Category Archive for: ‘Labor & Employment’

Follow the Chain of Command? Yeah, but…

Most employers want their employees to “follow the chain of command” and not go “over the head” of their immediate supervisor. But a recent case from the Tennessee Supreme Court illustrates the pitfalls of being too rigid about this requirement. In Williams v. City of Burns, a police captain was asked to “fix” a speeding ticket at the request of …

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Retail Giant Faces Tough Questions About Employee “Look Policy”

Abercrombie & Fitch, a well-known American teen retailer, faced tough questions from the US Supreme Court last month while defending suit for its hiring practices in accordance with its corporate “look policy.” The case, entitled EEOC v. Abercrombie and Fitch Stores, Inc., arose from facts surrounding the retailer’s alleged failure to hire a young woman because of her religious apparel.  …

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Text messages at work lol

  I was in a court proceeding recently involving a termination. The proof consisted of numerous text messages between the employee and a manager. It struck me as we sorted through the electronic discussion just how much communication occurs in the job setting via text message. It is a good idea to review your employment policies to make sure that …

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New NLRB Union Election Rule Effective April 14th

The controversial new rule for Union elections adopted last year by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) goes into effect on April 14, 2015. It is designed to make it easier for labor unions to win recognition by shortening the time for management to respond to an election petition.  Currently, the time between filing an election petition with the NLRB …

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Split of circuits on same-sex marriage bans

Last week, the Sixth Circuit upheld same-sex marriage bans in four states within the circuit, including Tennessee.  After four circuit courts had struck down such bans in other areas of the country, including in Virginia, there is now an expectation that the Supreme Court will address laws banning same-sex marriage. These opinions impact employers regarding application of workplace policies and …

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Employees or Independent Contractors

Classification of workers has long caused confusion and been an area of concern for businesses.  Because independent contractors work for themselves, they are not covered by tax and employment laws in their work for businesses.  Because of the costs associated with employees and the labor and other legal requirements, employers are often tempted to label as many workers independent contractors …

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Job Descriptions in Relation to the ADA

One of the posts from this summer stated that job descriptions are important because they set out expectations about a given position. Specifically, descriptions are important under the ADA as well. They provide a framework to review whether an applicant with a disability is otherwise qualified to perform the job. They, then, allow the employer to consider what accommodations would be …

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Executive Order Protecting LBGT Federal Employees and Federal Contractor Workers

The White House announced some time ago that President Obama would sign an executive order that prohibits discrimination against gay and transgender workers who work for the federal government, its contracting agencies, and federal contractors. That order become official today. Several state and local governments have already adopted similar protections. Estimates are that the federal changes will affect nearly twenty-five …

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Why Employers Should Develop Job Descriptions

Job descriptions are important. They are not specifically required by law or regulation. However, the essential functions of a job must be considered in many contexts such as questions involving disability status or leave. Job descriptions allow the employer to clarify what responsibility an employee has within the business and how the employee is expected to operate. This information matters …

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