Category Archives: Employment Handbooks/Policies

“HE WAS THE PERFECT APPLICANT…UNTIL WE RECEIVED THE BACKGROUND CHECK”

It’s not uncommon to make a job offer conditional on the results of a pre-employment background check. But, how often do you deny an otherwise good job applicant a job because something unexpected came back in the background check? How do you go about informing this applicant—who you told had the job (subject to the results of the background check)—that he or she is now not going to be considered for employment? Read More »

WEST VIRGINIA EMPLOYEES CAN KEEP GUNS IN THEIR CARS – WHAT EMPLOYERS NEED TO KNOW

On June 8, 2018, the Business Liability Protection Act (a.k.a “the Parking Lot Gun Bill”) goes into effect and creates a series of new standards which prohibit employers from maintaining or establishing “no firearms” policies in vehicles on company-owned parking lots and property where vehicles are parked. Read More »

PENNSYLVANIA’S STRICT CONSTRUCTION OF SOCIAL MEDIA POLICIES

Personnel policies are designed to inform employees of the types of conduct that are acceptable or unacceptable. They, obviously, can only give a general overview and are subject to interpretation and application by the employer on a case-by-case basis.  A recent decision arising out of a Tweet by a Vice President of Human Resources shows that such policies will be strictly construed against employers in Pennsylvania. Read More »

MOONLIGHTING WHILE ON FMLA LEAVE

I was recently asked if an employer may require an employee who was taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) to return to work after the employee was seen working his second job—refereeing school basketball games—while on leave. In this particular case, the employee was taking FMLA leave to care for his daughter, who had a serious health condition.  Read More »

STRANDED IN A WINTER WONDERLAND: COMPENSABILITY OF TIME FOR EMPLOYEES STUCK AT WORK

Like it or not, winter is upon us as the calendar rolls into February, and Jack Frost is constantly lurking around the corner. In this space, we’ve talked about  pay issues under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) when employees can’t make it to work or the business must close.  On the flip side, however, some businesses, such as healthcare entities, provide critical services and often have no choice but to remain open to the best of their ability when winter strikes.  Read More »

NLRB ESTABLISHES NEW STANDARD GOVERNING WORKPLACE POLICIES

Towards the end of 2017, the National Labor Relations Board issued a flurry of important decisions that established more employer-friendly standards. Significantly, the Board overturned a decision that was used to strike down many employment policies the Board found unlawfully interfered with employees’ rights to organize.  Under a standard set forth in Lafayette Park Hotel (1998) and later clarified in Martin Luther Home d/b/a/ Lutheran Heritage Village-Livonia (2004), a policy could be deemed unlawful if it could be “reasonably construed” by an employee to prohibit or chill employees’ exercise of their right to self-organize for collective bargaining or mutual aid.  Read More »

START OFF THE NEW YEAR WITH A BANG (NOT A BUST)!

It goes without saying that the New Year is a time for fresh starts in life, and the same is true for management of your workplace. The New Year is a great time for getting on, or staying on, the right track and making your workplace one that is productive and safe.  Read More »

MCKINNEY V. G4S GOVERNMENT SOLUTIONS, INC.: HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT CLAIM REJECTED FOR FAILURE TO REPORT

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently affirmed summary judgment in favor of the employer in a case involving an allegation of a racially hostile work environment, which was supported by shocking evidence, including racial slurs, a noose, and even a KKK-style hood. Read on to learn how this employer has – so far* – escaped liability in the face of such egregious evidence.    Read More »

GESUNDHEIT: EMPLOYER GUIDANCE ON FLU SHOT POLICIES

While autumn is generally a mirthful season of crisp weather, beautiful colors, and tasty s’mores, it also serves as the harbinger of one of the most dreaded yearly seasons – flu. With experts predicting that this flu season could be a severe one, employers are understandably worried about the safety of their employees and clientele.  Over the past several years, many employers have implemented mandatory flu vaccination programs for their employees.  If you have implemented, or are considering implementing, such a program, read on for tips you should consider. Read More »

DO YOU PASS THE TEST? NEW SAFER WORKPLACES ACT EXPANDS AND LIMITS DRUG AND ALCOHOL TESTING

As noted in our June 2017 Employment Law Letter, the West Virginia Legislature passed the West Virginia Safer Workplaces Act. The new law, which went into effect on July 7, 2017, generally expands the circumstances under which employers may conduct drug and alcohol testing, with some important limitations.  If your business conducts drug or alcohol testing, now is a good time to revisit your policy and consult with your attorney to ensure that it is compliant with the new law.  Here, we will summarize the new law, including what it permits and what it prohibits. Read More »