By Eric B. Meyer
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) limits when an employer can require an employee to take a medical examination.
Specifically, the ADA forbids employers from requiring medical exams (and cannot otherwise inquire into the nature or severity of a disability) unless the exam or inquiry is shown to be “job-related and consistent with business necessity.”
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) advises (here) that an exam is permissible where the employer “has a reasonable belief based on objective evidence, that: (1) an employee’s ability to perform essential job functions will be impaired by a medical condition; or (2) an employee will pose a direct threat due to a medical condition.” Read more…
HR gets a bad rap for being too administrative and too pro-employee.
That’s a legitimate complaint, but I wonder: What the hell did you expect?
The history of Human Resources
The entire HR function exists because employees were tough to manage. Unions were busy. Pesky women and minorities wanted equal protection under the law. Read more…
Following a recent financial planning webinar presentation, I was faced with a frequently asked question: Does it make sense to take out a 401(k) loan to consolidate debt?
This employee had definitely done her research on 401(k) loans, but she was wary after reading warnings from many financial planners and media gurus. However, this didn’t deter her from exploring a 401(k) loan as she was eager to eliminate her high interest credit cards and get them out of her life forever.
As a general rule, I always tell people that 401(k) loans should only be used as a last resort and there is more to consider than the interest rate and monthly payment. But it can be tempting and occasionally wise to use 401(k) loans to pay down debts, purchase a home, or pay for unexpected emergencies like medical expenses. Read more…
By John E. Thompson
There has always been a great deal of mistaken conventional wisdom afoot where the federal Fair Labor Standards Act is concerned.
We have blogged previously about the common misconception that one pay practice or another has just got to be lawful, because “everybody does it” that way.
But this is by no means the only one. Among others that continue to crop up all-too-often are: Read more…
By Jessica Cook
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) continues to issue Form I-9 Notices of Inspection to businesses across the nation.
In fiscal year 2012, ICE served 3,004 Notices of Inspection to businesses, totaling over $12 million in fines. Additionally, ICE made 520 criminal arrests tied to worksite enforcement investigations. These criminal arrests involved 240 individuals who were owners, managers, supervisors or human resources employees.
The Notices of Inspection require employers to allow ICE to inspect their I-9 forms to determine compliance with employment eligibility verification laws. Once the Notice of Inspection has been issued, the targeted employer has three days to provide ICE with the company’s I-9 forms to be reviewed. Read more…
By Howard Mavity
It’s not our fault — it’s their fault.
I’m not talking about kindergarten playtime or its “adult” equivalent — politics.
Any time multiple employers are involved, labor and employment matters becomes much more complicated. The classic example is a construction site. OSHA refers to such settings as “multi-employer worksites.” Read more…
By John A. Gallagher
Most Americans have a general understanding of the “employment at will” doctrine. They understand that it means that they are not guaranteed employment for any specific period of time.
In general, and at least intellectually, they understand that they can be fired at any time, and for any reason.
However, it is my experience that folks do not know what that overriding principle, that one can be fired at any time and for any reason, truly means and how it plays out in the workplace.
In order to truly understand this principle, it is helpful to examine workers who are not at-will employees. We will look at the three most common-type employees, from most populous to least. Read more…
By Eric B. Meyer
You run a delivery service using large trucks and require that drivers be qualified by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Although your facility managers aren’t often behind the wheel of the big rigs, you nonetheless require that they too be DOT certified.
One day, a manager with a disabling eye injury comes to you and asks for an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act: to be excused from driving trucks so that he may focus on “managing.”
Assuming that no other reasonable accommodation exists, must you give it to him? Read more…
There’s an interesting piece in SHRM’s most recent HR Week about the explosion of I-9 audits in recent years.
In short, they’ve grown from three (3) in 2004, to 500 in 2008, to a whopping 3,004 in 2012. That’s a more than 100,000 percent increase in less than a decade.
Fines can be enormous: From $375 to $3,200 for each first offense, $3,200 to $6,500 for second offenses, and $4,300 to $16,000 for third offenses. That’s in addition to paperwork penalties, which range from $110 to $1,100 each. Read more…
According to survey results published by Rutgers University in February, nearly a quarter of Americans were laid off during the Great Recession or afterward, and, almost 80 percent of people know a friend or family member who lost a job.
Yes, layoffs are a way of life today.
At this moment we’re in the midst of government spending cuts known as sequestration. It could result in job cuts for FBI agents, air traffic controllers, teachers and police officers. Economists predict that over 2 million American jobs could be lost during the course of the mandate. Read more…