Yesterday’s tragedy in Boston has left me speechless. Boston seems to have been prepared, and at least by early accounts, the city’s early responders helped save many from suffering a worse fate. Employers can learn an important lesson from these ashes and tears—the importance of being prepared.
Articles by Jon Hyman
According to the court, the employee handbook clearly stated that accrued vacation is forfeited to an employee upon termination. To me, however, such as policy is draconian and overbearing. Instead, consider limiting vacation and other paid time off forfeitures to “for cause” terminations.
Before denying light duty to an employee returning from FMLA leave, you must consider whether the ADA requires the light duty as a reasonable accommodation. If you have light duty available, and do not have to create a light duty position to accommodate the employee, the ADA will likely require the consideration of temporary light duty as a reasonable accommodation.
If you provide them mobile devices, or let employees BYOD and connect them to your network, have a written policy that tells them they are not required to read or reply to emails after hours. Create a culture that lets your employees escape from work while not at work.
This case, however, holds a deeper lesson about corporate culture and your workplace. If your company has a culture of condoning sexual harassment, no policy, and no amount of training, will render your holiday parties (or any workday, for that matter) safe.
The reality is that if your company does not take this issue seriously, state legislators will and you won’t like the results.
Do you know what to do with your workers when a weather event such as Sandy aims for your workplace?
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.