Articles Posted in Human Resources Policies

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An alcoholic employee can present a number of tricky legal issues affecting the workplace. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, there’s a certain dichotomy. That is, alcoholism is a disability under the Act. However, an employer can ban alcohol in the workplace and require that employees not be under the influence of alcohol.

But what about an alcoholic employee, who, while remaining sober at work, seeks a leave of absence to treat?

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I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. But, even if I had, heck, I could move in to a Holiday Inn Express for a month and still not have anything intelligent to offer when one of my clients brings up the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare).

Now, I’m guessing that some of you have ACA dartboards migraines questions. (Something other than WTH?!?!?).  I’m going to do one better than refer you to our Employee’s Benefits Practice Group.

My firm is hosting a free Affordable Care Act breakfast briefing on Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at 8:15 am at our office in Philadelphia, PA. Not only can you participate in a roundtable discussion about impending reporting requirements relating to the Affordable Care Act and related healthcare reform and compliance issues, but you get access to ACA compliance nerds from both my firm and Deloitte.

If nothing more, you get fried oreos and Meyer in a dunk tank free breakfast and some HR/CLE credits. But, what’s especially nice about this session is that it will afford plenty of opportunity for the audience to ask questions.

Space at this event is limited. If you’d like to attend, e-mail me.

Hope to see you there.

If you are a Philadelphia employer, check out my post from February and this poster. While the new law requires employers of 10 or more to provide paid sick leave, those with 9 or few employees must still provide unpaid sick leave. If you haven’t done so already, update your employee handbooks.

For the rest of you (and, I suppose, my Philadelphia employer readers too), the results of yesterday’s Facebook poll are in…and not all that surprising.

71% of those who responded would fire an employee who identifies herself on Facebook as one of your employees and, in a status update, praises the murder of two police officers. Others would either discipline/counsel the employee (21%), or do nothing to the employee (4%). One of you would consult the company’s social media policy before taking action. Another one of you would discuss with the employee first and then decide what to do.

And one more of you would “Put her on a one-way flight to Itan or Notth Korea.”

It’s even better with the misspellings. In fact, I’m just going to leave that there and walk away from the computer now.

 

Ok. Let’s assume that I’m looking to fill another Blogprentice position here at the Bloggerdome.

[FYI – The Blogprentice’s job is to massage my scalp during those brief periods of writer’s block or when I get the vapors, rub my feet at all other times, plus whatever tasks, reasonable or unreasonable, I may assign from time to time. Job pays minimum wage. And, by that, I mean compliments. That is to say, part of the job is to compliment me. Another part is to make sure I’m using compliment correctly (instead of complement)].

All hires must then pass a background check and drug screen. Continue reading

A few years ago, I posed the question: Is a workplace “English-only” rule legal? 

Yadda, yadda, yadda, sometimes.

That is, in this Compliance Manual, the EEOC confirms that employers may adopt English-only rules under certain circumstances, insofar as it is adopted for nondiscriminatory reasons (e.g., safety, business necessity) and not to discriminate on the basis of national origin. Continue reading

This “invasion of privacy” question is the lynchpin of a new lawsuit from two former employees of one of the largest beer companies in the world. The complaint (available here), which began in state court, has been removed to federal court in New Jersey.

David Gialanella, reporting for the New Jersey Law Journal (full article here), summarizes the facts of the case:

A year ago, five company employees, including Nascimento and Yule, exchanged a series of text messages, apparently disparaging fellow employee Alex Davis. The messages were transmitted using their personal mobile phones, and on their own time, but Nascimento’s personal phone was linked to his company iPad through the iMessaging application, causing the messages to be stored on the iPad, according to the complaint.

Afterward, Nascimento was issued a new iPad, while the old one—with his text messages and credit card information still stored on it—was loaned to Davis. Davis discovered the text messages and complained, after which Nascimento, Yule and the others were questioned by investigators hired by Anheuser-Busch, according to the complaint.

Nascimento, Yule and a third employee involved in the messaging were terminated last September for “‘violation of corporate policy regarding use of company equipment,’” while a fourth was reprimanded, according to the complaint.

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Before I get to a 1752-word blog post about the National Labor Relations Board going wee-wee all over your workplace Cheerios with this March 18 report from General Counsel Griffin, replete with examples of how your employee handbook is overly broad and violates the National Labor Relations Act, let me do two things:

  1. Shout out to employment lawyer and blogger Robin Shea and her fantastic job with the April Fools Edition of the Employment Law Blog Carnival. Word!
  2. The follow-up podcast I recorded with Casey Sipe and Jessica Miller-Merrell from Blogging4Jobs.com on the FMLA/ADA/WC questions we couldn’t get to during out hour-long webinar is now available. Email me if you’d like a copy.

So, about that report… Continue reading

So…how many of you slept well after last night’s The Walking Dead? Don’t worry, no spoilers here.

Instead, what I do have is this link to a great post from my blogging buddy, Sharlyn Lauby a/k/a the HR Bartender. With a little help from this dude, Sharlyn’s post hits on, well, you read the lede: HR mistakes and how to address them.

Head on over to HRBartender.com and check it out.

Back in December, I warned you (here) that, after two failed attempts to enact paid sick leave in Philadelphia, the third time may be the charm in 2015.

I was right.

(Want to rub my head for good luck? Or hire me as your employment lawyer? Yeah, let’s go with the second one.)

Yesterday, Mayor Nutter signed into law a paid sick leave bill that passed City Council by a vote of 14-2. The new law, which will apply to businesses with at least 10 employees, will allow employees to accrue an hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours of work. It goes into effect in 90 days.

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