Legal Issues

Joking about worker’s age can spark a not-so-funny lawsuit

October 31, 2014
When Arnold approached his 60th birthday, his supervisors began referring to him as “the old man” and kidding him about not hearing the phone ring …

Worker’s mom wants to attend performance meeting

October 30, 2014
Q. The mother of a minor employee (age 16) asked to sit in on her child’s performance review meeting. Must I allow her?

Can pizza replace pay during a ‘working’ lunch?

October 27, 2014
Q. When we get real busy, we require our nonexempt employees to work through their lunch break. We don’t pay them overtime for this work, we provide pizza and soda for them. Is this lawful?

Pregnant employee? Better know the law

October 24, 2014
When an employee tells you she’s pregnant, it may bring on mixed emotions for supervisors. While you’re happy for the employee, you’re anxious about the impact on scheduling, productivity—and whether she will quit after the birth.

What are the pros and cons of job offer letters?

October 22, 2014
Q. We typically send formal offer letters to job candidates for certain positions. Could such letters legally bind us?

Miscarriage complications are protected under the PDA

October 20, 2014
Managers need to be aware that the Pregnancy Discrimination Act covers more than a normal pregnancy and childbirth.

Older worker too slow? Firing isn’t age bias

October 17, 2014
When Cheryl’s performance began to deteriorate, her bosses counseled her and gave her a chance to improve. They complained that she took much longer than her colleagues to complete tasks …

‘Safety concern’ no excuse for not hiring women

October 10, 2014
When Deborah applied for a van driver position at a supermarket, the store manager told her he would not hire a woman for the job out of concern that a female driver would be at greater risk of being assaulted on the job than a male driver…

Poor attitude and work ethic? Don’t fret an ADA case

October 9, 2014
Robert, who has a mental impairment, worked as a part-time janitor and wanted a promotion to full time. He was rejected because his bosses said he had a poor attitude and often refused to complete tasks. Robert sued, alleging disability discrimination…

How many references should be checked?

October 8, 2014
Q. Our interview process includes contacting job candidates’ references. But we have no set policy on how many we call. For some, it’s one reference; for others we contact three. Any problems with this? — D.M., New York