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Employment Law

It pays to ‘check’ the details.

03/01/2001
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals tossed out a jury award to Sherman Jones, who sued under state age discrimination law. Reason: When Jones filed his complaint with the Equal …

Stray age remark buys you a ticket to court

03/01/2001
In removing Paul DeBrow as president of Century 21, the executive vice president allegedly said, “You’re too old for this shit.” Michigan’s Supreme Court says that’s enough direct evidence of possible …

Take direct approach to firing

03/01/2001
As Mary Flaherty saw it, her bosses at Metromail were running an organized campaign to make her so miserable that she’d quit. Flaherty, 61, says supervisors subjected her to sexist and …

Legality of arbitration depends where you are

02/01/2001
Before you require employees to arbitrate claims against you, find out whether it will stand up in court. A federal court in California recently barred a law firm from requiring …

How to respond when unions come a knockin’

02/01/2001
No union, no problem. Right? Not really. Even if your company isn’t unionized now, you can’t afford to be oblivious. Just ask Amazon.com. In the thick of the holiday shopping …

State Law Varies on When Clock Tolls for Overtime

02/01/2001

Q. What’s the definition of a standard workweek? One of our employees claims that overtime is defined as anything over eight hours per workday. Is he correct? —P.F., Minnesota

Body Odor: Clear the Air Over Staff Dress Code

02/01/2001

Q. In the December 2000 issue, you discussed the topic of employees with body odor. We also have a staff member with body odor so bad that other staff members have complained and even threatened to leave the agency. The employee has been disciplined several times and required to go home without pay until she agrees to comply with the dress code. At what point can we legally terminate her? —A.S., Michigan

New schedule legal, barring contract or illegal reason

02/01/2001

Q. Our company of 15 employees manufactures labels in California. We have an employee whom we want to move from the day shift to the swing shift. Although this employee has the most seniority, he has the least experience with the presses we run during the day. When we told the employee of our plans, he said that moving him would be illegal. Is he correct? We are worried that if we move him and he quits, it won’t be the last time that we hear from him. —T.R., California

Check state law for drug testing policy

02/01/2001

Q. Is drug testing permitted under Maryland law? —L.R., Maryland

Don’t shrug off same-race harassment

02/01/2001
Odis Ross’ boss at the county jail refused to call him Officer Ross. Instead, he addressed him as “black boy” and “nigger” and often referred to Ross’ wife, who is white, …