Category Archives: HR Law

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  It seems an Alabama company rescinded a job offer because an African American woman refused to cut off her dreadlocks.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

Manager Mistakes: 3 Key Lessons from the Courtroom

Would you rather learn a lesson about the proper way to handle employees’ concerns by having to respond to allegations in court, or from reading about others’ mistakes and taking notes?  It seems that it would be smarter—and less expensive—to learn about employment law from others’ mistakes, rather than your own. This article briefly describes three court decisions related to employment law that you might want to include in your manager’s toolbox.Read the rest

Social Media Criticism: Can You Force Employees to Remove Posts?

In the past, an employee’s critical statements about his employer might be heard or seen by a handful of individuals. Now, a single online post can reach tens of thousands of people. Because of social media, companies may be more sensitive to critical statements and likely to take swift action in response to negative comments by employees. However, employers must be careful. Some online posts may be protected by specific laws. The author of this article says that all companies Read the rest

Court Blocks Overtime Pay Rule from Taking Effect

The Labor Department’s rule which increased the salary level that hourly workers would be paid extra for overtime pay was recently blocked by a judge in Texas. The overtime rule, finalized in May, represented the first such increase in more than a decade. The Obama administration had said more than 4 million salaried workers stood to benefit from the change when it was to take effect December 1st. It was thought to be the most consequential action the Obama administration Read the rest

Do You know How Long You Should Retain Former Employees’ E-mails?

If you are thinking about deleting the e-mails and e-mail accounts of employees who no longer work for your library or organization, there are some bits of information that you should be aware of.  Although there are federal and state laws that require employers to retain certain personnel records, they don’t specifically address e-mail. This article provides several factors to keep in mind. The author recommends that libraries/companies develop an e-mail retention policy.Read the rest

New Deadline: Employers Must File Copies of Form W-2 by Jan. 31

In a recent press release, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reminded employers and small businesses of a new Jan. 31 filing deadline for Forms W-2. Changes are due to a new federal law —The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act. Enacted last December, the law is designed to make it easier for the IRS to detect and prevent refund fraud. In the past, employers typically had until the end of February, if filing on paper, or Read the rest

Can You Require Employees to Take Flu Shots?

As the weather turns colder, we are quickly moving into flu season. Many employers provide flu shots for their employees. But can you require your employees to take the shots? A hospital is being sued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in Pennsylvania federal court over this very issue.  The author of this article says that based on findings of this suit, the answer is a qualified yes.Read the rest

Watch Out for Witness Bias in Workplace Investigations

Employment law attorneys say that employers need to keep a close eye out for potential biases of witnesses and managers when investigating employee complaints of workplace discrimination.  According to this article, lawyers who reviewed a ruling made in August of this year by a federal appeals court in New York, said employers should be more cautious and “think twice about relying on” statements by a complaining employee’s co-workers. Read the rest

EEOC Issues First Retaliation Guidance Update Since 1998

Late last month, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued its final Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues, to replace its 1998 Compliance Manual section on retaliation.  EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang commented that “Retaliation is asserted in nearly 45 percent of all charges we receive and is the most frequently alleged basis of discrimination.” 

The final guidelines include discussions on topics such as what employee activity is protected under the law, remedies for retaliation, legal analysis Read the rest