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employment law Archives

Employee flexing muscle on moral grounds

There are traditionally two different power structures in place for businesses. One is a top-down mindset where the owner or the board dictates the work to be done and how long it will take. The other is the bottom-up union or employee approach where the workers or their representatives exert considerable power.

The benefits of benefits

Smart business owners and human resources managers are always looking for new ways to attract top talent and then keep them from straying to competitors. One of the eternal questions in this important challenge is trying to figure out the priorities of the staff and it often comes down to a good benefits package.

Disability accommodations cost less than many employers think

More employers are hiring workers with disabilities these days. This is likely in part due to increased awareness of how to best work with disabled employees. In fact, employers are pleasantly surprised to learn that the cost for appropriate alterations to the workspace are less expensive than they feared. According to studies at the dation Network, a majority of these changes cost less than $500.

Handling extreme employee absenteeism

It is an unfortunate fact of life that people get sick or injured. While sympathy should go out to those with health issues, employee absences from the workplace can cause tremendous logistical problems for businesses. A missed week is a minor inconvenience, but a medical condition or severe injury can leave managers and employers wondering where they can turn to resolve the matter.

Ruling could set precedent for Workers’ Comp cases and drug use

An Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals Judge recently ruled that a positive drug test should not impact an employee’s Workers’ Comp benefits. In this case, the injured employee was attempting to fix a piece of heavy machinery when a coworker activated it. The machine then crushed the worker’s hand. While receiving treatment, the man subsequently tested positive for marijuana, which called into question whether the injury was his fault. 

Serving alcohol at holiday parties

The holiday party is a particularly tricky ritual in workplace culture. It is a chance for colleagues to relax and socialize together, but it can be challenging and awkward to socialize with co-workers. Alcohol is traditionally part of the equation as a tool for getting people to relax or to even get them to participate.

Non-competes that stand in California

California has a 150-year history of barring the non-compete clause. So many businesses coming in from other states or just beginning to hire staff could be in for a rude awakening when they start to hire or employees leave. Just for the sake of comparison: about 20 percent of workers across the United States are bound by non-compete agreements, including 14 percent whose earnings are less than $40,000 per year.

Safeguarding against excessive absenteeism

The state of California laws and federal laws ensure a wide range of employee entitlements. This includes the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as well as some of the most worker-friendly state laws in the country.

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