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Employment Law Articles

Resume-screening programs could raise discrimination concerns

Resume-screening programs could raise discrimination concerns If you’re a desirable employer in a competitive job market, you probably get dozens if not hundreds of applications when you post an opening on a job board like monster.com or indeed.com. Thankfully “artificial intelligence” (AI) computer programs exist to make sifting through these resumes a lot easier. Many of these programs use algorithms to identify the resumes that provide the best match, based on training, education or experience. Some

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Moonlighting workers deemed employees, not contractors

Moonlighting workers deemed employees, not contractors Many employers like to classify their workers as “independent contractors” instead of employees, so that those workers aren’t subject to wage and hour laws and aren’t entitled to other benefits like sick leave and vacation days that employees might be entitled to. But before classifying any of your workers as contractors, you should talk to an employment lawyer. That’s because you could be misclassifying them. If that happens, you can

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Employer’s failure to stop gossip may constitute sex discrimination

Employer’s failure to stop gossip may constitute sex discrimination Most employers know that Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act prohibits workplace discrimination and harassment based on race, sex, religion and ethnicity. An employer can be held accountable for failing to investigate and address discrimination and harassment that it knows about or should know about. But many employers might not realize this includes stopping false and malicious rumors about workers from circulating throughout the workplace.

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Salesman’s family can’t recover for fatal accident during commute

Salesman’s family can’t recover for fatal accident during commute Generally if you’re hurt in an accident commuting to or from work, you can’t receive worker’s compensation benefits. That’s because of the “coming and going” rule which says such accidents don’t occur “in the course of employment.” This rule has exceptions, of course. For example, many states have a “contractual duty” exception, which means the coming-and-going rule doesn’t apply if the employee’s contract entitles him or her

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Marijuana and the workplace: What employers need to know

Marijuana and the workplace: What employers need to know The landscape around marijuana use has changed dramatically over the past couple of decades. While possession of even a small amount of marijuana used to be a crime across the country, 33 states and the District of Columbia have legalized its use for medical purposes, and 10 states permit recreational use of marijuana as well. But marijuana is still technically illegal under federal law, which applies everywhere

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Workers can sue employer for failing to protect personal data

In a ruling that should make employers everywhere sit up and take notice, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently decided that workers could bring a negligence claim (in other words, a lawsuit alleging that they were hurt by their employer’s unreasonable carelessness) against their employer over a data breach that compromised their personal information. The case involved more than 60,000 current and former employees of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). Hackers broke into the UPMC’s

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Beware the careless employee review

  Annual or semi-annual employee reviews can be helpful in documenting worker issues to justify actions you might take, and in protecting yourself against potential lawsuits by disgruntled workers. They also can help your workforce identify ways to improve its productivity and professionalism. But if you go about the review process the wrong way, you may turn what you view as a shield against employment suits into a sword for terminated, transferred or demoted workers. That’s

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Case highlights importance of protecting secret documents

Does your company have important trade secrets it wants to protect? If so, be sure to take affirmative steps to actually maintain the secrecy of these documents. That can help you if you need to take an ex-employee to court for trade secret violations, as a recent South Carolina case shows. In that case, employee Diego de Amezega worked for AirFacts, a revenue-accounting software developer for the airline and travel industry, from 2008 to 2015. His

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Employers take note: Harassment claims were on the rise last year

Last fall, nearly a year after the #MeToo movement emerged as a major social force, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released findings that sexual harassment claims had risen sharply during fiscal year 2018. The EEOC reported a 12 percent increase in sexual harassment complaints filed with the agency, the first time in a decade when that figure rose. EEOC attorneys filed 41 sexual harassment lawsuits on the agency’s behalf, twice as many suits as in 2017.

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Beware of making tipped workers do non tip-earning tasks

Many employers in the service industry take what’s called a “tip credit.” In other words, they pay workers performing tip-generating tasks a lower wage (as little as $2.13 an hour, far below the federal minimum wage) with the expectation that tips will make up the difference. There’s also been a controversy for some time over whether tipped workers have to be paid at least minimum wage for time spent on non-tipped tasks. For example, do restaurant

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