Since the murder of a Yale Graduate student, workplace violence has become a predominate topic in the news. Investigators, from the beginning, have maintained that the murder of Annie Le was an instance of workplace violence, asserting such claims as though to relieve the anxiety of students, faculty, and media. However, workplace violence is one of the leading causes of job related deaths and the fastest growing … Read More
The Fair Labor Standards Act: Minimum Wage, Overtime and Travel Time
The purpose of this white paper is to provide an overview of the Fair Labor Standards Act and related laws in the context of the requirement of paying minimum wage, overtime and travel time for many employees.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (the "Act" or "FLSA") was enacted in 1938 as part of President Franklin Roosevelt's "New Deal" legislation. The goal of the Act is to maintain the "minimum … Read More
15 Questions to Ask Before Firing Anyone
You may have heard that Arizona is an "at will" state. It is. This means that employees work at "the will" of the employer. Just as employees can keep working or resign if they wish, employers can terminate employees for a good reason or even for no reason.
Employers get in trouble, however, when they fire employees for "bad" reasons. Some bad reasons are obvious. Certainly you cannot fire employees because of … Read More
Rules for Conducting Employee Background Checks
During the hiring process, no doubt you try to verify the information on applicants' résumés to help weed out those who may be dishonest or unqualified. You probably ask references and previous employers about a candidate's competence, productivity and integrity. And you may call professional associations to confirm certifications and state agencies to confirm licenses.
These are basic screening … Read More
Human Resources Check-up
Have you kept current with changes and trends in employment law? If audited by a government agency, are you comfortable that you would face no penalties? Do you know what your human resource strengths and weaknesses are? If you answered "No" or "I don't know" to any of the above questions, it is time for a Human Resources Checkup!
Things We Look For:
Personnel Files: Do you maintain comprehensive, … Read More
Dog Bites Landscaper! (What should you do?)
If a customer's dog bites you, a landscaper, pest control operator, utility worker or other worker that has a legitmate and legal reason to access someone's property, the first thing to do is seek medical attention! After receiving medical care, you might want to think about this: who should pay for medical care? In most cases, the dog's owner will be liable for damages, but that will depend upon a couple of … Read More
Obesity in the Workplace
No doubt being overweight can pose a health problem. But is it a protected disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1992 (ADA) that bars employers from discriminating against employees or prospective employees who are obese? According to a recent decision of the Montana Supreme Court and similar decisions in the federal courts, it is, or at least can be.
In BNSF Railway Co. v. … Read More
Don't Fire that Employee for a Facebook Posting Just Yet
If it hasn't happened to your company yet, it will. One of your employees may post a disparaging remark on-line about the company, company practices or a member of management. The employee may even use profanity in the posting. However, before you react and fire the employee you should know that, depending on the nature of the posting, the employee may be engaging in what the National Labor Relations Board (" … Read More
Medical Marijuana And Your Drug Free Workplace
Arizona's Medical Marijuana Act, (the "Act"), A.R.S. §36-2810, was effective January 1, 2011. Many employers did not know how to incorporate the Act into their existing drug-free workplace policies.
The Act prohibits an employer from discriminating against an employee because he or she is a registered medical marijuana user, but neither the Act nor the ADHS regulations issued to interpret and implement the … Read More
Arizona's Notice of Claim Statute- Jumping Through Hoops When Suing State Government or Its Agencies or Political Subdivisions
By David N. Farren
For 20 years, the State of Arizona, its agencies and political subdivisions have held a secret weapon to thwart claims made against them for everything from breach of employment contracts to gross negligence in providing public services. The Arizona Notice of Claim Statute was enacted in 1994, and it has been a trap for the unwary ever since.
The Notice of Claim Statute lurks behind any claim … Read More