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Employment Law

Target missed connection with deaf applicant

The EEOC has sued the Target retail chain for failing to accommodate a qualified deaf applicant.

Arbitration pacts: Beware language barriers

Employers who have their employees sign arbitration agreements need to consider what might happen if an employee challenges the agreement on the grounds that it might be unconscionable.

Bosses aren’t docs: Don’t diagnose employees

Generally, disabled workers have to request accommodations for their disabilities and aren’t entitled to any unless they do. But what if a supervisor suspects the employee may be disabled?

Diversity initiatives: Make sure your good intentions are lawful

While the Supreme Court has never overturned an employer’s voluntary affirmative action policy, lower courts have struck down such policies when they have strayed beyond Title VII and trammeled upon the rights of male and nonminority employees.

Union has no independent duty to investigate harassment

A worker who sued both her employer and her union over alleged sexual harassment doesn’t have a separate action against the union over allegations it didn’t independently investigate her claim.

Religion: Extended leave may be undue hardship

Employers must reasonably accommodate employees’ religious practices, as long as it does not cause an undue hardship.

Track every harassment complaint, document your efforts to address the problem

Employers that create a complaint system for reporting harassment and follow through on those complaints with appropriate action earn a defense to most harassment claims.

ADA: Bosses must address poor performance

Sometimes, managers allow a poor performer to get by for a long time. Letting it slide seems easier than insisting on improvement or imposing discipline. But delaying action can trip you up later if the employee later claims a disability and demands reasonable accommodations.

Good job descriptions thwart ADA lawsuits

The best way to avoid a trip to the courtroom to deal with an Americans with Disabilities Act accusation is to use a job description that concentrates on these components.

Sued for bias? Prepare to turn over discipline records

When an employee alleges that discrimination caused him to be punished more severely than other workers outside his protected class, his lawyer will probably demand disciplinary records relating to other workers. Be prepared to hand over those records.