Legal Issues

Keep it Legal: Let’s get HIPAA requirements straight

July 22, 2022
You may have heard the term HIPAA thrown around in regard to medical privacy. However, HIPAA is often referenced incorrectly, as the general public tends to have a lot of confusion about who HIPAA applies to and what it actually means.

Employers can still ban firearms at work

June 28, 2022
Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a New York law restricting the concealed carrying of firearms, employers are wondering if they have the right to prohibit concealed guns on their premises. The short answer is yes.

Tell bosses: Don’t pester teleworkers after hours

June 24, 2022
If you have hourly employees working from home, make sure their supervisors understand their role in preventing surprise wage-and-hour claims.

How to legally navigate employees’ requests to work remotely

June 16, 2022
After roughly two years of isolation, employers are summoning employees back to the office. Not all employees are thrilled, which means many employers are facing resistance from employees who have grown accustomed to remote work.

Fairness can overcome managerial stupidity

May 26, 2022
Employers that are generally fair and reasonable can bounce back from isolated instances in which managers make stupid mistakes that look discriminatory. Having a history of fair and transparent promotions and pay increases tends to demonstrate that an employer doesn’t intend to discriminate.

The wage-and-hour risks of rounding time

May 19, 2022
The DOL says employers should discourage “major discrepancies” between “clock records and actual hours worked.” In other words, frequent and repeated rounding could call into question the accuracy of an employer’s overall time records. So what’s an employer to do?

What do we do if an employee states a medical condition, but doesn’t ask for accommodation?

May 16, 2022
Q: “A new exempt employee has been having issues completing tasks, and has stated he forgets because he was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder. We sent a reasonable accommodation request form to be completed by the employee and his physician (and included a full job description). On the first deadline, the employee called out sick. We waited a few days past the deadline and sent a request renewal extending the due date. The employee responded that he would not be requesting an accommodation at this time. Since the employee disclosed to his supervisor his condition as a reason for not competing work and missing deadlines, what are our obligations at this time? Do we still have an exposure because he made the statement? He has been out frequently.”  – Lorraine, New York

Do grandparents ever qualify for FMLA leave to care for a grandchild?

May 16, 2022
Q: “An employee has a 30-year-old daughter with mental health issues who lives with her. The daughter recently had a premature baby currently in the NICU. The employee (her grandmother) is asking for FMLA to take care of the baby when it comes home and needs to know if this would qualify under FMLA. The grandmother has not been appointed guardian of the baby.” —Ann, Florida

Cost of an unwanted birthday party: $450,000

April 28, 2022
Pro tip for managers: Listen to your employees! It generally makes for a more harmonious and productive workplace. In the following case, it could have prevented an unforced error that wound up costing an employer a six-figure jury award.

Document all accommodation conversations

April 14, 2022
Here’s the best way to prevent (or win) a lawsuit claiming you failed to follow the ADA’s interactive accommodations rules: Document every conversation, email, text or phone call related to disability accommodations. Create a chronological log showing what the employee requested, when and how you responded.