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BUSINESS LAW: Pretext for discrimination not found

In prior articles, we have noted that when an employee raises a discrimination claim (age, race, national origin, etc.), the employer can defend itself by establishing a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for the decision. When this occurs, the employee must establish that the stated reaso…

July 19, 2014 12:26 pm

BUSINESS LAW: Consistency in discipline

Employers face two potentially inconsistent requirements. First, they are mandated to consider each employment decision by doing an individualized assessment of each individual, considering the facts which are unique to that person.

June 28, 2014 4:37 pm

BUSINESS LAW: Summer internships have some pitfalls

Most college students are off for the summer. Some can work, perhaps in the work segments they hope to enter. Others may seek summer internship, a program which may be attractive to employers.

June 07, 2014 9:17 am

BUSINESS LAW: Impairments under the ADA

To maintain a claim under the Americans with Disability Act, a plaintiff must establish he has a disability. A disability may include a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

May 24, 2014 3:54 pm

BUSINESS LAW: Sexual discrimination claims

As we have noted on previous occasions, Title VII prohibits sexual discrimination. By far, the majority of the claims are brought about by female employees against their employers.

May 10, 2014 4:34 pm

BUSINESS LAW: Religious dress and grooming

The number of claims of religious discrimination has grown significantly over the past several years. Within these claims are those relating to an applicant’s or employee’s dress or grooming.

April 26, 2014 4:23 pm

BUSINESS LAW: Misuse of company time

It’s Wednesday afternoon. I have my telephone calls on hold and I’m trying to figure out how I have done so poorly on my NCAA tournament brackets (Villanova, what did I do to you?)

April 05, 2014 10:15 am

BUSINESS LAW: Law protects employees in military service

In the past, we have discussed the Uniformed Services and Reemployment Rights Act, also known as USERRA.

March 20, 2014 5:37 pm

BUSINESS LAW: Sleeping on the job

There are several important concepts within the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA.

March 08, 2014 10:09 am

BUSINESS LAW: The fish aren't biting

The Better Government Association recently reported on an employment-related case, which is worth reviewing.

February 22, 2014 4:08 pm

BUSINESS LAW: Equal pay claims

Should women be paid the same wages as men for equal work? Should women be paid the same wages as men for jobs that require equal skill, effort and responsibility – or that are performed under similar working conditions?

February 08, 2014 4:45 pm

BUSINESS LAW: Age discrimination claims

We have previously discussed age discrimination claims. To support a claim, the employer can present direct evidence and/or circumstantial evidence of discrimination.

January 18, 2014 10:50 am

BUSINESS LAW: Trainees and training

The Fair Labor Standards Act addresses the topics of using trainees and training existing employees. Both concepts are rule driven.

January 04, 2014 12:16 pm

BUSINESS LAW: Race discrimination claims

As we have noted in the past, Title VI prohibits employers from discriminating against any individual with respect to compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment based on that individual’s race.

December 21, 2013 11:43 am

BUSINESS LAW: Meal and break periods

The compensability of meal and break periods is covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Three basic rules apply.

December 07, 2013 10:09 am

BUSINESS LAW: Racially biased workplaces

Sometimes, it seems like the sports section is more like a legal update. Recently, you may have followed the story about the Miami Dolphins.

November 23, 2013 11:35 am

BUSINESS LAW: Religious accommodations in the workplace

Some, but not all, of the discrimination statutes we have discussed have required employers, in some circumstances, to provide reasonable accommodations to their employees.

November 09, 2013 4:35 pm

BUSINESS LAW: Proving discrimination claims

Under current law, there are two ways a plaintiff may prove her discrimination claim: the “direct” and “indirect” methods of proof. Under the direct method, a plaintiff must provide either direct or circumstantial evidence that the employer had a discriminatory motivation.

October 19, 2013 11:27 am

BUSINESS LAW: Three different employment issues

Usually, we discuss one case per article. Today, we deviate from the norm by discussing three different matters:

October 05, 2013 3:51 pm

BUSINESS LAW: Belligerent employees can be fired

When accused of discriminating against an employee in a protected class (gender, race, etc.), an employer defends by asserting a legitimate non-discriminating/non-retaliatory business reason for its decision.

September 21, 2013 9:27 am

BUSINESS LAW: Pregnancy claim will be heard

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act, or PDA, prohibits discrimination based on “pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.”

September 07, 2013 5:05 pm

BUSINESS LAW: Officer liability under FLSA

There has been an increase in cases under the Fair Labor Standards Act, known as the FLSA. This is of concern to employers for several reasons, not the least of which is that the FLSA applies to almost every employer.

August 24, 2013 9:56 am

BUSINESS LAW: Religious accommodations

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of religion. The law requires a covered employer to provide a reasonable accommodation for an employee’s request to participate in a religious observance or practice if an accommodation would not ca…

August 10, 2013 2:48 pm

BUSINESS LAW: Pregnancy claim will be heard

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination based on “pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.”

July 27, 2013 10:28 am

BUSINESS LAW: Hostile work environments

In our last article, we analyzed two cases which addressed the creation of a hostile work environment. One more case in this trilogy adds additional insight on this issue.

