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Employment Law

Know your obligations for safeguarding employee data, preventing cyberattacks

Data breaches may seem inevitable, but that’s no consolation for employees who have been victims of identity theft. Many a lawsuit alleging negligence has been filed against employers that were lax about data security. To prevail in those kinds of cases, you must be prepared to show you made reasonable efforts to prevent data leaks.

Think twice before firing an employee for FMLA abuse

An employee on FMLA leave for their own serious health condition can’t work for you. This doesn’t consign them to sitting at home until their leave is up, however. A federal trial court ruled that an employee on FMLA leave could have her day in court after she was fired for chaperoning her son’s senior trip to Jamaica.

DOL worker-classification rule the ‘law of the land’—for now

The Department of Labor’s new final rule defining how workers should be classified as either employees or independent contractors went into effect March 11. That’s despite several pending lawsuits that seek to prevent the DOL from enforcing the rule.

NLRB joint-employer rule blocked from taking effect

A federal judge in Texas has vacated the National Labor Relations Board’s new joint-employer rule, calling it “arbitrary and capricious.”

Accommodating religion: 6 commandments for managers

With Easter landing on the last day of the month, religious discussions may begin floating through the workplace, and your HR department may receive accommodation requests for some of your team members. You are likely already aware of the caution needed for navigating religion in the workplace. Avoid discrimination and lawsuits with this quick refresher on accommodations and immediate courses of action.

How to save millions even if you lose in court: Good-faith investigation can prevent huge punitive damages

Always investigate every HR complaint, even if you think it’s frivolous. Doing so can help you dodge a huge punitive awards verdict if a jury sides with a fired worker. What matters most is that the investigation is done in good faith.

Prepare for FTC, states to ban noncompete agreements

Typically state-regulated, noncompetes must cover a reasonable geographic area, be specific about the kind of work covered and expire after a reasonable time period. But the Biden administration generally views noncompete agreements as inherently anti-competitive and unfair when applied to workers in low-wage positions.

Discouraging even one worker from complaining violates the NLRA

The NLRA applies to just about every private-sector employer, setting strict rules for what employers can and cannot do when setting workplace rules. For example, it makes it illegal to tell employees not to discuss workplace conditions among themselves. However, until February, discussing work conditions had to involve at least two employees. Not anymore.

You can’t do that: Never ban employees from discussing pay

Even though Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act has been the law for decades, a 2021 study from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research found nearly half of full-time employees have been prohibited or dissuaded from discussing or disclosing wages.

Accommodating staff with anxiety disorders

The psychological condition known as anxiety disorder is characterized by feelings of worry or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one’s daily activities. It comes in several varieties, including generalized anxiety disorder that has no specific focus and social anxiety disorder, which is triggered by social interactions.