Monthly Archives: August 2011

DOES USERRA PROTECT AGAINST A HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT?

Several months ago, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas) issued an extremely interesting opinion and, in the process, became the first federal appellate court to definitively address whether the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (“USERRA”) created a claim for a hostile work environment based upon membership in the uniformed services.

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SEXUAL HARASSMENT LESSONS STILL BEING LEARNED

A few months ago, we posted an excellent piece detailing some of the important things an employer should try to do to avoid a sexual harassment claim, including how to appropriately respond to one.  Apparently, that message hasn’t quite seeped in to certain employers out there – at least if the latest wave of sexual harassment cases in the news is any indication.

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LIKE US? THEN SPREAD THE WORD!

Our many authors here at the Employment Essentials blog appreciate each and every one of our readers, no matter what corner of cyberspace they’re in.

Well, if the feeling is mutual, and you don’t mind shouting about it, please tell your colleagues about us and also take a minute or two to nominate us prior to Setpember 9 for the American Bar Association’s annual list of top 100 legal blawgs.  That’s a who’s who list of law blogs prepared by the legal profession’s pre-eminent organization each year.

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WORK INJURIES: AN EMPLOYER’S INVESTIGATING AND REPORTING PLAYBOOK

West Virginia law provides specific guidance regarding the reporting of workplace injuries by both employees and employers.

For their part, every employee who sustains a workplace injury is obligated to provide immediate – or as soon thereafter as practicable – written notice of the injury to the employer.  State regulations in West Virginia require this, and also provide that immediately after sustaining an occupational injury, the employee should seek necessary medical care and file a worker’s compensation claim.  Immediate notice is notice given within two (2) working days of the injury.

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OSHA REVAMPS WHISTLEBLOWER PROGRAM

On the heels of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) audit that found “significant problems” with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Whistleblower Protection Program, OSHA recently announced several comprehensive changes to the program all employers should know about.

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A RECAP OF THE NEW(ISH) RULES UNDER THE FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT (FMLA)

In 2009, the Department of Labor made changes to the FMLA, clarifying several of the key definitions included in the regulations and formalizing how employers are to communicate FMLA benefits to employees.  While it has been two years since the new legislation was passed, it can be nice to have a quick key point summary as a refresher.

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FROM THE NEWSROOM: EEOC’S NEW GINA PROPOSAL

Last month, the EEOC issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that would extend existing recordkeeping requirements under Title VII and the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”) to employers covered by the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (“GINA”).

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