August 22, 2016

Working with Alcoholics

Alcoholism can qualify as a disability and disabled individuals are considered a protected class of employees. Balancing a protected alcoholic individual’s rights and enforcing work rules is not difficult as long as the employer knows the guidelines imposed by the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Employers also need to keep state discrimination and leave laws in mind. It sounds complicated, but it is not. Employers can write and enforce rules about drugs and alcohol in the workplace. The Ninth Circuit noted […]
March 26, 2015

Celebrate FMLA Justice

It has been almost two years since the U.S. Supreme Court overruled Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional. Until that time, certain entitlements of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) were only available to opposite-sex married couples. Same-sex married couples are only eligible for FMLA entitlements if the state where the couple resides allows same- sex marriages. That changed on March 27, 2015. Same-sex married couples will be treated the same under the FMLA as opposite-sex married couples. In the final rule issued February 25, 2015 and effective March 27, 2015, the definition of spouse […]
March 4, 2015

EEOC Releases 2014 Statistics

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its fiscal year 2014 private sector data detailing information regarding the 88,778 charges of discrimination it received. The EEOC’s fiscal year (FY) ended September 30, 2014. The five percent reduction from FY 2013 was attributed in part to the government shutdown. The shutdown occurred during the first quarter reducing charge filings by 3,000 to 5,000 compared to other quarters. Claimants recovered $75.9 million less when compared to the previous year. Retaliation-based charges continued to be the most prevalent, accounting for nearly 43- percent of all charges filed. This is the sixth consecutive […]
February 11, 2015

Email Is The New Water Cooler

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) provides employees with the right to self-organize or join a labor organization and to engage in concerted activities. Historically, employees gathering at the water cooler is considered protected, concerted activity. Activities become concerted when an employee is representing other employees or when more than one employee is speaking. This becomes a protected activity when the topic is about work conditions, such as wages and hours or seeking representation. Non-unionized private sector employers as well as unionized employers are forbidden to interfere with this employee right. Employers need to be aware that their policies can […]