Mental Disabilities And The ADA: Is Employee Who Abandons Job Entitled To A Second Chance?

One of your employees fails to return to work following a leave. Despite repeated attempts to contact her, you hear nothing and receive no explanation for her continued absence. Finally, you terminate her. But then she turns around and sues you for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, claiming she was having a manic depressive […]

News Notes: New Free Information for Employers on Discrimination Laws

A new fact sheet summarizing federal employment-related laws is available from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It’s geared toward smaller businesses, but contains a helpful overview of legal obligations that could be of interest to all employers. It covers subjects such as which employers are subject to federal employment laws, how employees are counted for […]

News Notes: “Serial” Harasser Costs Employer $1 Million

Three employees were awarded more than $1 million in damages after claiming that their employer failed to stop a co-worker who was harassing company employees for nearly two decades. The employees, who worked as customer service representatives for Ameritech Corp., alleged the co-worker had harassed 18 women over a 19-year period before finally being fired […]

News Notes: Employees Win Big Damages for Meal Period Violations

If employees are free to do what they wish during a lunch or other meal break, the general rule is you don’t have to pay them for that time. But what if they’re required to remain on company premises? In two recent cases, employees who weren’t permitted to leave during meal periods have won big […]

News Notes: New Overtime Rules Coming January 1: Are You Ready?

As of January 1, 1998, most private-sector, non-union employees will be entitled to overtime only after 40 hours in a week rather than eight hours in a day. The industries affected are manufacturing; public housekeeping; professional, technical and clerical; mercantile; and transportation. If you’re covered, you need to be prepared. First, if you haven’t yet […]

Family And Medical Leave: How Much Notice Must Employees Give You? New Cases Shed Light On Two Common Problems

When the family leave laws were enacted, the issue of how much notice your employees must give before taking a leave seemed relatively simple. But it hasn’t turned out that way. Say, for example, your employee wants to change the dates of her family leave after you already made arrangements based on her earlier notice. […]

Exempt Employees: Court Approves Hourly Overtime For Salaried Workers; What The New Rules Mean To You

Under federal law, employees who are exempt from the overtime rules must usually be paid a fixed salary regardless of the number of hours they work. But suppose an exempt employee does extra work and you want to compensate them for it? Many legal experts had believed that additional pay would jeopardize an employee’s exempt […]

Who’s Entitled To Overtime: New Case Examines Which Administrative Employees Must Be Paid Overtime; A Compliance Checklist

Figuring out who’s exempt from the overtime rules and who isn’t can be very complicated. Impressive titles and salaries don’t count. Only the employee’s actual job duties matter. And of the four main exemptions-managerial, administrative, professional and sales-the administrative exemption is the least clear-cut. In fact, employers continue to reel from an epidemic of multi-million […]

Hiring And The ADA: Going The Extra Mile To Find An Opening For Disabled Applicants—How Far Should You Go

Whenever someone with a disability applies for a job, you must consider whether a reasonable accommodation would permit the person to do the work. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to know when you’ve done enough and when you should do more. And while going the extra mile to accommodate a disabled applicant can benefit everyone, […]

Fitness-For-Duty Exams: Court OKs Them Even If Injured Workers Return With No Restrictions; Procedures To Implement Now

  Suppose you have an employee who is off work because of an injury. When the employee’s doctor gives them the green light to return without limitations, you may still be concerned that the person cannot do their job properly. So you ask the worker to first undergo a fitness-for-duty evaluation. If the employee refuses, […]