Employment Law Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law and HR

Showing posts by Sean Brown

Photo of Sean Brown
Oct 21 2015
Q&ADrug and AlcoholPrivacy & Confidentiality  

When is it okay to search an employee’s locker?

Q: Our custodial staff found beer cans in the lunchroom. We don’t know who could have been drinking at work and we’d like to search employee lockers in order to find out. Is that okay?

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Oct 13 2015
Termination & Resignation  

Retaliation can apply to more than just work-related complaints

An employee’s report to police that a coworker stole her ring at work was protected and could not be used as the reason for her termination, ruled a California court of appeal.

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Jul 17 2015
Hiring  

Why you should review the content of your company’s background check disclosure forms

Home Depot recently settled a class action lawsuit that alleged Home Depot violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by including, among other things, a release of liability on the form it used to disclose and authorize the running of a background check.

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Photo of Sean Brown
Jul 14 2015
Q&ALeave Laws  

Could an employee’s text to a supervisor trigger FMLA?

Is a text from an employee to their supervisor enough to excuse the employee’s absence and/or trigger FMLA?

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Photo of Sean Brown
May 04 2015
Q&AHarassment & Discrimination  

Reassigning harassment victim is risky

Question: We have two employees who just can’t seem to get along. One of the employees brought a harassment complaint against the other alleging, among other things, inappropriate sexual advances and cussing. Can we separate the two employees, by moving the alleged victim to another area, and be done with the situation?

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Photo of Sean Brown
Mar 03 2015
Q&ALeave LawsWage and Hour  

In California, Oregon and Washington: Are employers required to pay out sick leave?

Q: Do any of the new paid sick leave laws in various cities throughout Washington and Oregon, or the state of California, require employers to pay out unused sick leave?

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Photo of Sean Brown
Dec 30 2014
Disability  

Collaboration and communication key to disability accommodation

When a disability interferes with an employee’s ability to work, Washington’s Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) requires employers to engage in a collaborative process to search for reasonable accommodations, and eventually explore other available positions that meet the employee’s restrictions, ruled a federal district court.

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Dec 10 2014
Q&AEmployee BenefitsWage and Hour  

State sponsored programs provide good options to avoid layoffs and furloughs

Q: Our company needs to scale back operations for a few weeks while we complete a project at our facility. We don’t want to lose our skilled staff; are there any programs that would give them get access to unemployment benefits while we complete the project?

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Photo of Sean Brown
Oct 30 2014
Hiring  

WASHINGTON: Overbroad, anticompetitive noncompetes are unenforceable

Three different versions of a noncompete agreement, signed by three employees hired at different times, were too harsh to be enforced, said a federal district court in Washington. The employer, which specialized in artificial insemination of livestock, sued the workers when they left to work for a competitor.

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Photo of Sean Brown
Oct 20 2014
Wage and Hour  

Employers Liable for Wage Claims of Contractors and Subcontractors

An employer using contractors and subcontractors may be liable for wage claims if they are found to be a joint employer, the Washington Supreme Court recently decided. Fred Meyer contracted with Expert Janitorial to provide cleaning services for its Washington store locations. Expert Janitorial did not staff the employees themselves; instead, they contracted with various subcontractors to perform the work.

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