positive Drug Test May Not be Grounds to Fire an Employee

Last month, Massachusetts’ highest court held that a medical marijuana patient terminated for failing a drug screening could state a claim for disability discrimination against her employer. According to this article, many states’ medical marijuana laws contain the similar language to that which the court relied on. Therefore, it is suggested that employers outside of Massachusetts pay attention to the details of this and similar cases.Read the rest

Credit Checks for Employees and Applicants: Are They Worth It?

Given the varying federal, state, and local credit check requirements, employers should consider the relevance of the information they would obtain from a credit report.  Of course, credit checks may be needed for certain people dealing with financial matters. However, this article says that employers should ask themselves whether a credit check is actually “worth the effort and, potentially, the risk that comes with it.”Read the rest

Can Employers By-Pass Job Applicants for Being Too Qualified? (Code: Too Old)

If you have ever been in a position where you needed a job—any job—to pay the bills, you probably applied for positions for which you knew you were over-qualified. After waiting days, weeks, even months with no responses to your golden resume, you realize something is wrong. No employers were rushing to hire you. Then you learn that someone who had almost no experience compared to you was offered the position. Infuriated, you’re sure it’s because of your age. Do … Read the rest

Employers Should Think About the Changing Marijuana Laws When Reviewing Drug Policies

Marijuana laws have undergone significant change in recent years.  Although marijuana is still illegal under federal law, 28 states have passed laws making medical marijuana legal and eight states as well as the District of Columbia have made recreational marijuana legal. This article suggests employers  consider these legal changes when developing and/or revising drug policies. Read the rest

Bill to Alter Private Sector FLSA Overtime Rules Passes House

bill (H.R.1180 – Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017) that would allow nonexempt, private sector employees to choose either time-and-a-half overtime pay or an hour and a half of compensatory time off in exchange for working extra hours, has passed the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill attempts to take something that has been available to government workers since 1985 and extend it to private-sector employees. HRDive gives a brief overview and suggests that we keep an eye Read the rest

Be Careful What You Say When Discussing a Worker’s Pregnancy

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) forbids discrimination based on pregnancy when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, such as leave and health insurance, and any other term or condition of employment. As this brief description of a recent court case demonstrates, supervisors and hiring managers must be especially careful about comments made regarding a worker’s pregnancy. Certain comments could lead to law suits against your library or organization. Read the rest

When is Bad Workplace Behavior Not Protected Under ADA?

Most employers have rules to govern workplace behavior. However, enforcement of these rules may depend on several factors if an employee has a disability. According to this article, when addressing misconduct by an employee with a disability, the first question that needs to be resolved is whether there’s a causal link between the employee’s disability and the behavior. That’s important in determining whether termination or other discipline is lawful.  An employer must be in compliance with current Americans with Read the rest

Age Discrimination Could Land You in Hot Water and Cost Millions

Efforts to reduce costs often have many employers tempted to eliminate older workers. After-all, they are usually the ones who have been with the organization the longest and probably have the highest costs associated with their employment status (i.e. higher wages, higher health care costs, higher benefit costs, etc.). You might be thinking, surely today’s employers are smarter than that. However, a recent study showed that older workers experience discrimination more often, even in the hiring process. The report indicated Read the rest

Does My Employer Have a Right to Tell Me How to Style My Hair?

Dreadlocks were at the center of a case decided late last year by the federal 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.  It seems an Alabama company rescinded a job offer because an African American woman refused to cut off her dreadlocks. The author of this article says that “whether the employer’s decision to discriminate or behave in a biased and prejudicial manner was ultimately deemed legal or not, this woman was quietly labeled unattractive, and she lost the means to make Read the rest