Archive for For Employers

What is the EEOC and what should I know about it?

divorce mediation 2When a NJ employer faces charges from the EEOC, they may come to us and ask what it is and what it means for their business. The EEOC, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, is the governing body that investigates complaints against employers who break federal law regarding discrimination, harassment, and more. The EEOC will work to make some kind of reasonable resolution if they find the claim to be valid. In cooperation with the Division of Civil Rights, both bodies will investigate the matter and make a recommendation on how to resolve the matter.

Richardson Employment & Civil Rights Law, LLC works with clients across the state of New Jersey regarding employment and civil law. If you need legal advice or effective representation, contact our Woodbury office for a consultation.

Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Law

boss fired disciplineWe have a little advice to any employee who suspects that they are being subjected to discrimination, harassment or retaliation in the workplace or who is undergoing a change in how their employer sees them. That advice is to keep track of what’s going on. You owe it to yourself to do a complete write up of what’s happened to you and when. If you’ve gotten verbal counseling, write it down. Tell us who it was that did the counseling, what the subject matter was, and whether you think it was justified and why. If you’ve gotten a suspension or demotion or any kind of adverse action, write it down. There’s two reasons for this. Number one, when we’re evaluating a case, we need to have this information so we can determine whether your situation is serious enough that we’re going to recommend that you go through the ordeal of litigation. Secondly, if you do go through litigation, this document is of critical importance to you. Litigation is a marathon, not a sprint, and we take every case as if it’s going to go to trial. In New Jersey, cases generally take at least two and usually three years between inception and trial. Your memory of events will not be as good three years from now as they are today. You owe it to yourself to write down what’s going on so that you can refresh your recollection when you need that information the most.

This short informational blog was provided by Allan Richardson, a New Jersey Harassment and Discrimination Attorney. Please contact the law firm with any questions you may have and set up your initial consultation.

Discrimination in Workplace

stop forclosureOne area of law that is of great concern to employers in New Jersey is New Jersey’s law against discrimination. This is one of the most powerful laws in favor of employees in the country. It covers not only discrimination but also harassment and retaliation against employees who have spoken out against discrimination or harassment. It’s a very costly kind of case to defend, and it can result in catastrophic damages to the employer. There is no way to bullet proof yourself against such claims, but you can protect yourself and at least make a good case for yourself by training your supervisors and their obligations under the law and also training the employees too. Have a clearly written anti-harassment policy and enforce it as even handedly as you can. Those are about the only ways you can protect yourself. You really can’t protect yourself against people doing stupid things on your dime when you’re not around to watch, but you can minimize the damage and put a stop to some of them at least.

This short informational blog was provided by Allan Richardson, a New Jersey Discrimination Attorney. Please contact the law firm with any questions you may have and set up your initial consultation.

Do Employers Have to Provide Evaluation?

business meeting (2)One of the issues that employers raise with me is whether they have to provide evaluations for employees on any kind of routine or regular basis. The short answer is no. However, it’s a very good tool that you can use to make sure that an employee is doing what you want them to do,and if somebody is not coming up to snuff, to give them guidance on how to rectify the situation. Again, this is more of a management practice than a legal question. For most of us, it’s a lot easier to correct bad behavior and cheaper than it is to go out and hire a new employee to replace somebody who is not doing the job.

This short informational blog was provided by Allan Richardson, a New Jersey Employment Attorney for Employers. Please contact the law firm with any questions you may have and set up your initial consultation.

How Long Do I Have to Keep an Employee who is on Workers’ Comp?

pain managementOne of the real vexing issues for a New Jersey employer is how long he has to keep an employee, or at least keep a job open for an employee, who’s out on workers’ comp. There’s no hard and fast answer to that question. Legitimately, if somebody is out beyond the amount of time that would be available to him under either the Family Medical Leave Act or the New Jersey Leave Act, you may be able to terminate him.

If there’s no prospect of him coming back in any kind of timely fashion, you can replace him. These are always fact-sensitive issues and you really need some sort of legal advice before you terminate somebody under these circumstances. Otherwise you could open the door for a claim either under retaliation provision of the Workers’ Comp Act or under the New Jersey law against discrimination.

This short informational blog was provided by Allan Richardson, a New Jersey Employment Lawyer for Employers. Please contact the law firm with any questions you may have and set up your initial consultation.

Employee Request Accommodation from Employer

Businesspeople in a MeetingThere are occasions when an employee has some kind of health condition that makes him require a reasonable accommodation. For example, an employee is injured and unable to drive and suggests that he work from home. Now, this could be a reasonable accommodation if the employee is the sort who can work on a computer and can communicate with the office and do all the work that’s necessary from home, for a period of time to recover.

 If the employee is somebody who’s working on the shop floor or who otherwise has to be in the office to do the work, that wouldn’t be a reasonable accommodation. These are fact-sensitive issues and there’s no one size fits all. You need to take into consideration what is it the employee does, what the employee can do, and whether that imposes an unreasonable hardship on you, the employer.

This short informational blog was provided by Allan Richardson, a New Jersey Employment Lawyer for Employers. Please contact the law firm with any questions you may have and set up your initial consultation.

 

Employee Handbook Update

employee manual workbookI have several clients who have wonderful employee handbooks for the 20th century. They haven’t updated them in years. This could be a fatal error. The law’s changing with great frequency, especially laws governing employment. I recommend that you at least take a good hard look at your employee handbook once a year, to make sure that it’s up to date, given the current state of the law.

This short informational blog was provided by Allan Richardson, a New Jersey Employment Attorney for Employers. Please contact the law firm with any questions you may have and set up your initial consultation.

 

Employer Feels Harassed When Employee Jokes

shutterstock_135869042A lot of employers are lighthearted individuals and they think that joking with the people they employ is going to make their day and raise morale, and up to a certain point they’re absolutely right. Nobody wants to come and deal with a gloomy boss, but you’ve got to be careful. The way the law is structured, something that you take as an innocent remark can be seen by a jury, down the line, as harassment. You really have to be careful what you say these days.

This short informational blog was provided by Allan Richardson, a New Jersey Employment Lawyer for Employers. Please contact the law firm with any questions you may have and set up your initial consultation.

Drug Use During Work

shutterstock_156939392There’s a vexing problem of drug abuse, and even alcohol abuse, in the workplace. One of the issues that employers face on a regular basis is whether than can send an employee out for a drug or alcohol test. The answer to that is, yes. You have control over the workplace and you have an obligation to keep the workplace reasonably safe under the circumstances. That means safe not only for you and the coworkers but also for the employee that you suspect may have a drug problem.

You can send somebody out for a drug test but you’ve got to make sure that you’ve got some reasonable basis that you could explain verbally to people why you’re doing so. Otherwise, then you’re acting arbitrarily and that’s never a good thing.

This short informational blog was provided by Allan Richardson, a New Jersey Employment Attorney for Employers. Please contact the law firm with any questions you may have and set up your initial consultation.

Do Employers Require to Have Job Descriptions?

shutterstock_218117338There’s no statute, law, or provision anywhere that requires you to have job descriptions. However, it’s a very good practice. If you don’t have a description of what somebody is supposed to be able to do for you, then how can you justifiably say the person isn’t doing his job? Here again, it’s a question of guidance. Setting down rules for people that they can follow, and if they don’t follow, you can take appropriate action.

This short informational blog was provided by Allan Richardson, a New Jersey Employment Lawyer for Employers. Please contact the law firm with any questions you may have and set up your initial consultation.

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