Legal Issues

Ensure post-offer tests are job-related and necessary

September 23, 2021
Making a job offer is a de facto acknowledgement that you believe the applicant was qualified for the position. If you make the offer contingent on passing some sort of pre-employment test, make sure the test is job-related and consistent with business necessity. Otherwise, you are courting lawsuits that likely favor applicants who fail the test.

Federal task force offers clues on vaccine mandate compliance

September 21, 2021
We won’t know the covid vaccine mandate compliance challenges private-sector employers will face until OSHA issues an emergency temporary standard. However, clues are available in new guidance issued by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force. Here’s what the guidance says about two key issues.

Employee activism on the rise: How to react

September 17, 2021
U.S. employers are facing a new age of employee activism as workers in all sizes of companies—both union and nonunion—challenge their employers on social, cultural and moral issues.

Take local predictable scheduling laws seriously

September 16, 2021
These days, it’s harder than ever to schedule hourly workers. But before the pandemic hit, scores of cities and towns adopted predictable scheduling laws aimed at letting hourly workers plan their lives around regular schedules. Ignoring those rules may mean big payouts for affected workers.

Religious objections to covid vaccinations: Separating the wheat from the chaff

September 15, 2021
OSHA’s upcoming vaccine mandate aimed at employers with 100 or more employees has, predictably, sparked an outsized interest in religious exemptions. Some clergy are already offering exemption letters for sale over the internet. What are you supposed to do now?

Warn bosses about bias against addiction disability

September 9, 2021
Refusing to hire someone because of the nature of their disability violates the ADA. That includes making harsh judgments about applicants who may have a disability related to addiction. It doesn’t matter whether the disability was triggered by the individual’s arguably poor choices.

Lawsuit: Confederate flag signals harassment

August 26, 2021
Most employers train supervisors to spot signs of a hostile work environment and fix it before an unhappy employee sues. The trick is to recognize the red flags—sometimes literally.

Transfer accused harasser, not alleged victim

August 13, 2021
When allegations of sexual harassment arise, it’s common sense to separate the alleged harasser and the alleged victim. Do so by transferring the person who has been accused of harassment. Any effort to move the alleged victim is liable to be construed as retaliation for having reported harassment.

Set objective criteria for who loses job in layoff

August 5, 2021
Use objective standards to decide who will stay or go during a reduction in force. That helps eliminate the chance that bias will taint the RIF process and trigger an employee lawsuit.

Can we require an attestation of vaccination?

August 3, 2021
Q: “What recourse does an employer have against an employee if we are requiring them to complete an attestation form regarding the employee’s covid vaccination status? Can the employer terminate the employee or prevent them from reporting to work until the form has been completed? By requiring the employee to respond to the request, is the company violating any HIPAA, ADA or PHI laws?” – Anonymous, Hawaii