Articles by Richard Alaniz

Education & Careers

A social life: When employees and applicants take to Facebook

Imagine one of your employees bashes your company or their coworkers on Facebook. You might think that you could fire that employee. But you would probably be wrong.
Practice Management

Get the right results from employment tests, while avoiding charges of discrimination

As the economy slowly improves and employers look to add more workers, hiring productive workers is as important as ever, and no one wants to waste time and money hiring people who aren’t the right fit.
A&A

Public unions, the economy, and what's at stake for companies now

It's a story that's playing out across the country – cash-strapped governments are scrambling to balance their budgets while hamstrung by the contracts of current and retired public union workers.
Practice

Reviewing overtime standards should be one of your resolutions

Miscalculating overtime can be extremely costly for companies in terms of fines and lawsuits. And the U.S. government has just made it easier for unhappy employees to find lawyers willing to sue companies over alleged FLSA overtime violations.
Practice

When violence affects the workplace, what liabilities do employers face?

Workplace violence risks are real and employers face legal liabilities when employees or customers are victims. Employers must understand how they could be vulnerable to a lawsuit after an incident of workplace violence, and what they can do to prevent such incidences.
Practice

New route to allowing unions through card checks?

When Barack Obama ran for president, his message was all about hope and change. But a recent decision by one regulatory agency makes it seem like it may all just be politics as usual in Washington. That decision, by a politically appointed board, seems to represent an end-run around Congress.
Practice

To contest or not to contest: Unemployment compensation claims

Former employees occasionally seek unemployment benefits they don’t deserve, either because they are desperate, confused, or trying to cheat the system. Employers, bearing the cost of unemployment payments, must evaluate whether to challenge those unemployment claims.
A&A

Pros, cons of charging employees deductibles for preventable accidents

It is the bane of many managers' jobs: the preventable accident. With police reports to file, insurance forms to manage, and repairs to oversee, those minor fender benders and dinged doors can cause significant headaches and paperwork.
Practice Management

Managing medical marijuana use in the workplace

For employers with operations in the 14 states that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes, it is a difficult task to juggle the need for a drug-free workplace environment and the rights of employees who have prescriptions to legally use marijuana.
Practice Management

Employees want day off to demonstrate on immigration! What should I do?

With the recent passage in Arizona of a controversial immigration-related state law, and indications from the Obama administration and Congress that immigration reform legislation will be put on the fast-track, we might soon be seeing more immigrants’ rights demonstrations.
Community News

When disaster strikes, ensure corporate relief efforts are legal, effective

It is critical to ensure that any company-sponsored charitable efforts are legal, transparent, effective, and consistent with the company’s business ethos and approach.
Practice

National Defense Authorization Act expands military family leave

Now that more employees may be eligible for FMLA leave, it’s a good time for employers to review and update all of their FMLA-related policies to ensure they are in compliance with the NDAA 2010 and other federal and state regulations.
A&A

OSHA increases its emphasis on accurate recordkeeping

Now more than ever, it's important to dot the i's and cross the t's when it comes to reporting your employees' workplace injuries and illnesses.
A&A

Keeping illegal immigration issues on ICE: U.S. immigration and customs enforcement shifts focus to employers

The images tend to be memorable and camera-friendly – federal agents stage a well-publicized bust on a manufacturing or meat-packing plant and cart off hundreds of undocumented workers.
Practice Development

When increased productivity leads to more lawsuits: How some efficiency initiatives can land you in legal hot water

For Domino’s Pizza, speedy delivery was more than a promise—it was a guarantee: 30 minutes or it’s free. When executives at the pizza chain coined the marketing campaign, they probably didn’t think about potential legal ramifications.
A&A

Determining which employees are disabled under the new ADA regulations

By Richard AlanizWading into the depths of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 to determine who is disabled and who is not has never been a simple task for employers or their employees. On January 1, 2009 amendments to the Act took effect but the new amendments left many unanswered questions. Now, as instructed by Congress, the U.S. Equal Employment Commission has proposed rules designed to bring some clarity to both employers and employees.  

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