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The Practical Employer

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Helping employers navigate the complicated and ever-changing world of employment and labor laws, rules, and regulations, rationally and pragmatically.

Testing Employees for Legally Prescribed Medications Must be Done Carefully

September 11, 2012
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In the Dura Automotive case, the employer tested all of its employees for prescription medications, regardless of their job duties. This across-the-board testing runs afoul of the ADA. If you have safety-sensitive positions, in which employees will pose a direct threat by performing their essential job functions while impaired, then you may be able to test those employees for legally-prescribed medications.
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Transfer Preferences to Vacant Positions as an ADA Reasonable Accommodation Continue to Baffle Courts

September 10, 2012
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When you don't hire the best person for an open position, it could lead a court to second-guess your judgment and question why a member of a protected class was overlooked. Recognize, however, that this issue is unsettled, and declining to accommodate a disabled employee by transferring that employee to an open position could result in a violation of the ADA.
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Unemployment (or Prior Lawsuits) as a Protected Class? Not so Fast Says the 6th Circuit

September 6, 2012
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While this case was decided under Michigan law, it has implications beyond that state. As the opinion points out, there exist no cases from any jurisdiction recognizing a failure to hire claim under state common law or public policy.
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How Long is Too Long for a Medical Leave of Absence?

September 5, 2012
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If you are granting a leave to an employee as an accommodation, your best defense to a potential ADA claim is to open a dialogue with the employee about a return date, and prepare to be flexible.
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Are Your Policies Updated to Account for Ohio's New Ban on Texting While Driving?

September 4, 2012
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Remind employees that texting while driving is not only against the law, but also against company policy. Your insurance carriers, and, believe it or not, your employees and their families, will thank you.
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Are You Allowed to Use Social Media at Work?

August 30, 2012
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Companies cannot promulgate a disconnect between their external social media efforts and their internal social media policies. Openness to the public at-large will cause resentment among your employees if you restrict internal access. It sends a mixed (and wrong) message.
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Accommodating Religions Starts at Home (A Love Story)

August 29, 2012
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Employers seem to have forgotten how to accommodate, and people are quick to lay blame at the feet of companies. Yet, teaching how to accommodate starts at home.
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Do You Know What to Do When Violence Invades Your Workplace?

August 27, 2012
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While there exists no foolproof way to protect your workplace against the kinds of tragedies that we've seen lately, these few steps can go a long way to putting you in the best place to deter and respond.
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Counseling as an ADA-Protected Medical Examination

August 23, 2012
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If counseling qualifies as a covered medical exam, then employers, like WLAA, will have to rely on the statute's defense of job-relatedness and business necessity if an employee needs counseling.
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What Qualifies as “Opposition” Under Title VII?

August 22, 2012
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Assume all but the most attenuated of responses to a potentially discriminatory statement qualifies as protected, and do not leave it in the hands of judges or juries to draw these nuanced distinctions.
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