Legal Issues

Pay employees for pre-shift COVID screening

April 15, 2021
To decide if you must pay employees for their pre- or post-work activities—such as putting on uniforms, waiting in a time-clock line, etc.—take a look at the Fair Labor Standards Act. The main issue is whether the pre- or post-activity is “integral” and “indispensable” to the employee’s principal activity.

Before you assign any overtime …

March 26, 2021
Here’s how to dish out overtime hours and avoid legal trouble.

EEOC cracks down on teen worker harassment

March 23, 2021
Many teenagers find their first jobs at fast-food or sit-down restaurant chains. Unfortunately, that kind of work often comes with a side of sexual harassment. The EEOC wants to stop that rite of passage.

#1 reason you can’t fire worker for going #2 on office floor

March 18, 2021
You’d think it would be easy to fire a worker who defecates on the workplace floor and tells his manager he left a “present” for him. The problem: The employee is a member of a labor union.

Has this employee provided notice of FMLA leave ‘as soon as possible and practical’?

March 1, 2021
Q: “We have a policy that says you must provide one hour’s notice of your absence prior to the start time of your shift or disciplinary action will result. We have an hourly (union) employee whose start time is 3:00 pm and who called in at 2:18 pm for FMLA leave. Are we still able to write them up due to the policy infraction even though they called in for FMLA purposes?” – Randy, Iowa

Recruit broadly to ensure diverse applicant pool

January 14, 2021
Employees and job applicants can win age discrimination lawsuits if they prove an employer’s personnel practices have a negative disparate impact on older persons.

Act ASAP to prevent customer from harassing

January 14, 2021
Title VII doesn’t just outlaw co-worker and supervisor harassment, it also holds employers responsible for preventing and stopping harassment from outside the organization. As much as you don’t want to alienate customers, you must intercede if they harass your employees.

5 things at the root of lawsuits

December 23, 2020
The best way to win an employee lawsuit is to prevent it in the first place. You’ll be able to head off most disputes by understanding what stirs workers up.

Stamp out supervisors’ racist behavior, racist slurs

December 3, 2020
Make sure every supervisor understands that you do not tolerate any form of racism on the job, including use of racial slurs. Employers often pay dearly when bigotry rears its ugly head at work.

Assigning unpleasant tasks

November 25, 2020
One unenjoyable task of management is assigning the jobs that no one wants to do. Use this advice to delegate undesirable tasks without ruffling any feathers.