Employment Law Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law and HR

Showing all recent posts

Photo of Sean Brown
Dec 15 2017
Q&AHarassment & Discrimination  

Q&A: Discrimination – yes, it’s still happening, and employers must take it seriously

The Question: One of our employees is saying his coworkers are using very obscene racial slurs in casual conversation. We trust our supervisors and they’ve said they can’t imagine this is actually happening. What should we do?

Read More…
Photo of Trish Leimbach
Dec 14 2017
Safety and HealthWorkers’ Comp  

Congratulations to Vigilant’s 2017 Safety Award Winners!

Vigilant’s 2017 Safety Award Winners
37 Retro Group Members Recognized for Exceptional Safety Efforts

Read More…
Photo of Karen Davis
Dec 12 2017
Safety and Health  

No real winners in battle over intoxicated employee’s death after party

A New York appellate court recently ruled that a cancer treatment center wasn’t liable for the death of its 48-year-old employee who became extremely intoxicated at an annual department holiday party. The case serves as a sobering reminder, however, of the human consequences of a holiday event gone wrong. The party was…

Read More…
Photo of Jackie Marks
Dec 11 2017
Leave Laws  

Q&A: Front-loaded PTO policies create problems with Washington paid sick leave

The Question: We are trying to prepare for the implementation of the Washington paid sick leave going into effect on January 1, 2018. We have locations in Bellevue and Olympia, Washington, as well as in Eugene, Oregon. We front-load our paid time off (PTO) at the beginning of the calendar year and don’t carry over any remaining PTO at the end of the calendar year. We know we are in compliance with Oregon’s paid sick leave. Will our policy also comply with Washington’s new paid sick leave law?

Read More…
Photo of Jon Benson
Dec 05 2017
Drug and AlcoholSafety and Health  

Think twice when conducting post-accident drug testing on employees

The Question: Our employee reported that he was injured on-the-job today, but we don’t yet know the nature of the incident or who (if anyone) was at fault. Our standard procedure is to send him for a drug test immediately. Can we do so?

Read More…
Photo of Karen Davis
Nov 30 2017
Safety and Health  

ALERT: OSHA extends electronic filing deadline to December 15, 2017

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced that it is postponing its December 1, 2017, deadline for electronic filing of summary injury and illness data, to December 15, 2017. OSHA’s electronic reporting requirement currently applies to employers in Idaho, Oregon, and Montana. Employers in California and Washington don’t have to…

Read More…
Nov 28 2017
Q&AHarassment & Discrimination

Q&A: When does “creepy” cross the line into sexual harassment?

The Question: A manager told me that two female employees raised concerns about a male employee who was being “creepy”; they said he stood too close to them and made them feel uncomfortable. The manager asked them to report it to HR, but they haven’t come to see me. It doesn’t seem like I have enough to launch a formal investigation. What can I do in this situation?

Read More…
Photo of Jodi Slavik
Nov 21 2017
Q&ADisabilitySafety and HealthTermination & Resignation  

Q&A: Accommodate for Questionable Religious Belief?

Question: We recently instituted a no-beard policy to ensure that men can securely wear their required safety masks. However, one of our Muslim employees refused, citing the Prophet Muhammad. I’ve studied the Quran, and I know that it doesn’t require beards. Can we discipline or fire him for not shaving?

Read More…
Photo of Jackie Marks
Nov 20 2017
Q&ADisabilityLeave Laws  

What to do after an employee’s FMLA leave expires

Question: We have an employee who took 12 weeks of FMLA leave because of her own serious health condition. Her leave is now expired but she still isn’t able to return to work. Can we terminate her employment since she doesn’t have any FMLA leave left?

Read More…