• The HR Specialist - Print Newsletter
  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
  • The HR Weekly

Employment Law

Lock her up! Defy DOL investigators, go to jail

A federal court has ordered the owner of a Michigan senior home-care services company to go to prison if she continues to ignore a March 2023 order to provide U.S. Department of Labor investigators with time and pay records.

ADA: Unpaid leave can be reasonable accommodation

The ADA requires employers and disabled employees to engage in an “interactive process” to explore possible accommodations that will enable the employee to perform a job’s essential functions. Then, the employer can pick the reasonable accommodation it prefers. But what if the employer chooses to place the employee on unpaid leave until a temporary flare-up of a disabling condition subsides?

NLRB joint-employer rule effective date extended until Feb. 26

The board extended the rule’s effective date to provide time to resolve legal challenges alleging that the rulemaking process violated the Congressional Review Act.

Avoid repeating Apple’s surprising $25 million discrimination mistake

The EEOC handled 5,500 complaints about national-origin discrimination in fiscal year 2022, the lowest number on record. Take that as a sign that employers have largely succeeded in stamping out bias based on where an applicant or employee comes from. But the federal government is still vigorously litigating national-origin claims it does uncover, going after employers that treat applicants or employees unfavorably because they are from a particular country or part of the world.

Psst, have you heard…? The answer should probably be ‘no’

What is it about confidentiality that rubs some employers the wrong way? Earlier this year, we were treated to the story of an employer-provided “priest” brought in to hear employees’ “confessions.” Now we have the case of an employer using its employee assistance program to violate an employee’s privacy.

Holiday scheduling: How to keep the peace

Federal law says you must make a reasonable effort to accommodate employees’ “sincere” religious beliefs, including trying to give them time off for religious observances. The best way to minimize scheduling disputes, especially around religious holidays, and avoid legal trouble is through a few smart preventative measures.

Warn managers against sending after-hours texts and emails to nonexempt subordinates

Chances are, almost all your employees have mobile devices that let them send and receive texts and emails at any time. Advise managers of hourly employees not to send electronic messages to them outside working hours. That counts as work for which they must be paid under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Tick tock, watch work off the clock

Would you know compensable working time if you saw it? If you pay for noncompensable working time anyway, you can put conditions on your payment. Two cases illustrate.

Count FMLA leave during the holidays the right way

Dec. 24 and 31 fall on Sundays this year. Some employers may give employees the two preceding Fridays off, to show their appreciation for a job well done. Other employers may close for the holiday week. These closures can complicate the calculation of employees’ FMLA leave.

Learn the lessons from ‘Pharmageddon’ walkout

On Oct. 30, thousands of pharmacy workers at drugstore chains including CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens walked off their jobs. They stayed away from work for three days. They dubbed the walkout “Pharmageddon”—and promised more work stoppages if changes don’t occur. This highlighted the danger of ignoring employee complaints and the adverse publicity worker walkouts can generate.