Greater enforcement employment laws

On The Horizon: Greater enforcement of employment laws

Despite everything we’ve heard about deregulation, federal employment agencies ramped up their activity during 2018. And according to early indications, employers should expect the same trend in 2019. Here are a few examples. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission In 2018, the EEOC spent considerable effort whittling down its backlog of discrimination charges and investigations. The Commission…

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OSHA clarifies permissibility of post-accident drug testing, safety incentive programs

For years, employers assumed they were entitled to drug-test employees after they were injured or were involved in a workplace accident … then things became more uncertain. When the Occupational Safety and Health Administration first announced it viewed post-accident drug testing as potentially unlawful a couple of years ago, employers and business groups filed lawsuits…

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DOJ confirms websites are covered by ADA, but offers some flexibility to businesses in complying

Hundreds of recent lawsuits have claimed that companies must have websites that are accessible to disabled individuals. The idea is that a website is a place of public accommodation under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and therefore must be accessible for all. Common website problems, including incompatibility with screen-reading software, may…

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National Labor Relations Board Boeing memo

NLRB memo offers clarity, good news for employer‑issued policies

For employers, the National Labor Relations Board’s rules for interpreting employer policies have been among the most difficult to navigate the last 15 years. The Board utilized a “reasonably construe” test that resulted in the Board ruling that many policies employers considered basic and non-controversial were unlawful unfair labor practices violating employees’ collective rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). However, last December, the Board announced a new test for determining whether employer policies are unlawful for interfering with employees’ rights to join together to engage in concerted activities for mutual aid or protection.

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Employers: Use caution when dealing with prescription drug users

Employers often have policies that require applicants or employees to disclose the lawful use of prescription drugs that could impair job performance or potentially pose a safety concern. If you’re one of those employers, you should be aware that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has taken the position that such policies may violate the…

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warehouse employee return to work

The dangers of ‘100% healed’ and ‘no restrictions’ policies

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to provide a reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with a disability, unless doing so would trigger significant operational difficulties and/or expenses for the employer. Once an employer is aware of an individual’s disability and the possible need for an accommodation to perform their job, it is the…

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employer duty to initiate interactive process

An employer’s duty to initiate the ‘interactive process’ without a request for accommodation from the employee

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities unless doing so would impose an undue hardship or pose a direct threat to the safety of the employee or others. ADA regulations provide that in order to determine an appropriate reasonable accommodation, it may be necessary for the…

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Walmart exterior

Court: Disabled or not, worker must be able to perform essential job functions

The federal appeals court that covers Oklahoma recently ruled in favor of Walmart in a lawsuit filed by a disabled former employee. Disabled maintenance employee terminated after refusing to clean restrooms Simone Mielnicki was a 60-year-old maintenance employee who worked at Walmart in Parker, Colorado.  According to the lawsuit, Mielnicki had a developmental disability that…

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