Articles by Richard Alaniz

Practice

Watch Out for UFOs - Worker Centers as 'Union Front Organizers'

Nonunion companies usually work to keep an eye out for signs of union organization among their workforces. However, they are generally focusing on unions and union organizers, not nonprofit groups like "worker centers."
Practice

How Federal Contractors Can Navigate the Maze of Affirmative Action Compliance

This summer, Tufts Associated Health Plans Inc. agreed to pay more than $370,000 to settle allegations that it violated federal contract compliance regulations by retaliating against victims of discrimination.
Practice

Mandating Flu Vaccines: What Employers Should Know

Seasonal flu is not only unpleasant, it's expensive. Each flu season, nearly 111 million workdays are lost because of the flu, which represents approximately $7 billion per year in sick days and lost productivity.
Practice

Thanks to the Supreme Court: Narrower Definition of "Supervisor" Provides Opportunities for Employers

On June 24, 2013, the US Supreme Court narrowed the definition of who qualifies as a "supervisor" for the purposes of harassment cases. This holding is a significant win for employers.
Practice

Managing the Rise of Baseless Whistleblower Retaliation Claims

In fiscal 2012, the US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported that employees filed almost 2,787 whistleblower retaliation claims.
Practice

Maintaining Wage and Hour Compliance in 2013

Over the past six years or so, wage and hour lawsuits have become, if not commonplace, extremely prevalent. This trend, fueled by a large number of workers displaced following the financial crisis and stoked by successful settlements and court rulings over the past several years, is unlikely to end anytime soon.
Practice

Minimizing the Risk of Background Checks

Hiring is an expensive, time-consuming process – employers want to make sure they get it right the first time. For many employers, background checks represent a key tool in ensuring the people they hire are trustworthy and have the skills, experience, and education they claim to possess.
Education & Careers

Noel Canning Decision Holds President Obama's NLRB Appointments Unconstitutional

On Friday, January 25, 2013, a unanimous panel of the D.C. Circuit ruled that President Obama had unconstitutionally appointed three board members to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Practice

How Employers Can Ensure I-9 Forms Are Correct

When Abercrombie & Fitch ran into problems with properly completing I-9 forms, it turned out to be a seven-figure mistake. A $1,047,110 fine was imposed, even though there was no proof the retailer knowingly hired illegal workers.
Practice

Minimizing Employee Litigation through Arbitration Agreements

Employers can minimize many employee lawsuits and their fallout through arbitration agreements, where a neutral arbitrator hears the facts of the dispute and makes a binding ruling.
Practice

Workplace Safety, Disabled Employees, and the ADA

In order to ensure a safe workplace while fully complying with the ADA, employers need to understand their rights and responsibilities as well as the rights of job applicants and employees.
Practice

Ditch the Mistletoe - Avoiding Sexual Harassment Charges

For many companies, the end of the year means planning an annual holiday party. But beware - if employees cut loose at a company-sponsored function, it can lead to sexual harassment charges.
A&A

Ruling Extends SOX Whistleblowing Protections

Following a recent ruling by the US Department of Labor's Administrative Review Board, accounting firms that do work for public companies may be far more vulnerable to whistleblowing claims under SOX.
Practice

The Rise in Pregnancy Disability Regulations

Disability claims are always challenging for employers, but this is especially the case when pregnant workers suffer complications that leave them unable to perform their normal job duties.
Practice

EEOC State Data Shows Trends, Areas to Watch

In 2011, the EEOC received a record-setting number of charges from those claiming employment discrimination: 99,947 in fiscal year 2011, compared to 99,922 in 2010, and an increase from 82,792 in 2008.
Practice

Potential of Disabled Worker Quotas on Federal Contractors

Companies with federal government contracts or subcontracts may soon risk losing their contracts if they do not meet quotas to hire more disabled workers.
Practice

EEOC and Courts Begin to Weigh in on Amended ADA Standards

Striking the balance between the need to hire qualified employees and the need to avoid disability discrimination claims has become even more challenging since changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) went into effect in 2009.
Practice Management

When Employees Rant Online - The NLRB Weighs in on Workers' Rights

Employees have always complained about their jobs, bosses, and coworkers. Today, through social media, such complaints can reach a much larger audience than in the past. Some employers have responded by disciplining workers, and increasingly, the NLRB is stepping in.
Practice

Employers Paying the Penalty for Wage and Hour Violations

In prosecution of wage and hour violations, the stakes are getting personal. In several recent cases, the government has penalized company owners and officers for failing to pay overtime, imposing stiff fines and even imprisonment.
Education & Careers

Is it legal to only hire the already-employed? The problems with must-be-employed rules

In their quest to find qualified workers, some employers are explicitly stating that they will only hire those who are already employed and will not consider the unemployed.

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