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Recently the American Bar Association released their statistic on Employment Related law suits. 127% increase in 2014 over 2015. But the more impressive number is that it is 900% increase over 5 years ago. This number isn’t driven by employers who have gone out of their way to purposefully do something expecting to get sued. Employers make mistakes and given how litigious we are, employees sue. Terminations are the spark to many employment lawsuits. And for each of the six kinds, there are some common steps employers can take to defend themselves if a termination is challenged in court:
As an employer, you’ve probably heard the terms “reasonable accommodation.” It’s a hot button phrase tossed around, but rarely to managers and employers ask what those terms really mean. Who do you have to accommodate? What’s reasonable? These are all thorny questions that courts have been trying to suss out. This is a topic many employers with have to confront at some point—according to the American Council of Life Insurers, one in three workers between the ages of 35 and 65 will suffer a serious disability. First, who do you have to accommodate? Accommodation falls under two big government laws: the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII). Today, we are going to talk about the ADA.
Many companies either have a progressive discipline policy in place or follow one in practice. And it's not hard to see why: Used properly, progressive discipline gives managers the tools they need to make fair, consistent, and legally defensible disciplinary decisions. Because it's based on communication and collaboration, true progressive discipline also helps employees improve, which is the ultimate goal of any disciplinary system. But how do you use progressive discipline to get results? How do you decide what type of discipline is appropriate in a particular situation? And how do you deliver that disciplinary message in a way that produces actual improvement?
Lawsuits by employees against their employers have grown tremendously in the past decade. Sometimes those lawsuits have merit, sometimes they don't. But, either way, those lawsuits cost time and money to fight-money that is better spent on product development, training and raises. Even worse, some laws-including federal overtime law and the Family and Medical Leave Act-allow employees to sue their supervisors directly, meaning a manager's personal bank account could be at stake.
The hiring process has a way of creating a lot of paperwork. A single job opening can bring a flood of resumes, cover letters, and applications from a horde of hopefuls. Once the decision has been made, the question becomes what to do with the pile of documents the hiring process generates.
Last month the Supreme Court of the United States(SCOTUS) released a decision on a case that affects the HCAOA’s case against the Department of Labor (DOL). Literally hours before the rule went into effect requiring all Caregivers employed by a third party be paid minimum wage and overtime, the DC Circuit Court issued a decision that nullified the DOL’s overtime/minimum wage rule for caregivers. The decision from the DC Circuit Court stated that they DOL didn’t have the right to make these changes and that Congress should be making these decisions. This decision is in great jeopardy and soon.
Many employers rely heavily on “at-will” laws to terminate employees. In theory, if at-will employment applies, you can fire a worker at will, which means for a good reason, a bad reason, or no reason at all. However, if a termination decision is challenged, it can be difficult to show that a bad reason or no reason was not discriminatory, particularly if the affected employee belongs to a protected group.
On February 19th, 2015, Walmart announced that it will raise its lowest paid wages to $10 an hour by next year. This is just the latest salvo in the debate over minimum wage. First things first, what is minimum wage and who has to pay it? Federally, any business with employees that falls under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), has to pay minimum wage. The FLSA does contain a handful of exceptions, but state minimum wage laws may supersede any exemption. Currently, federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Tipped employees have a different minimum wage rate, but will not be discussed for the purposes of this article.
Over the last few weeks we have covered some of the biggest topics in trends we are seeing in employment litigation. These are issues that you can take precautions to protect yourself. This week we cover Growing Acceptance of LGBT Rights and Same-Sex Marriage, Workplace Bullying and Addressing Domestic Violence. In 2015 employers will face a number of challenging issues when it comes to managing, monitoring and maintaining their workforce. An employer that does not comply with its legal obligations faces numerous costs, including the time spent preparing and responding to litigation, investigating potential claims as well as harm to its business reputation.
This is part 2 of a five part series. In 2015, employers will face a number of challenging issues when it comes to managing, monitoring and maintaining their workforce. An employer that does not comply with its legal obligations faces numerous costs, including the time spent preparing and responding to litigation, investigating potential claims as well as harm to its business reputation. Numerous new laws have been passed on the federal, state and local level which will have a significant impact on the workplace and increase the risk that an employer will be subject to a lawsuit, civil fines or criminal penalties. Over the next few weeks we will explore the top trends in litigation facing business owners.