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September 18, 2017

Employers should put emergency preparedness in place for business operations and workers

The horrible situation that is ongoing in Texas should remind employers to put in place emergency preparedness for their business operations and workers. While many large corporations hire experts to have such operational contingencies, small businesses typically don’t have those resources. To start, organizations should implement an inclement weather/business closure policy that would cover the […]

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September 9, 2017

Is ESPN’s removal of broadcaster Robert Lee from doing a play-by-play broadcast in Charlottesville constitute discrimination?

The widely reported decision by ESPN to remove broadcaster Robert Lee, who is Asian, from doing the play-by-play broadcast of Virginia’s season-opening football game against William & Mary in Charlottesville received much criticism, with many wondering if such conduct by the sports network constitutes discrimination. “There was never any concern — by anyone, at any […]

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Myths busted under the American with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act  requires that employers with 15 or more employees provide reasonable accommodations to employees with a disability. Employers frequently are faced with requests for accommodations, and may rely upon myths, instead of law, in making decisions. Here are some ADA myths busted:  Employers have to take the word of the employee: […]

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August 28, 2017

Can an employee be fired or not hired for engaging in a lawful assembly?

Can you deny employment and/or fire white supremacists — or anyone engaging in a lawful assembly? First Amendment speech protections do not apply to the private workplace. Therefore, private-sector employers are free to take action so long as the decisions are consistent and non-discriminatory. Employers question whether they can take action against individuals who, while […]

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Be careful what you post on social media because it could negatively impact your life

Before posting, ask “is this worth it?” No matter how many times people are told to watch what they put on social media, we still continue to do and say things on these platforms that negatively impact our lives. The Atlee Little League softball team was denied advancement in the Junior League World Series because […]

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Rights that nursing mothers have in the workplace

As part of the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Congress amended the Fair Labor Standards Act to require employers to provide additional breaks for nursing mothers to express breast milk. The law requires that employers provide “reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for […]

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Racial slurs or offensive conduct must not occur in the workplace

Outrageous racial discrimination and harassment still occur in today’s workplace. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third District recently affirmed that such behavior may be actionable under federal law. Two African-American men sued when they were fired after receiving shocking mistreatment by their employer, a subcontractor to an energy company. The men claim that […]

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Federal age discrimination act turns 50 this year, but not a lot to celebrate

The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which passed in 1967, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. But there might not be a lot to celebrate:  age discrimination still exists in some form in today’s workforce. Under the federal law, organizations that employ 20 or more employees cannot discriminate against applicants for employment, or employees, […]

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Why workplace policies matter

My daughter was in a softball tournament recently and, in the third inning of the semi-final game as we were losing, our coach realized our team had an illegal pitcher. The game was forfeited. It seemed unfair for those players to suffer because the coach made a mistake, but rules exist for a reason, and […]

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July 13, 2017

Employers should have robust workplace conduct policies

The recent shooting at a New York hospital by a former employee is yet another act of violence in a string of workplace violence incidents this year. While acts of workplace violence are relatively uncommon, employers need to learn to identify the signs of a potentially violent employee and take action to remove the person […]

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