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Employment Law

Telecommuting OK for some? Allow for pregnant staff, too

If working from home is an option for some of your employees, be sure to consider it a possible reasonable accommodation for pregnant women who have temporary restrictions.

Signed offer letter can bind worker to arbitration

If you use arbitration to resolve workplace disputes, you can bind new employees via a signed offer letter. Just make sure the letter states the basics, including what claims must be arbitrated.

Employee must actually ask employer for religious accommodations

An employer’s obligation to discuss reasonable religious accommodations isn’t triggered by a general complaint about scheduling. The employee must make a specific request for the religious accommodation so the employer can evaluate it.

Angry outbursts are inappropriate, but don’t always create hostile environment

Sometimes, supervisors lose their cool with a difficult subordinate. Fortunately, a few isolated incidents aren’t enough to create a hostile work environment.

Provide FMLA forms as soon as you suspect serious health condition

When an employee requests FMLA leave or even just asks about leave for a serious health condition, make sure you provide the proper FMLA forms. Never brush off such a request or tell him he doesn’t need to “apply” for FMLA leave.

Terrible job interview? Note that for the record

Tell members of hiring committees that it’s important to make note of a candidate who interviews poorly. That’s especially true if the candidate isn’t selected and the interview was an important reason why.

Restaurateur forks over $240K of own money for harassment

The principal owner of West Village hot spot The Spotted Pig has agreed to pay 11 former employees $240,000—and a share of his profits over the next 10 years—to settle sexual harassment charges.

Ugly behavior not necessarily harassment

When unpleasant behavior comes to light, it’s important to step back and calmly analyze the facts. If the alleged acts aren’t pervasive or severe, it’s probably not actionable sexual harassment.

DOL funding would fall 11% under Trump’s 2021 budget

The Trump administration wants to cut Department of Labor funding by 11% in Fiscal Year 2021, according to its annual budget proposal issued Feb. 10. The FY 2021 discretionary budget request for the DOL is $11.1 billion.

House backs pro-union PRO Act

The House of Representatives on Feb. 6 approved legislation its backers say would protect workers’ right to unionize.