For many employers, dealing with employee absenteeism is the legal equivalent of navigating the Bermuda Triangle. That is because when an employee is unable or unwilling to work due to a physical or mental condition, his employer must address and comply with three major employment laws – the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and workers' compensation laws – each of which serve a different purpose.
Employment & Labor Law
If you’ve ever hired a dud, you might be the problem. A 2013 Gallup report showed a trend the respected polling organization has measured for years: most employees are “not engaged.” In the most recent report, it was 63%. The “actively disengaged” (those who would sabotage their organizations) were counted at 24%.
Most interviewers do a poor job posing questions that root out problem employees. Next time you’re interviewing, try asking candidates the following:
In some states, cities, and towns, an employer cannot include a question on a job application asking about criminal records. It is called “Ban the Box” and is a growing trend.
Although the recent lame duck Michigan legislature failed to add gender identity protections to Michigan law, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has prohibited discrimination since 2012 against transgender people. “Transgender” is an umbrella term that includes people who are transsexual, or otherwise gender non-conforming. Not all people who consider themselves (or who may be considered by others as) transgender will undergo a gender transition.
According to recent research conducted by the Pew Research Internet Project, as of January 2014, 58 percent of American adults have a smartphone and 42 percent own a tablet computer. Time spent on mobile devices by the average American consumer currently hovers around 2 hours and 42 minutes per day. For many, much of that time is undoubtedly spent checking and responding to work-related emails. Do employers need to pay employees for time spent after hours reviewing and responding to work-related emails?
High-level corporate professionals are all too often exposed for lying on their resumes.
Usually, these lies and misrepresentations relate to falsified educational or professional accomplishments. For example, a person may claim a Master’s degree in a certain field, but it is discovered they didn’t earn it or obtained one from a phony mail order school. Or, perhaps the person claims to have been a VP of Sales for ten years, but it turns out it was a basic sales position that lasted only three years.
Same-sex issues and benefits are among the hottest topics in the employment area - with good reason. Employers are faced with an increasing amount of government oversight, investigation and frequent, sometimes, daily changes in what is required, what is optional, and what is prohibited. The consequences of these issues often go beyond just legal compliance, although that is a very important aspect.
If you hire temporary workers for the holiday season (full- or part-time), be sure to complete background checks as if they were applying for permanent positions. After all, even someone working three hours a day can cause irreparable damage to your business through theft, drug sales, workplace violence, harassment, etc. Certainly, you deserve to know if even a part-time worker with limited hours poses a threat to your business.
Michigan business entities, as well as individuals, may have significant known and unknown liability for use tax on purchases subject to the sales tax, but where payment of the sales tax cannot be proven. This is due to the Andrie Michigan Supreme Court use tax decision.
An employee handbook too often becomes a dusty tool that is relegated to a remote shelf. In fact, it is a vital communication channel for your employees. It’s best to realize that before you are sitting in your attorney’s office, trying to prepare a defense to a suit or claim and wishing that you had included or excluded statements in your employee handbook.