Articles

Court rules employer not able to accommodate pregnant employee

A recent ruling by the federal appeals court that covers Oklahoma reminds employers that they must treat pregnant employees with health conditions or work limitations the same as any other employee with health conditions or work limitations. Pregnant employee can’t perform essential job requirement Stacey Jackson worked as an operator at a fertilizer plant owned…

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No medical report means no accommodation

I’m proud to be an Okie from Muskogee — “Okie from Muskogee” by Merle Haggard and Roy Edward Burris (1969) Although the Army Ammunition Depot is located in McAlester, it was a Muskogee federal court that upheld an employer’s right to require adequate medical support before granting an employee’s request their job be modified on…

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OSHA delays enforcement of limitations on post-accident drug testing

In previous articles, we discussed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) new rule regarding the reporting of workplace injuries and illnesses. One part of the rule requires employers to electronically submit injury and illness data. This portion of the rule is set to go into effect on January 1, 2017. Rule’s anti-retaliation provisions delayed…

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Are you a joint employer?

Are you an employer who uses temporary employees, staffing agencies or independent contractors? Use of such contingent or contract workers is not unusual and may be necessary for your operations. If you are in that situation, 2017 might find you in the crosshairs of governmental agencies that want to treat you as a “joint employer.”…

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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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Employee fired while on FMLA leave: Why it was OK

Don’t get me wrong: Firing an employee while they are on a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) absence is dicey. But, as a recent federal appeals court decision that covers Oklahoma employers demonstrates, there are circumstances when an employer should terminate the employee while on leave and can win a lawsuit brought by the…

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