Legal Issues

Legal Matters: Smith v. City of Jackson

June 2, 2005
In the major employment-law case of its current term, the U.S. Supreme Court (in Smith v. City of Jackson) has ruled that workers over age 40 can sue employers over decisions that favor younger workers, even if this bias isn’t deliberate.

Legal Matters: An update on USERRA

May 1, 2005
A recent change to the law requires that USERRA information, outlining employee rights, be posted along with the rest of your labor-law notices.

Banning off-the-job smoking

April 1, 2005
A Michigan firm recently made headlines by promising to fire anybody who smokes, even off the job.

Coming clean about trade secrets

February 1, 2005
What happens if you inadvertently share a trade secret? Come clean immediately, legal experts say.

New federal ethics rules

January 1, 2005
Expect ethics training to jump to the top of many managers’ to-do lists in the new year. As part of 2002’s Sarbanes-Oxley corporate-reform act, the federal sentencing guidelines have now been rewritten to toughen up the requirements for corporate ethics programs.

Dress-code basics for managers

November 1, 2004
If your written dress code policies are vague about what constitutes “appropriate” work attire or appearance, you’ll have to make judgment calls. Here’s some advice that can help you make the right calls.

Harassment in the news

October 1, 2004
In a same-gender case, a finding of harassment under federal law and precedent does not require that either of the parties be homosexual. Of course, in a state that prohibits workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, a same-sex harasser may face additional repercussions.

Protect yourself and your team from cyber-stalking

October 1, 2004
“What would you do if an employee came to you and told you she was being cyber-stalked and cyber-harassed at work?” wrote Internet lawyer Parry Aftab of wiredsafety.org recently in Information Week.

Know your obligations to returning soldiers

August 1, 2004
Over the last year, many employers have learned firsthand the provisions of USERRA, the federal law that protects the jobs of workers called to military duty. Here’s a primer:

No ‘career employees’

July 1, 2004
In the current climate of downsizing, frequent turnover and free-agent workers, nobody talks about “career employees” anymore. This is actually a good legal practice, say employment law experts.