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Employment Law

‘Emotional caregivers’ win FMLA coverage

Truck driver Joseph Scamihorn Jr. saw his 73-year-old father fall into a deep depression soon after his daughter, Joseph’s sister, was murdered. After notifying his employer, Scamihorn left his job for …

Toughen your hiring policy to help neutralize union ‘salts’

In applying for a job with a heating and air conditioning company, an applicant stated that he had been laid off from his previous job. But the truth was that the …

Employees have no privacy claim to company-supplied home PC

For 12 years, a senior insurance executive used two company- provided computers, one at the office and one at his home. He had signed his company’s computer policy, agreeing to use …

Court can enforce flextime, ‘quiet time’ as accommodations

A file clerk who suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder, a recognized disability, was easily distracted and had trouble completing her work. As an accommodation, she asked for permission to do some …

React fast, firmly to harassment; courts will reward your judgment

A political cover-up usually gets people in bigger trouble than the crime itself. The same is true in the workplace. Trying to sweep employee misbehavior under the rug will only dig …

Draft bulletproof waiver deals with 6 court-approved benchmarks

Courtney Melanson suffered two years of unwanted sexual advances by her supervisor at Browning-Ferris Industries (BFI). She took medical leave due to the stress and, when she returned, BFI assigned her …

Supreme Court drops pivotal age case

Can employees file age-discrimination lawsuits based on the fact that a company’s action, while not discriminatory on its face, has an unfair impact on workers over age 40? In a handful …

‘Past-tense’ pregnancy isn’t enough

A federal district court tossed out a case brought by an office manager who claimed she was harassed during her pregnancy and fired eight months after she returned to work. Reason: …

EEOC lifts controversial ADEA link to retiree benefits

Bowing to criticism from employers and employee groups, the EEOC has officially rescinded its policy of applying the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) to employer-sponsored retiree health benefit plans. …

FMLA recordkeeping hassles costing businesses big bucks

Complying with the information-collection requirements of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) costs large- and medium-size employers an average of $825,000 annually, says a recent survey by the Employment …