11.1% of workers belong to a union, membership rate held steady in 2015

The union membership rate—the percent of hourly and salaried workers who were union members—was 11.1% in 2015, unchanged from 2014, according to the latest numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Postpone discipline while awaiting FMLA certification

It can take a long time to process an FMLA request, especially if the employee doesn’t promptly respond to demands to provide medical certification of the need for leave.

NLRB ruling: Audio recording at work may violate NLRA


The National Labor Relations Board has assumed an activist posture in the last few years, issuing detailed guidance on everything from how you should word your at-will notice to whether you can tell workers not to discuss their earnings or gossip about work.

Worker takes patient records, university pays HIPAA fine

Lest there be any doubt that employers are ultimately responsible for keeping confidential information under wraps, consider the case of the University of Rochester Medical Center. It is now paying for a security breach that was entirely preventable.

Triborough Bridge & Tunnel Authority settles PDA claims

The Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority has agreed to settle charges it discriminated against female officers by automatically transferring them to less desirable assignments when the officers revealed they were pregnant.

Isolated, mild comments don't add up to legitimate lawsuit

Some terminated employees think that all they need to do to build a winning lawsuit is recall an offensive comment a supervisor once made. That’s not usually true.

Retire or you're fired? Prepare for age bias suit

It’s fine to offer an early retirement buyout. It’s a very bad idea to say that, if not enough older workers accept the offer, they might be fired.

Transfer away from alleged harasser may be an ADA reasonable accommodation

Usually, judges rule it’s not a reasonable ADA accommodation to not have to work for a particular supervisor. In other words, a disabled worker can’t demand a transfer away from a specific supervisor, even if that supervisor may aggravate the employee’s disability.

Boss's affair with someone else is no basis for third party's bias or harassment suit

The fact that a supervisor may favor a subordinate with whom he is romantically linked doesn’t justify a sex discrimination or harassment lawsuit by someone who isn’t involved in the affair.

When 'continual violation' may exist, courts allow harassment claims dating back decades

Here’s something to remember if you find that an employee’s sexual harassment allegations have been swept under the rug, unresolved and ignored.

FMLA case: Your hands could be tied for years

A federal court has issued an injunction preventing an employer from firing a worker seeking to take FMLA leave until the litigation ends. That could take years.

True or False: You know a lot about sexual harassment in the workplace

Sexual harassment costs workplaces hundreds of millions of dollars annually in lost productivity and legal liability. Beyond the dollar figures, companies struggle with the bad PR that comes with it, and individuals must endure the shame.

Age bias: Prepare to justify every termination

If you decide to terminate an older employee and hire a younger replacement, assume that you will be sued for age discrimination.

Beware blanket ban on religious expression

Employees have a right to reasonable accommodation of their religious practices. That means employers must try to find ways for employees to exercise their beliefs unless doing so would be an undue burden.

Supreme Court skeptical about required union dues

Organized labor had what appeared to be a bad day in court Jan. 11 when the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that asked whether government employees can be required to pay union dues if they object to the union’s political activities.
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