The human resources department often finds itself in the position of mediating disagreements about thermostat settings, noise levels, perfume sensitivities, and an array of other workplace issues. But when employee preferences—or even prescriptions—intersect with the law, the job gets more challenging. Recently a group of attorneys was asked whether an employee’s use of aromatherapy at [...]
Archive for the 'ADA' Category
by Kelly Smith-Haley
January is here, which means diet, exercise, and wellness resolutions aren’t far behind. And, like many of us, the EEOC has “wellness plans” on its list of 2015 New Year’s resolutions. The Chicago branch of the EEOC recently filed its third action alleging that an employer-sponsored wellness program violates the Americans with [...]
by Jodi R. Bohr
In recent years, service animals have become the topic of much debate partly because of their expanded use and perceived abuse. If you are confronted with an accommodation request by an employee or a customer who needs a service animal while on you premises, you must handle the situation [...]
Ebola may be grabbing headlines, but it’s the old familiar flu that’s more likely to cause headaches and chills for employers this winter. Flu.gov reports that nearly 111 million workdays are lost as a result of flu each season. That puts the tab at approximately $7 billion per year in sick days and lost productivity. [...]
Employers have dealt with health scares before. Maladies ranging from the common cold to virulent strains of flu often prompt employers to post hand-washing reminders, offer onsite vaccinations, and encourage sick employees to stay home. But the challenge intensifies in the midst of a disease outbreak as serious and frightening as Ebola.
As the deadly [...]
by Holly K. Jones, J.D.,
If there’s one thing on which smokers and nonsmokers can agree, it’s that smoking is an expensive habit. While tobacco companies and trade groups challenge coupon and discount bans on cigarettes, employers have taken up a different fight against the rising costs of smoking.
Employees bring their expertise, education, and skills to work every day, and employers count on those qualities. But employees may also bring other aspects of their lives to work—characteristics that can complicate the employer’s responsibilities.
A study from Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI), a nonprofit organization concerned with health and productivity research, released a study in [...]
The task of writing and revising job descriptions may sound dull, but at the same time be daunting. With so much to consider—essential versus nonessential functions, varied job responsibilities, experience and education requirements, etc.—the job can be mind-numbing. Then throw in the legal issues to consider, including things like how to prevent discrimination and wage [...]
Employers face tough personnel decisions every day, and the threat of litigation makes the decision process even more problematic. Recently a group of attorneys tackled a couple of situations that present discrimination hazards–whether it’s too risky to reduce an older employee’s hours and whether it’s possible to lawfully check out an applicant’s workers’ compensation history. [...]
by Steve Jones
Many federal employment laws can apply to the hiring process. Even if you are a small business that may not fall under the rules because of a limited number of employees, it’s always recommended that you follow legally compliant policies from the start. When hiring an employee, you should consider both [...]