Legal Issues

Asthma and allergies aren’t always disabilities

January 31, 2012
Some employees claim they have asthma and allergies that are exacerbated by common workplace smells. That doesn’t mean, however, that em­­ployers have to create an allergen-free environment.

Warn bosses: Don’t ask about caregivers’ responsibilities

September 2, 2011
Employees can sue for discrimination based on being associated with a disabled individual. Employers must make sure they don’t use such associations as factors in job decisions. More employees are claiming that supervisors are discriminating against them because of fear that caring for a disabled individual will affect job performance.

Travel, commuting time: When must employers pay?

August 16, 2011
Determining when and how much to pay employees for their travel and commuting time is a complex subject. Here are answers to 7 questions about travel time and the FLSA

Work environment: There’s ugly and then there’s biased

August 8, 2011
Some employees think employers must make sure nothing unpleasant happens at work. By cloaking workplace annoyances in the mantle of sex, age, race or some other form of discrimination, the employee may believe he has grounds for a lawsuit. But if you investigate the complaint and find no evidence of a hostile work environment, you don’t have to do anything.

HR can’t always save the day when bosses go overboard

March 14, 2011
HR can’t right all wrongs. When a supervisor rashly fires an employee for filing a complaint, not even fast action by HR to reinstate the employee can save the company from liability.

Alcoholism: a disability; drunkenness: a firing offense

February 11, 2011
Alcoholism may be a disability, but that doesn’t mean alcoholic employees can get away with showing up at work a little tipsy.

Past tolerance of misbehavior doesn’t mean it can continue

December 30, 2010
Some employees believe that if their supervisor tolerates misconduct, those further up the workplace hierarchy can’t do anything about it. That’s not true.

Altering time sheets can mean personal liability for managers

November 1, 2010
If you’re responsible for approving time sheets or signing off on alterations to the hours reported by employees, take note: It’s not just your organization that risks a big fine and costly litigation. Your personal assets are also at risk, as a new court ruling shows.

Is dyslexia an ADA disability?

September 24, 2010
Q. Is dyslexia considered a disability under the ADA? Can we legally screen potential employees for it through our pre-employment tests?

Email, texting and privacy issues

August 1, 2010
Thoughts about keeping smart phones and other electronic devices from becoming a liability at work.