Vigilant Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law, HR, safety & workers' comp

Showing posts by Kara Craig

Photo of Kara Craig
Nov 03 2022
Wage and Hour  

Time spent booting up computer compensable under FLSA

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that hourly call center employees were entitled to be paid for time spent booting up their computers at the beginning of their shifts. The employees worked in person at a call center for an appliance recycling company. Their principal duties were…

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Sep 15 2022
Labor RelationsSafety and Health  

Q&A: Employees usually have right to display union insignia at work

Question: We have a dress code policy that requires production employees to wear either a plain t-shirt, or a t-shirt with the company logo. One of our employees came to work this morning wearing a t-shirt with the union logo. Can I require them to change? Answer: Probably not. The company…

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Sep 01 2022
Leave Laws  

Q&A: Consider history before denying leave due to improper request

Question: This morning an employee contacted his supervisor through Facebook to report that he can’t come to work for at least a week because he needs surgery. Our Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) policy clearly states that employees must follow the call-in policy and complete a leave request form. Can we…

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Aug 04 2022
Q&ADisabilityHarassment & Discrimination  

Q&A: Eliminating contact with a coworker unreasonable under ADA

Question: One of our employees requested a disability accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). He suffers from anxiety and depression and his doctor recommended that he not have any interactions with a certain “hostile” coworker. Do we have to do this? Answer: Probably not, because courts generally don’t consider a request to avoid…

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Jul 07 2022
Q&ADisabilityDrug and AlcoholHiringSafety and Health  

Q&A: Hiring before receipt of drug test and background check is risky

Question: Our company is struggling to find workers and keep operations running efficiently. All employment offers are conditioned on passing a preemployment drug screen and background check. We’ve been allowing new hires to start working before we receive the results from our third-party vendors. We just learned that an employee who has…

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Feb 17 2022
COVID-19Leave Laws  

Q&A: Don’t be too hasty in deciding time off request is fraudulent

Question: One our employees called in sick, saying he had COVID-19 (coronavirus) symptoms. We approved the sick day. His coworker showed us a video of the “sick” employee on a road trip. He lied to us! Can we fire him? Answer: Be careful when questions arise about the legitimacy of an employee’s request for time…

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Feb 03 2022
COVID-19Safety and Health  

OSHA withdraws large employer vaccination ETS

On January 26, 2022, OSHA officially withdrew its COVID-19 (coronavirus) emergency temporary standard (ETS) for employers with 100 or more employees. As we previously reported, the Supreme Court had stayed enforcement of the ETS to allow lawsuits challenging it to proceed to a full hearing with the Sixth Circuit Court…

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Jan 06 2022
COVID-19Safety and Health  

OSHA COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS timelines clarified

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments over the OSHA COVID-19 (coronavirus) Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for employers with 100 or more employees on January 7, 2022. The ETS requires covered employers to ensure that workers who aren’t fully vaccinated are tested at least weekly for COVID-19. We…

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Jan 06 2022
COVID-19Safety and Health  

CDC shortens COVID-19 isolation and quarantine periods

On December 27, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced shortened isolation and quarantine periods for individuals who contract or are exposed to COVID-19 (coronavirus). The agency received some pushback, so it published additional details on its Quarantine and Isolation web page (updated January 4, 2022). Isolation after…

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Oct 21 2021
COVID-19DisabilityPrivacy & Confidentiality  

Q&A: HIPAA doesn’t apply to employee information

Question: We implemented a mandatory COVID-19 (coronavirus) vaccine policy for all employees. Some employees are refusing to produce proof of vaccination status because they believe they have the right to refuse under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). We’re a private employer operating a manufacturing facility. Does HIPAA apply to…

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