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Testing

Employment testing and discrimination in the post-Ricci era

01/11/2010

Like every other aspect of the employer-employee relationship, a variety of federal and state laws govern how employers can administer job-related tests. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Ricci v. DeStefano that employers violate Title VII if they do not validate job testing results solely because they fear a lawsuit.

Wasted at work? You don’t have to tolerate it!

01/11/2010

Some employers foolishly worry that they may violate the ADA or the FMLA if they enforce a zero-tolerance policy that forbids employees to work under the influence of alcohol. The simple reality is that employers have every right to expect workers to show up sober in the morning. Furthermore, being an alcoholic is no excuse.

Keep your workplace drug-free without creating liability

01/07/2010

When drug abuse isn’t an obvious problem in the workplace, it’s easy for employers to develop a cavalier attitude about it. That’s not smart. It’s in your best interest to detect employee drug abuse early and root it out immediately. But that’s easier said than done. Keeping your workplace drug-free means knowing how to spot the problem and effectively respond to it—without violating employees’ legal rights and creating legal liability.

Rutgers settles race bias case with maintenance workers

01/06/2010

Four minority maintenance workers have settled their race discrimination case with Rutgers University. According to The Star-Ledger, the workers—three black and one Hispanic—alleged they were consistently passed over for promotion in favor of white employees.

Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act

01/01/2010

HR Law 101: The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), signed into law in May 2008, prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating against job applicants or employees based on their genetic information in hiring, firing, compensation or any other terms of employment.

Can we make employees or applicants pay for medical examinations?

12/04/2009

Q. Under what circumstances, if any, can an employer require an applicant or employee to pay for his or her own medical or physical examination?

H1N1 virus alert: Complying with the ADA during an emergency

11/13/2009

The H1N1 influenza virus has added a note of urgency to the need to understand the ADA’s privacy requirements. Although some of the rules are relaxed in emergencies, employers that use confidential medical information to discriminate against workers will have to answer in court for their actions.

Sample Policy: Violence and Weapons

11/11/2009
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What do we need to do before implementing a drug and alcohol testing program?

11/11/2009

Q. My company wants to begin substance-abuse testing of employees that it suspects are under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the workplace. We already have a drug- and alcohol-free workplace policy. Is there anything else we need to do to allow us to test employees for illegal drugs or alcohol?

Supreme Court’s new term: Arbitration, disparate impact on docket

11/02/2009

Several cases on the U.S. Supreme Court’s docket this term involve employment and labor-related issues. One of the most notable of these will decide how much time plaintiffs have to file a lawsuit when they believe they have been unfairly penalized by hiring tests. Other cases will resolve issues involving an alleged whistle-blower, pension benefits, race discrimination and labor arbitration.