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Employment Law

Union election petitions rising dramatically, unfair labor practices charges also up

Union election petitions rose 35% in the first six months of fiscal year 2024 compared to the same period a year ago, while unfair labor practices charges filed with the National Labor Relations Board increased 7%.

Discipline consistently, equitably to avoid discrimination liability

Every employee who breaks the same rule should receive the same level of discipline. Absent some solid, fact-based reason, treating some employees more leniently than others is practically begging to be sued for discrimination. That’s especially true if a manager treats members of a particular protected class more harshly or more favorably than employees who belong to different protected classes.

Women still being asked inappropriate interview questions

Every manager knows some job interview questions are off-limits because they can lead to discriminatory hiring decisions, right? Wrong, according to a new survey.

Think twice before demanding workers’ social-media passwords

To get around social-media roadblocks, some employers require employees to either open their accounts or turn over their social-media usernames and passwords. This obviously raises privacy concerns and has caught the attention of state legislators in several jurisdictions.

Regulate your use of noncompete agreements before the government does it for you

Legally speaking, to be enforceable, a post-employment restrictive covenant must be narrowly tailored by time, geography and a reasonable business interest worthy of protection. Yet, like a recent example, all too often employers require too many employees to sign overly broad and overly restrictive agreements. It’s bullying and a scare tactic.

Accommodate neurodiverse employees

Most organizations probably have at least one employee who fits under the neurodiverse umbrella and who may be entitled to workplace help. While each condition labelled as neurodivergent differs, all share a number of common management strategies that can prove useful in the workplace.

New hires can’t use religion as reason to withhold SSN

You must offer religious accommodations when possible, but not if it would cause you to break the law.

When one employee sues for race bias, brace yourself for a class-action lawsuit

A California judge has given the go-ahead for a massive class-action race discrimination lawsuit against Tesla that may bring over 6,000 Black employees into the lawsuit. It’s the latest legal setback for the automaker, following years of lawsuits alleging Tesla tolerates racial discrimination and harassment at factories in California.

Design benefits plans that equally and fairly serve employees of all ages

When tailoring benefits to appeal to younger members of your workforce, remember your older employees, too. It’s illegal to exclude employees from using any of your benefits on the basis of age.

Ensure dress code doesn’t cause discrimination

If you haven’t reviewed and revised your employee handbook’s dress and grooming policy lately, now is a good time to look for antiquated rules that could trigger lawsuits. That’s especially true if a supervisor tries to enforce out-of-date and potentially discriminatory standards. That’s a lesson one employer recently learned when a supervisor insisted women wear pantyhose and forego cosmetic embellishments that had religious and cultural significance to an employee.