Posts Tagged ‘employee’

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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Texas court stops DOL effort to expand overtime

The November 22 ruling by a Texas federal court delays implementation of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) new regulations which would have increased the number of employees entitled to overtime pay. In fact, the court’s decision calls into question whether the proposed overtime changes will ever go into effect. The DOL’s proposed regulations doubling…

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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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NLRB’s new ‘joint employer’ standard threatens business interests

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) demonstrated intent to change the traditional employer-employee relationship to broaden unionization in the United States in a series of cases over the last year. In three cases, the NLRB has jettisoned long-standing case law recognizing that separate employers have separate workforces even when the employers work together at a…

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Misclassification of workers just got riskier for Oklahoma employers

For years, we have been warning employers of the dangers of misclassifying workers as independent contractors when they are actually employees. Information-sharing among agencies on the rise The federal government shows no signs of backing away from enforcement here. Between 2008 and 2015, the Department of Labor (DOL) hired 2,000 investigators, doubling its number. To…

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Lessons in dealing with an ‘equal opportunity’ harasser

A new opinion released by the Tenth Circuit provides practical tips to employers dealing with multiple employee complaints alleging generalized harassment and/or discrimination throughout the workplace. Animal shelter scene of ‘real-life soap opera’ For approximately 10 years, plaintiff Karen Bird worked for the West Valley City, Utah, animal shelter. Approximately a year after she was…

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Court rules unauthorized absence justifies firing

The federal appeals court that covers Oklahoma recently ruled in favor of Dillon Companies, Inc., a Kansas corporation that does business as King Soopers, in a lawsuit filed by a former grocery store employee who claimed he suffered a hostile work environment and was terminated because of racial discrimination. Injured employee fired for refusing to…

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OSHA prohibition on post-accident testing requires immediate action by employers

One of the most common matters that we assist our clients in understanding is the set of legal parameters under which an employer can conduct employee drug and alcohol testing. For a variety of reasons, we encourage employers to conduct testing, including pre-employment testing, for-cause testing, post-accident testing and others. While there may be moral…

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Revisiting the direct threat defense under the ADA

One of the defenses available to an employer under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the idea that an accommodation of a qualified individual with a disability cannot be made when the employee poses a “direct threat to the health or safety” of themselves or others. A “direct threat” involves a significant risk of…

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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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