Category Archives: HR Law

7th Circuit: Psych Exam Following Bizarre Behavior was Reasonable

With stories of mass shootings appearing in the news, employers are concerned about mental health in the workplace.  If an employee acts “strange” but does not make explicit threats, employers may be hesitant to take action. It can be difficult to know when an employee is acting “weird” or just having a bad day.  Employers can require employees to have psychiatric exams, but many don’t want to over-react and end up facing a discrimination charge or lawsuit. Under the Americans Read the rest

Department of Labor Launches Wage Violation Self-Reporting Program

The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced the launching of a nationwide pilot program that encourages employers to audit their own pay practices and self-report any Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) violations they find.  The new program, the Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program, is intended to facilitate resolutions of potential overtime and minimum wage violations. The DOL said that the program’s primary objectives are to resolve claims expeditiously and without litigation, Read the rest

Managing the Legal Way: 4 Lessons from the Courts

Are you curious about the proper way to handle various topics related to employment law? If you said yes, then read on. This article provides brief details on four court cases which exemplify core concepts—and traps to watch out for—in employment law. Key take-aways include the suggestions that managers avoid comments or questions about employee doctor visits, that managers focus on employee actions, not feelings when it comes to disciplining employees, that managers not encourage or allow employees to work … Read the rest

Managers, Be Fair When Granting (or Denying) Requests for Leave

To many employees, time off is just as valuable as wages. It can mean some semblance of work/life balance for many. Requests for time off could even be related to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). That’s why it’s essential to administer leave benefits fairly and equitably. Denying one worker’s leave request while allowing another worker to take time off could trigger a lawsuit if someone from another protected class is allowed to take more leave. This article briefly describes Read the rest

The Dirty Dozen: 12 Manager Mistakes that Spark Lawsuits

Lawsuits by employees against their employers have grown in the past decade. Often, lawsuits are initiated as a result of simple management mistakes and perceived slights. What many people don’t realize is that some laws allow employees to sue their supervisors directly, meaning a manager’s personal bank account could be affected. This article lists 12 of the biggest mistakes that managers make that could potentially harm a library’s or an organization’s credibility in court. Human Resource professionals might consider using Read the rest

Quiz: Do You Know the Correct Answers?

1. What does the federal law say about extra pay for people working weekends, nights or holidays?

  1. It’s not required, but some state laws may apply
  2. It’s required at time-and-a-half
  3. It’s required at double time
  4. It’s not required, but you must give a bonus

Correct answer: A

Extra pay for working weekends or nights is a matter of agreement between the employer and the employee (or the employee’s representative). The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require extra pay Read the rest

DOJ Reverses Stance on Transgender Workplace Protections

Human Resource professionals, managers, anyone who has a job, or anyone looking for a job should take note. According to this article, it appears that the current administration has plans to reverse many of the employment policies passed under the previous administration. As an example, several days ago Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo stating that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (which bans workplace discrimination on the basis of sex) does not protect individuals against discrimination Read the rest

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