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Employment Law

Setting a ‘no restrictions’ policy could open you to ADA lawsuits

11/01/2000
Rhonda Otting took leave to control her epilepsy through surgery and medication. When the doctor released her to return to work as a J.C. Penney sales associate …

Know the law on what’s considered paid and unpaid on-call time

11/01/2000
Electronic technicians for Oklahoma Gas & Electric were required to monitor pagers and home computers while they were on call nights and weekends. Even though …

Don’t ‘shoot the messenger’, retaliation claim will usually stick

11/01/2000
Restaurant manager Peter Ball knew that one of his waiters was preparing to sue the restaurant for unpaid overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). When Ball alerted the company …

Use new EEOC manual to ensure your benefits don’t discriminate

11/01/2000
Whether you’ve been revving up employee benefits to find and keep top talent or paring them down to control costs, take a closer look at the impact. The Equal Employment …

Adapt work schedules to worship, religious TV shows included

11/01/2000
Employers are required to adjust work schedules to accommodate their employees’ religious observances, even for nontraditional beliefs. In a recent case, an employee …

Sexual orientation: Adapt policy to local, state law

11/01/2000
Although Congress has debated the idea, no federal law specifically prohibits job discrimination based on an employee or applicant’s sexual orientation. Employees …

Iron out union, legal issues

11/01/2000

Q. We have an apparent conflict between our union agreement and our responsibility to maintain a harassment-free workplace. The agreement says we must give the shop steward 48 hours’ notice before dismissing a regular employee. But we have proof positive that two employees have been harassing—and continue to harass—African-American and gay employees. The two harassers have just caused us to lose a good employee who couldn’t take it any longer. What trumps what? —J.V., Louisiana

Avoid time sheets for independent contractors

11/01/2000

Q. Does asking independent contractors to complete a time sheet jeopardize their independent contractor status? —P.M., Washington, D.C.

Plan any deductions for personal calls

11/01/2000

Q. We allow employees to use their company-issued cell phones for personal purposes up to a certain number of minutes every month. A recently discharged employee exceeded her monthly allotment. Can we recoup the cost of these extra minutes by withholding the amount from her last check? —P.P., South Carolina

Management meeting counts as work time

11/01/2000

Q. Last week, we asked a nonexempt employee to come in 30 minutes before her regular start time to talk to her about a complaint that had come to our attention. Do we have to pay her for the time spent in discussions with management? —G.B., Kentucky