Employment Law Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law and HR

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Question of the Month

Q&A: Do we have harassment liability if a workplace relationship is consensual?

Question: An employee in a consensual, romantic relationship with a manager in another department has started complaining about “harassment,” which is really just her coworkers teasing her about the relationship. She’s also complaining that they’re having “problems” in the relationship which is spilling over into hostile treatment at work by the manager. The owner is ready to terminate her for continuing to bring her drama into the workplace. Are there any legal concerns we should consider?

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Photo of Dan Beaty
Feb 11 2019
Workers’ Comp  

Don’t Fall for Workers’ Comp Scams

Vigilant Can Help Spot Fraudulent Claims That Might Slip by You When it comes to workers’ comp fraud, you’d be surprised at how far some people will go—and how far they get. Here are just a handful of uncovered activities by injured workers that in no way could be considered focusing on “healing up”…

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Photo of Karen Davis
Feb 08 2019
Safety and Health  

OSHA launches new inspection initiative based on 2016 data

Employers who reported high injury and illness rates in 2016, or who failed to report at all, will be targeted for inspections by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Site-Specific Targeting The agency announced the directive, “Site-Specific Targeting 2016,” on October 16, 2018. States with their own safety programs, such as…

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Photo of Karen Davis
Feb 08 2019
Safety and Health  

OSHA cites employer after forklift crushes employee during maintenance

A forklift maintenance procedure at a Kansas drywall contractor turned tragic when a hydraulic cylinder in the process of being swapped out fatally crushed an employee. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued a press release announcing that it had cited the company for seven serious safety…

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Photo of Karen Davis
Jan 18 2019

EEOC rescinds rules on wellness incentive limits for now

Effective January 1, 2019, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has officially rescinded its regulations that allowed employers to offer wellness incentives of up to 30 percent of the cost of employee-only health coverage. As we previously reported a year ago, a federal district court determined that the EEOC didn’t have…

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Photo of April Uzzardo
Jan 11 2019
Q&AWage and Hour  

Q&A: Ensure proper pay for after-hours emails

Question: I have a dedicated, hard-working employee, a Production Lead, who always stays on top of their work, often checking and responding to work emails after hours but not recording the time. What is my obligation, if any, to pay them for this time? Answer: Your organization is potentially facing exposure…

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Photo of Diane Buisman
Jan 02 2019
DisabilityEmployee BenefitsEmployee Classifications  

Best practice idea: Follow up after making disability accommodation

One of our Vigilant members has implemented a best practice that we think is worth sharing: annual check-ins with employees who are receiving workplace accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Annual Check-In: What’s Involved The company sends the employee a letter each year, reviewing what accommodations have been made and asking: (1)…

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Photo of Kara Craig
Dec 20 2018
Q&AHarassment & DiscriminationPrivacy & Confidentiality  

Q&A: Know how to handle the aftermath of a harassment investigation

Question: I just completed a harassment investigation. We verified that harassment occurred and terminated the harasser. Everyone seems to know what happened and tensions are high in our small office. What else can I do? 

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Photo of Jon Benson
Dec 17 2018
Q&AEmployee BenefitsHarassment & DiscriminationLabor RelationsWage and Hour  

Q&A: No-fault attendance policies must allow many exceptions

Question: We have a “no fault” attendance policy which assigns points for absences, tardies, and early departures. Employees are disciplined and eventually terminated if they reach a certain number of points. We know we have to allow exceptions for legally protected time off, but what if it’s unclear whether an absence is protected?  

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Photo of Jackie Marks
Dec 14 2018
Harassment & Discrimination  

Employer’s failure to stop harassment by customer leads to $250,000 jury award

A federal appeals court confirmed a jury award of $250,000 against a grocery store whose female employee was stalked by a male customer at work. The employer ordered the customer to avoid the employee, but failed to ensure the customer complied. For the next 13 months, the customer continued following the…

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Photo of Diane Buisman
Nov 02 2018

Q&A: Pay equity analysis not a quick fix

Question: We’re concerned about new state laws on equal pay, and we don’t know where to start with a pay equity analysis. How do we get a handle on our potential exposure?

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