A Small Business Owner’s Guide to Federal Employment Laws

You want to treat your employees fairly and provide a healthy work environment for all. But in the real world, things sometimes get messy. You have an employee who needs time off, but he’s the only person who can do his job. Someone is upset about being passed over for a promotion. Another employee is allergic to a coworker’s perfume. And someone is “dishing the company tea” on social media.

Now what?

In human resources (HR) training, every ethical challenge has a tidy answer. In practice, it’s often quite difficult to find solutions that everyone agrees are fair and right.

Federal employment laws are nice, tidy guide rails for your business. While they don’t resolve every HR dilemma, they give you a framework for handling many of the complexities involved in employing people.

This article covers nine types of federal labor laws you need to know and when they apply

A SMB Guide to Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) in 2022

EEO compliance is more than the law: it’s good business. This article breaks down equal employment opportunity laws and how to make them work for your small business.
The best reason to cultivate a diverse, inclusive workforce is that it helps your business succeed, as demonstrated by two recent studies by McKinsey & Company. An inclusive work environment broadens your talent pool, enhances the employee experience, improves customer service, and drives innovation.

If you’re like many business owners, you might think equal employment opportunity (EEO) is a given. Why wouldn’t you bring the best and the brightest on board? Yet it takes more than a commitment to the idea of equal opportunity to promote an inclusive workplace.

It takes careful planning, a solid framework, and active engagement. This article will help you translate good intentions into concrete actions to create an inclusive workplace.

Overview: The history and evolution of equal

Yes, CBD Registers On a Drug Screen as THC and, Yes, You Can Be Terminated for It

There is a lot to unpack in the Lehenky v. Toshiba America Energy Systems Corporation, Case No. 20-4573 (E.D. PA, February 22, 2022) case as it answers two very interesting questions. First, does CBD register on a drug screen as THC, and can employees be terminated for using it? Second, is an employer test for prescription drugs an illegal medical inquiry in violation of disability laws?

Factual Background

In Lehenky, the plaintiff employee was terminated after testing positive for CBD, specifically for the “presence of marijuana metabolites (tetrahydrocannabinol, otherwise known as “THC’).” The plaintiff sued her former employer for disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and comparable state law, claiming that she was disabled and taking the substance to combat the effects of her disability, Panniculitis, which is an inflammatory autoimmune connective tissue disease.

As a firm with a robust cannabis practice group, this is a case

Gov. Gianforte Reaffirms Montana Law Banning Discrimination Based On Vaccination Status

Governor Greg Gianforte has provided guidance to Montana employers and employees impacted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule mandating vaccines for employers with 100 or more employees nationwide. 

“Montana law is unequivocal: employers are prohibited from discriminating based on vaccination status,” Gov. Gianforte wrote in guidance to Montanans. “While employers may encourage employees to vaccinate, they may not tie or modify any terms of employment based on vaccination status.”

On Nov. 5, 2021, OSHA published the “COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard” applicable to employers with 100 or more employees nationwide. The OSHA mandate violates Montana law prohibiting discrimination based on a person’s vaccination status. 

Can Vaccination Status Lead to Discrimination?

Perhaps, there is a vaccination mandate, which means employees must be vaccinated. Or maybe vaccinations are still optional for employees to allow for minimal disruption to how the company operates. There are pros and cons to each choice. With Covid-19 having caused a worldwide pandemic, millions of deaths, and the upheaval of life as we knew it in 2020, the availability of a vaccine was seen as a blessing by many.

The possible lifesaving implications of a vaccine meant employers could reopen their doors and safely reintegrate staff working from home back into the office. Mandating vaccines for in-office work was a smart choice for companies that wanted to give employees and clients confidence in the safety of coming back into their buildings.

Some employees either didn’t want to get the vaccine, couldn’t get it, or wanted to continue working from home to ensure safety.

Scroll to Top