June 01, 2013 4:08 pm

BUSINESS LAW: A single comment can create a claim

The law does not guarantee a perfect workplace. Courts do not want to be super-human resource departments, potentially reviewing every slight felt by employees.

May 18, 2013 3:37 pm

BUSINESS LAW: Religious discrimination found

As noted in the past, federal law prohibits employment discrimination based on religion.

May 04, 2013 10:35 am

BUSINESS LAW: What defines a medical inquiry?

One given principle of the Americans With Disabilities Act provides that employee medical information obtained from “medical examinations and inquiries” must be treated as a confidential medical record. The issue is what is an inquiry?

April 06, 2013 12:45 pm

BUSINESS LAW: Essential functions under the ADA

In order to be protected under the Americans With Disabilities Act, the employee must be able to perform the essential functions of the job, with or without reasonable accommodations.

March 02, 2013 9:25 am

BUSINESS LAW: Notice under the FLMA

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, a covered employer must give a qualified employee FMLA leave to care for the employee's family member(s) with a serious health condition.

February 16, 2013 4:03 pm

BUSINESS LAW: Returnign veteran can be terminated

In previous articles, we have discussed the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. A recent case held that under USERRA, an employer can terminate a returning veteran.

February 02, 2013 3:51 pm

BUSINESS LAW: Trainees under the ADA

Pursuant to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), in order to be protected, the employee must be qualified to perform the duties of her job.

January 12, 2013 5:45 am

BUSINESS LAW: Retaliation claims on the rise

Retaliation claims are on the rise. They occur when a person exercises a protected right, only to then suffer an adverse employment action. Consider this case under the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA:

December 22, 2012 2:40 pm

BUSINESS LAW: Honest belief as a defense

In our last article, we discussed age discrimination claims. Today, we will examine one key defense available to employers.

December 09, 2012 12:00 am

BUSINESS LAW: Age discrimination claims in the the workplace

As the workforce ages, we can expect to see an increase in age discrimination claims in the workplace. A recent case shows how these claims can arise.

November 25, 2012 12:00 am

BUSINESS LAW: Indefinite leave not required Under ADA

We have focused on the Americans With Disabilities Act over the past few articles. As previously noted, perhaps the most difficult issue for employers under the ADA relates to the extent an employer must permit an indefinite leave as a reasonable accommodation.

November 11, 2012 12:00 am

BUSINESS LAW: Rotating shifts and the ADA

In our last article, we discussed whether transferring a qualified disabled employee to a vacant job position was a required reasonable accommodation under the Americans With Disabilities Act.

October 27, 2012 11:00 am

BUSINESS LAW: Job reassignments under the ADA

Reasonable accommodations are at the heart of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

October 14, 2012 12:00 am

BUSINESS LAW: ADA and family members with disabilities

We have often discussed the far-reaching impact of the Americans With Disabilities Act. A recent case highlighted one of the few restrictions on its scope.

September 30, 2012 12:00 am

BUSINESS LAW: Under the ADA

Under the Americans With Disabilities Act, or the ADA, an employee with a disability must be able to perform the essential functions of her job, with or without accommodations. Determining a job's "essential functions" can be critical.

September 15, 2012 12:00 am

BUSINESS LAW: Relationships between FMLA and ADA

As we have noted in the past, perhaps the most challenging task for employers is to successfully maneuver through the relationship between the Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, and the Americans With Disabilities Act, or ADA

September 02, 2012 12:00 am

BUSINESS LAW: What is a treatment?

The Family and Medical Leave Act is one of the most difficult statutes for employers to work with.

August 11, 2012 12:00 am

BUSINESS LAW: Hostile work environments

As we have noted in the past, employees can allege hostile work environment claims based on race or national origin.

July 28, 2012 4:53 pm

BUSINESS LAW: Equal pay for man and woman

Assume a female employee believes she is paid less than a male employee who performs substantially equal work under similar working conditions. Does the female have a claim against the employer?

July 15, 2012 12:00 am

BUSINESS LAW: Alienage is not a protected class

Immigration reform has been a hotly contested issue. President Obama's recent executive order further focused attention on the status of individuals who are illegally in the United States.

July 01, 2012 12:00 am

BUSINESS LAW: Attendance as essential function is employers' duty to prove

Common sense would seem to suggest regular attendance is an essential function of every job. This is an important concept.

May 20, 2012 12:00 am

BUSINESS LAW: Criminal background checks

Surveys suggest a substantial percentage of employers routinely use criminal background checks when hiring new employees. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commssion has just issued new guidelines, which limit this use.

May 06, 2012 12:00 am

BUSINESS LAW: Post-employment claims

In previous articles, we have discussed the application of the discrimination laws to the workplace. These laws protect applicants for employment, as well as employees.

April 22, 2012 12:00 am

BUSINESS LAW: Overtime and the ADA

As we have noted in prior articles, the Americans With Disabilities Act protects qualified individuals with a disability. Under the ADA, a disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

April 08, 2012 12:00 am

BUSINESS LAW: Promotions and discrimination claims

The various discrimination statutes we frequently discuss extend to promotion decisions. This will potentially be the case when a member of a protected class is passed over for a promotion in favor of an employee who is not in a protected class.

March 25, 2012 12:00 am
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