Legal Issues

HR Basics, Legal Issues

Should Employers Keep Time Records For Exempt Employees?

time_clock

By John E. Thompson

Should an employer keep records of the time worked by employees who qualify for a federal Fair Labor Standards Act minimum-wage and/or overtime exemption?

At the risk of giving the proverbial “lawyer’s answer,” it depends. Read more…

HR Management, Legal Issues

Some 58,000 Reasons Telework Could Be a Reasonable Accommodation

telephone recruiting

By Eric B. Meyer

Telework is among the array of possible reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act that may enable an employee with a disability to perform the essential functions of the job.

Now, as a federal appellate court confirmed last month, there are situations in which telework is not a reasonable accommodation; namely, where attendance and face time are essential functions of the job. But, other times, telecommuting may be just what the doctor ordered.

When employers try to play the role of doctor, well, that’s when problems ensue. Read more…

HR Basics, Legal Issues

What Must an Employee Do to Get FMLA Leave?

FMLA_poster

 By Eric B. Meyer

Now, let’s talk about notice under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Specifically, in those situations in which an employee doesn’t use the letters F-M-L-A, what can that employee say or do to still qualify for leave?

Well, in Festerman v. County of Wayne, a police officer left work one day with chest pains and shortness of breath and was transported to the hospital. Five days later, he returned to work and submitted an incident report, which was passed along to both HR and Benefits Administration. Read more…

Legal Issues

Yes, 2 Racial Slurs in 24 Hours Can Cause a Hostile Work Environment

Hostileworkenvironment11

By Eric B. Meyer

Last year, I channelled Bill Clinton in this blog post about how courts rarely recognize a single incident or two as creating what the law deems a hostile work environment.

Yeah, about that.

Even a few isolated comments can create a hostile work environment. Read more…

HR Management, Legal Issues

Here’s the Completely Wrong Way to Respond to Harassment Complaints

Sexual harassment

Editor’s Note: Weekly Wrap has been pre-empted by spring conference travel season. It will return soon. 

By Eric B. Meyer

Folks, let me give you little free Friday HR pro tip:

If a female employee complains to a female manager that another male manager is sexually harassing her, it’s not OK for the female manager to respond thusly,

He’s a guy and you work with guys. Ignore it and smile.” Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Labor Dept. Sends Proposed OT Exemptions For White House Review

Thomas Perez, Secretary of Labor

By Tammy McCutchen

Back in March 2014, President Obama ordered the U.S. Department of Labor to revise the “white collar” overtime exemption regulations.

Declaring “Americans have spent too long working more and getting less in return,” the President ordered the revision of the overtime exemption regulations with a goal of making millions more workers eligible for overtime pay.

This week, Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez announced that the Department of Labor (DOL) has submitted the proposed changes to the overtime regulations to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval. Read more…

Legal Issues, Talent Management

Reducing Workplace Stress: Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA?

© apops - Fotolia.com

By Eric B. Meyer

Isn’t the Americans with Disabilities Act fun?

Oh, right, it’s the federal employment law that y’all voted that keeps you up most at night. ADA garnered 30 percent of the votes in yesterday’s blog post of a poll. The FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) and FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) tied for second with 23 percent of the vote each.

So, how about today’s puzzler? How the heck do you reduce workplace stress to reasonably accommodate an employee with a disability. Well, in many cases, I’m pretty sure the answer is you can’t. Read more…

HR Management, Legal Issues

When Might It Be Discriminatory to Fire a Medical Marijuana User?

Medical marijuana

By Eric B. Meyer

OK, let’s assume that I’m looking to fill another Blogprentice position.

All hires must then pass a background check and drug screen.

She’s killing it in the interview! She’s hired.

Then comes the drug test, which she fails due to the medicinal marijuana she tells me she’s taking because of her epilepsy. So, I rescind the offer. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Court Won’t Give Legal Relief From NLRB’s “Quickie” Election Rule

nlrb

By Nelson D. Cary and George Stevens

Last Thursday, the National Labor Relations Board won its first courtroom victory in connection with its “ambush” or “quickie” election rule, which went into effect earlier this month.

It was not, however, in one of the two cases that have been pending for some time, and that we have previously discussed.

Instead, the NLRB’s victory came in a new lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. In this new case, the employer and three of its employees sought a temporary restraining order (TRO) to prevent the NLRB from applying the provisions of the new rule to an election petition filed by the United Construction Workers Union the same day that the new rule took effect. Read more…

Legal Issues

My Religion or My Job: Yes, This May be a Hostile Workplace Environment

123RF Stock Photo

By Eric B. Meyer

It’s not that often that you come across a case where an employee alleges a hostile work environment based on religion. Sex? Sure. Race? Yep. But religion? Not so much.

Yet, when your employees are faced with the choice “My religion or my job,” it’s time to call the lawyers. Read more…