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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 Guide on How to Avoid Wrongful Termination Claims

At-will employment doesn’t necessarily mean you can fire employees at will. Know how to protect your business from wrongful termination complaints.
Most employment relationships are at-will, meaning you can fire employees at any time for any legal reason or no reason at all. Often, employers hear “at-will” and “any reason” and skip over the “legal” part. In fact, there are many illegal reasons for firing an employee, and it’s important to understand them before you let someone go.

How easy is it for a snap decision to turn into a wrongful discharge complaint? Consider the well-known case of EEOC v. Walgreens, in which a diabetic employee with an 18-year record of excellent service ate a $1.39 bag of chips because she was hypoglycemic. She tried to pay for the chips when her sugar rebounded, but her supervisor, perhaps under the influence of a particularly strident presentation on shrink prevention, fired

How to Become ADA Compliant in 4 Steps

More than 40 million people in the U.S. live with some form of disability. Creating a fair recruitment process and implementing an accessible work environment for all employees should be of the utmost importance.

It’s also a legal requirement.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life. The ADA went into effect in 1990. It’s a federal law, so it applies to every state without variation.

HR managers need to be well versed in ADA compliance if they want to avoid lawsuits.

Overview: What is ADA compliance?
The ADA guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in a number of different settings. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces sections of the ADA that prohibit employment discrimination.

Any organization operating in certain settings must make the required accommodations to be sure they’re complying with ADA guidelines.

These settings include:

Public

5 Ways to Handle Workplace Retaliation in 2022

Retaliating against employees who exercise their workplace rights is a common, preventable mistake. Find out how to ban retaliation from your company.
Every year, retaliation heads the list of complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). That’s because it’s often tacked onto other complaints, from sexual harassment to age discrimination.

Retaliation is also the toughest charge to shake. It’s not uncommon for companies to win a discrimination lawsuit only to lose on the accompanying retaliation claim.

Unfortunately, businesses often walk into retaliation complaints through innocent, avoidable mistakes. By knowing how to handle retaliation at work, you can avoid those costly mistakes.

What is workplace retaliation?
Retaliation occurs when an employer punishes an employee for exercising their workplace rights. Punishment can be any adverse action that might deter a reasonable employee from pursuing protected activities.

Examples of adverse actions include:

Termination
Constructive discharge, when punishment drives an employee to

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