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Employment Law

Keep your nose out of employees’ off-duty activities

04/01/2000
The more you consider limiting the actions of workers while they’re off the clock, the closer you step toward a lawsuit. More than half the states have laws protecting …

Reservist leave: Know workers’ rights when duty calls

04/01/2000
Forget the image of the “weekend warrior” serving one weekend a month and two weeks a year in the National Guard or Reserves. Uncle Sam wants your employees …

Not everyone counts for COBRA threshold

04/01/2000

Q. This year our company may exceed 20 employees for the first time. Is it true that employers of 20 or more employees have to offer COBRA? Do part-time employees and independent contractors count toward that total? —M.K., Minnesota

You must pay for all work, even if it’s not authorized

04/01/2000

Q. In the October 1999 issue, you explained that nonexempt employees who work more than 40 hours in a week are entitled to overtime for all hours over 40, regardless of whether the overtime was authorized. Do we owe overtime if a nonexempt employee works more than his or her scheduled hours even if the total number of hours worked does not exceed 40? —J.P., Illinois

Check state law before asking about convictions

04/01/2000

Q. Our employment application asks whether the candidate has been convicted of a felony. Is it legal for us to ask this? If so, can we ask what the applicant has been convicted of and can that information be used as a basis for not hiring an individual? —C.H., Arizona

Don’t Ban Breast-Feeding if You Allow Baby at Work

04/01/2000

Q. Can we legally prohibit female workers from breast-feeding at work? —R.B., California

Older replacement won’t erase age bias claim

04/01/2000
After a financially strapped hospital turned over its collection and registration duties to an outside vendor, four female workers over age 40 lost …

Firing can’t masquerade as a one-person rif

04/01/2000
Elizabeth Bellaver, a manager at a manufacturing plant, consistently earned excellent job evaluations. But her supervisor noted problems with her …

‘Direct threat’ no longer required to bar former substance abusers

04/01/2000
After the 1989 Valdez oil spill cost it billions of dollars, Exxon tightened its policy on recovered substance abusers. It permanently removed any employee who had been …

To the winner goes … the loser’s legal bill

04/01/2000
Houston police officer David Garcia was denied a transfer to the city’s SWAT team even though his evaluations ranked higher than three of the four officers selected. One reason Garcia …