Vigilant Blog

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

Showing posts for: Q&A

Photo of Kara Craig
Aug 20 2020
Q&AHarassment & Discrimination  

Q&A: Establish a policy on political speech on clothing

Question: One of our employees wore a t-shirt in support of a political cause yesterday. Today another employee arrived at work wearing a mask with messaging in favor of her political party. I sense a slippery slope here. Do we have to allow this? Answer: No. Employees don’t have First Amendment rights in…

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Photo of Jon Benson
Aug 06 2020
Q&ALabor Relations  

Q&A: Untangle abusive employee conduct and protected activity

Question: One of our employees posted an abusive and profane message about their supervisor on social media, complaining to coworkers about pay and working conditions. Can we discipline this employee? Answer: Maybe, if you would discipline other employees for using such language at work. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects…

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Photo of Lorraine Hoffman
Jul 09 2020
Q&ACOVID-19Safety and Health  

WASHINGTON Q&A: Face coverings required except for work alone

Question: We know that all employees in Washington must wear a cloth face covering except when working alone in an office, vehicle, or at a job site. What does it mean to be “working alone”? As long as employees stay at least six feet apart from each other, does that mean they’re…

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Photo of Kara Craig
Jun 18 2020
Q&ALabor Relations  

Q&A: Know how to address inflammatory social media posts

Question: Several employees have reported that a coworker posted offensive content on Facebook about the recent protests. They say that she’s making “racist” comments and it makes them uncomfortable. Can we discipline the employee? If not, what else can we do to address this behavior? Answer: First, gather all of the facts. Find out exactly…

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Photo of Lorraine Hoffman
May 21 2020
Q&ACOVID-19Safety and Health  

Q&A: Address worker concerns about cloth face coverings

Question: We’ll be requiring employees to wear cloth face coverings at work, but we’re worried about pushback. What do we need to know? Answer: With the recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for people to wear cloth face coverings in public and at work, it seems that these fancy…

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Photo of Lorraine Hoffman
May 14 2020
Q&ACOVID-19  

Q&A: Be alert to unemployment fraud during pandemic

Question: Our business has received a number of unemployment claims that seem odd, including some from employees who are still working. We know that unemployment claims are way up due to business slowdowns related to COVID-19 (coronavirus), but is there something that we should be doing about these unusual or…

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Photo of Jon Benson
Apr 09 2020
Q&ACOVID-19Harassment & DiscriminationLeave Laws  

Q&A: Be careful about treating “high risk” employees differently

Question: Can we exclude employees from the workplace if they’re at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19, such as older workers or workers with underlying medical conditions? Answer: In general, no. If your reason for keeping employees away from work is based solely on their membership in a high-risk group based on…

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Photo of Karen Davis
Feb 28 2020
Q&ASafety and Health  

Q&A: Follow CDC guidance on coronavirus concerns

Question: One of our employees went on vacation to Thailand and is scheduled to return to work in a couple of days. We don’t know whether her itinerary included any connections through China, but we’re concerned she could have been exposed to the coronavirus. Can we tell her not to come to work…

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Photo of Kara Craig
Feb 11 2020
Q&ADisabilityDrug and Alcohol  

Q&A: Are prior addicts covered by the ADA?

Question: One of our employees failed a random drug test. He says the positive test occurred because he was prescribed methadone by his doctor to treat his addiction to opiates. Do we have to retain him? We’re concerned about safety.   Answer: If your drug testing process had included the services of a Medical…

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Photo of Jackie Marks
Jan 02 2020
Q&ADisabilityTermination & Resignation  

Q&A: Mandatory EAP referral doesn’t mean you perceived disability

Question: We have an employee who is acting strangely, including making paranoid comments about coworkers sabotaging her work. I investigated, but found no evidence to support her allegations. The employee continues to complain. Can we require her to contact our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and attend any counseling sessions recommended…

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