Posts by Courtney Bru

Best practices for Oklahoma employers when inquiring about criminal histories

You’ve probably at least heard of the so-called “Ban the Box” movement, a campaign aimed at convincing employers to remove any checkbox on applications designed to elicit information regarding an applicant’s criminal record. Many states, counties and cities have enacted “Ban the Box” legislation, but it’s certainly not the law in all jurisdictions. And the…

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2016 presidential election dynamics in the workplace: Free speech? ‘You’re fired’

None of us are immune from this year’s presidential election dynamics. Disrespect and name-calling seem more prevalent than policy discussions. The election is highly polarizing, potentially pitting employee against employee. In the midst of it all, employees are often misinformed regarding their “free speech rights” in the workplace. A recent instance from Georgia should serve…

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Summertime, and the Livin’ is…well, potentially complicated

Ah…summertime. It’s finally here. The long days, the slower pace. Vacations, hotdogs and hamburgers on the grill, and the ever-present risk of legal exposure. Huh? That’s right, summertime also ushers in different types of employment relationships that can get employers into trouble. Let’s review three potential culprits. First up, the “summer intern” So energetic! So…

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Obama embraces ‘ban the box’ movement

In November, President Obama announced that he was directing federal agencies that they could not inquire about criminal convictions on federal job applications. According to the president, the federal government “should not use criminal history to screen out applicants before we even look at their qualifications.” The president has directed the federal Office of Personnel…

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EEOC says sexual orientation protected under Title VII

The last few years have seen a dramatic expansion of rights to persons on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court found unconstitutional the heterosexual definitions of “marriage” and “spouse” in the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Earlier this year, that court found same-sex marriage is a fundamental…

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Rules differ regarding second opinions on fitness-for-duty certifications

Employers may require fitness-for-duty certifications in a variety of circumstances, including employees returning from leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and determining the existence of disabilities or the need for reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The availability of a second opinion on a fitness-for-duty certification depends on which…

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