Category Archives: HR Law

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  It seems an Alabama company rescinded a job offer because an African American woman refused to cut off her dreadlocks.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

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