Legal Issues

Is Black Friday a paid holiday?

November 18, 2022
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 97% of civilian and private industry workers have PTO for the holiday, as do a whopping 99% of state and local government workers.

Keep it Legal: What Kanye West taught managers

November 11, 2022
Kanye West is learning that even he cannot make inflammatory remarks with impunity and must face the consequences for his hateful behavior. In the work setting, employers have the right and obligation to address and prevent racist, harassing or other harmful comments and behavior by their employees. Here are three steps every manager should take when responding to employees’ racist comments.

Can they ask for that?

November 10, 2022
Q. I’m in the process of gaining U.S. citizenship. When I applied for a job recently, the employer asked me to produce documents proving I was legally able to work. I provided my driver’s license and Social Security card, but then he asked for a “green card,” which I do not have. Is this legal?

Keep it Legal: Erase these 4 mistakes in employee handbooks

November 4, 2022
Managers know that an employee handbook is an essential tool that will likely keep your organization out of legal trouble. Work with your HR manager to make sure your handbook is free of mistakes.

In the news: Can training costs be reimbursed?

November 4, 2022
Training is expensive. If your company has spent money training a new employee, should those costs be reimbursed when a worker quits?

Keep it Legal: If a cyber-attack at work creates an imminent risk of identity theft or fraud, your employees can sue you!

October 28, 2022
In a recent case in Pennsylvania, ExecuPharm, a giant biopharmaceutical company, was hacked. They refused to pay a ransom. One employee who left her job shortly after claimed that a well-known hacking group accessed her former employer’s servers and stole her data. She sued her former employer for negligence and emotional distress, among other things.

Boorish behavior or harassment? Know the difference

October 26, 2022
Not every crude comment or poorly received joke amounts to sexual harassment. An older federal appeals court decision overturning a sexual harassment jury award offers tips on what qualifies as illegal sexual harassment and where to draw the line.

Don’t discourage employees from taking FMLA leave!

October 25, 2022
The Supreme Court declined to hear an Illinois case involving a corrections officer who claimed a manager told him that he would be disciplined if he took any more FMLA leave.

Keep it Legal: How DEI initiatives wind up in court—what managers need to know

October 21, 2022
Yes, companies understand the importance of DEI plans to gain social credit. But many such programs provide racial and ethnic preferences that are clearly unlawful.

Employers in the hot seat for not reimbursing WFH expenses

October 20, 2022
The tax code doesn’t require you to reimburse employees’ out-of-pocket business expenses. However, state laws may require reimbursement and not just for nonexempts. Employees who were stuck with work-from-home expenses are now suing their employers to recover those costs.