Category Archives: HR Law

Supreme Court Vacates 9th Circuit Salary History Ruling

On February 25th, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated and remanded a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that salary history alone can’t justify pay gaps between men and women. Basically, the Supreme Court made a previous ruling invalid and sent the case back to the lower court from which it was appealed, with instructions as to what further proceedings should be had.

The High Court’s decision to vacate the ruling will most directly affect employers who operate in Read the rest “Supreme Court Vacates 9th Circuit Salary History Ruling”

DOL Releases New Overtime Proposal

In a statement released last week (March 7, 2019) the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would make more than a million more American workers eligible for overtime.

Under currently enforced law, employees with a salary below $455 per week ($23,660 annually) must be paid overtime if they work more than 40 hours per week. Workers making at least this salary level may be eligible for overtime based on their job duties. This Read the rest “DOL Releases New Overtime Proposal”

How to Fire Without Lawsuits or Drama

Some managers feel that terminating employees is one of the hardest parts of their job. It can also be one of the most legally dangerous part. More lawsuits stem from firings than any other employee interactions. How can you avoid the anger of fired employees that might later manifest itself as a lawsuit? This article offers six simple rules for managers to follow that could help avoid costly mistakes when it comes to firing employees.Read the rest “How to Fire Without Lawsuits or Drama”

Retaliation Costs Employers

I’m sure you’ve heard it before. You’ll probably hear it again and again. What is it? That managers, and HR in particular should take all complaints of discrimination seriously, act on them promptly, and ensure that there is no retaliation. This brief article demonstrates just how costly retaliation can be for employers. In the case, a credit union fired an African American branch manager because she opposed the use of a racially offensive video during a training session. A discrimination Read the rest “Retaliation Costs Employers”

Employers: Address and Correct Racial Slurs Immediately…or Else

We would like to believe that all employers take discrimination seriously and work diligently to keep it out of the workplace. However, it is evident by some recent cases, that this is not always the case. Employers have an obligation to take immediate and appropriate action if an employee reports discrimination -—no matter who the alleged perpetrator might be (i.e. a coworker, a supervisor, etc.). This article discusses a recent case which should serve as a stark reminder that the Read the rest “Employers: Address and Correct Racial Slurs Immediately…or Else”

Standing Up for Pregnant Workers

This year, 2018, marked the 40th anniversary of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978. It is an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and states that discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions constitutes unlawful sex discrimination under Title VII. Women affected by pregnancy or related conditions must be treated in the same manner as other applicants or employees who are similar in their ability or inability to work.Read the rest “Standing Up for Pregnant Workers”

Disciplining an Employee with a Suspected Addiction or Substance Abuse Issue

With the increase of legalized marijuana along with opioid and other drug addictions in the United States, a supervisor might be wondering how many or if any of their employees have substance abuse issues. If you have an employee that you suspect might have an addiction or substance abuse concern, your initial thought might be to just fire the person to get rid of the problem. Beware, this action could involve a certain level of risk and lead to legal Read the rest “Disciplining an Employee with a Suspected Addiction or Substance Abuse Issue”

3 Tips for Getting a Workforce Through Flu Season

Influenza viruses—better known as the flu—typically spread in the United States annually from late fall through early spring. Most persons who get the flu recover without long-term effects. However, influenza can cause serious illness, hospitalization, and death, particularly among older adults, very young children, pregnant women, and those with certain chronic medical conditions. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends routine annual flu vaccination for all persons aged six months and older who do not have contraindications. Getting the vaccination Read the rest “3 Tips for Getting a Workforce Through Flu Season”

Address Harassment Complaints or Face Possible Law Suits

When employers fail to stop harassment, they may be in violation of federal anti-discrimination laws. Based on the 1st U.S. Circuit Court’s ruling last month (Aug. 2018; Rivera-Rivera v. Medina & Medina, No. 17-1191) employees need not track every instance of harassment for their lawsuits to survive summary judgment.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), age discrimination is often viewed as more acceptable than other forms of discrimination by employers. The agency has warned, however, Read the rest “Address Harassment Complaints or Face Possible Law Suits”

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Invites Briefs Regarding Employee Use of Employer Email

Employers may see a change in how they can restrict the use of their email and other communications systems now that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is requesting comments on what standard it should apply.

In a notice issued August 1st, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) invited the filing of briefs on whether the Board should adhere to, modify, or overrule Purple Communications, Inc., 361 NLRB 1050 (2014).

In Purple Communications, the Board held that employees Read the rest “National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Invites Briefs Regarding Employee Use of Employer Email”