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Articles by James E. Hall, Mark T. Kobata and Marty Denis

Terminated Employee's 'Regarded As' Claim Weighed

October 16, 2009
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Employers must return to work employees who have been released by their doctors to work and who can perform essential job duties and responsibilities of their positions. Where requested or necessary, reasonable accommodations should be discussed with the employee.
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$1.2 Million Judgment in Disability Case

October 16, 2009
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Employers must always engage in an interactive process with employees seeking job accommodations. Employers should not assume that an employee is no longer able to perform the essential functions of her job with or without an accommodation, without speaking with the employee and receiving a doctor's documentation of the impairment.
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Privacy Concerns and Employee Surveillance

September 3, 2009
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Employees may have enforceable privacy interests in work areas, such as enclosed offices where they work, changing rooms and lockers accessible only to the employee. While searches or surveillance of work areas can be defended with legitimate cause, employers should consider policies and procedures to alert employees to the employer's reserved right to conduct such surveillance. Even then, surreptitious photographing of employees should be carefully limited.
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Recent Settlements Should Alert Employers

September 3, 2009
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Two settlements provide examples of preventive measures that an employer should consider taking to avoid litigation. In addition to paying employees for all hours worked and making rest and meal breaks available where required by law, electronic tracking programs may provide for increased accuracy of time recording. Employers should also ensure that their employee handbooks and policies are updated regularly to comply with the law, and that employees, management and human resources personnel are aware of employee rights and responsibilities.
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Disparate Impact Versus Disparate Treatment

July 17, 2009
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Employers are advised that once a selection system is in place, it should be followed in the absence of evidence that the process violates the disparate-impact provisions of Title VII. Employers should consider adopting a fair system for awarding promotions, ensure the process is job-related and defensible, and evaluate alternative methods based on appropriateness and the impact on protected groups.
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No Claim for Failure to Accommodate

June 26, 2009
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Employers are advised to engage in an interactive process with employees seeking job accommodation. The Americans with Disabilities Act does not require employers to accommodate employees by assigning other workers to take over the duties of a disabled employee.
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Dismissal for Not Calling In Doesn’t Violate FMLA

April 2, 2009
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Employers should be cautious when considering applying leave-of-absence procedures and policies to employees approved for FMLA leave.
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Legal Brief Employer Responsibilities Under FMLA

January 20, 2006
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Employers, via their policies and procedures, must demonstrate their willingness to help rather than hinder employees’ use of FMLA rights.
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