Legal Issues

Employee’s child has stomach ache: Is she entitled to FMLA leave?

August 27, 2014
Q. Can an employee use FMLA leave to care for her young child who’s home from school because of a stomach ache? — D.L., Maine

Miscarriage complications protected under the PDA

August 25, 2014
Managers need to be aware that the Pregnancy Dis­­crimination Act covers more than a normal pregnancy and childbirth.

Job too physical for employee in his 70s: What can we do about him?

August 13, 2014
Q. A worker in my department is in his 70s and starting to slow down. The job he performs is very physical and I’m afraid he’s going to get hurt. I’d like to get rid of him before he hurts himself or someone else. What should I do?

Employee smells of alcohol: Can we say anything?

August 12, 2014
Q. A few workers report that a new employee smells of alcohol, although he shows no signs of intoxication. Can we ask him if he has been drinking on duty?

Avoid this language in your job postings

August 8, 2014
Do not assume that only U.S. citizens are authorized to work in the United States, and keep it in mind when writing that job ad.

Altering time sheets? You could be personally liable

August 6, 2014
If you change or otherwise alter an employee’s time sheet to evade the requirements of the FLSA, it’s not just the company that risks a big fine and costly litigation.

Salty language but no complaints: Is that considered harassment?

July 16, 2014
Q. Can vulgar language and jokes, etc., be considered harassment in the workplace if nobody actually files a complaint? — M.N., Maryland

Don’t push retirement on older workers

July 11, 2014
An 80-year-old woman who worked for a Catholic Diocese school as a secretary claims she was fired after months of what she says was harassment aimed at driving her out of her job.

Illegal: Racist talk to no one in particular

July 8, 2014
A black employee sued, claiming her boss created a racially hostile environment with his comments. The company said even if the boss’s conduct was unacceptable, it wasn’t directed at the woman…

Can we stop employees from wearing T-shirts with strong messages?

July 4, 2014
Q. One of our workers often wears T-shirts with slogans that have a strong political bent to them. Some employees have complained. Is it a violation of employees’ free speech rights to ban such clothing? — Liz, New York