Can job offer be contingent on drug test?

Q. Our Pennsylvania company wants to begin screening applicants for illegal drugs. Can we make job offers conditional on the results of a drug test?

What rights do employers have under Texas's Open Carry Law? Can we ban guns at work?

Q. We are a private business that would like to prohibit our employees and customers from carrying firearms inside our corporate premises. May we do so?

Lessons from LochteGate: Regulating alcohol in the workplace

Here are some strategies for minimizing the potential for alcohol-related misconduct.

Is it true that California law requires us to give employees a way to work sitting down?

Q. An employee recently complained that I was violating California’s “suitable seating law” by requiring him to stand throughout his shift. Am I required to let my employees sit?

What legalized marijuana might mean for California employers

Voters will have the opportunity next month to determine whether California joins a growing number of states that have legalized recreational marijuana. If so, what would this mean for employers?

Government employees' internal complaints aren't 'speech'

Public employees who complain internally about personnel decisions specific to them aren’t engaging in protected free speech.

Set reasonable call-in rules for absences

For many employers, absenteeism is a constant problem. You know you must give employees some slack, but, to make sure the work gets done, you need to know who’s going to show up and who isn’t.

Arbitration decisions tend to stick

There’s a downside to agreeing to decide disciplinary matters in arbitration. Once you agree to have your decisions second-guessed in arbitration, don’t expect to get the arbitrator’s decision easily overturned.

Court: Arbitrators -- not judges -- should decide validity of arbitration agreements

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has handed arbitrators the power to decide if arbitration agreements are valid. The appeals court ruled that it was legitimate to ask whether an arbitration agreement applied to an employee’s pre-existing Fair Labor Standards Act claim, but that it was a question best answered not by a judge, but by an arbitrator.

Relax! Your arbitration agreement is likely valid

As long as you get expert legal help creating a valid arbitration agreement, Texas courts will probably enforce it.

Make sure arbitration agreements are fair, clearly written and easy to understand

Arbitration agreements are enforceable in California only if they are conscionable. Courts are likely to uphold arbitration agreements written in plain language that is easy for employees to understand.

Ensure lack of clarity doesn't cause liability

Rules that are unclear, vague or poorly worded can spell trouble if they end up being applied differently to some employees and not others. That’s one reason you should pay careful attention to the language in your policies.

Ensure handbook asserts at-will employment

If you have a handbook that provides workers with a limited right to contest proposed discipline, make sure it also has a very strong at-will statement.

Zero-tolerance policies: an open door to trouble?


On paper, zero-tolerance policies seem like a good idea: You warn employees that your organization will not tolerate even one instance of on-the-job misconduct. But life isn’t always so simple.

7 steps for handling employee complaints

Each time HR receives an employee complaint about discrimination or harassment, it should follow these steps—consistently and fairly.
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