David C. Tobin
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Tag Archives: employment law

When Does Criticism Become Concerted Action?

Employers have always had to deal delicately with criticism and insubordination by employees. On one hand, it is important for employees to feel they have an outlet for identifying problems in the company and suggesting ways that it can improve. However, when such criticism is pervasive and unconstructive, it can destroy morale, decrease productivity and… Read More »

Coleman v. Maryland Court of Appeals: Important Supreme Court Decision Regarding the Family and Medical Leave Act

The Family and Medical Leave Act’s self-care provision permits an employee to take leave if there is a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of the position of such employee. The plaintiff, Daniel Coleman, worked at the Court of Appeals of Maryland when he requested leave under the self-care… Read More »

EEOC Issues New Documents on Specific Disabilities

We provide legal counsel and guidance to business clients on labor issues including employment, discipline and discrimination. In recent months, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued revised publications concerning protection from employer discrimination on several specific medical issues. The four topics revised and published by the EEOC in May discuss how certain physical conditions… Read More »

Employee or Independent Contractor? Understanding Employee Job Classification

It is essential for any employer to understand the differences between an employee and an independent contractor. Employers have the following tax responsibilities with regard to each employee: Calculate and withhold income taxes Calculate and withhold Social Security and Medicare taxes The factors used by the IRS in determining whether an employee is an independent… Read More »

How to Fire an At-Will Employee without Risking a Lawsuit

Firing someone can be tricky business.  For starters, no one wants to be the bearer of bad news — even if the person you need to let go has not produced much for the company in years. Then again, many situations require businesses to fire employees for reasons that have little or nothing to do… Read More »

What At-Will Employment Really Means

The District of Columbia, like many jurisdictions in the United States, uses the legal principle of employment at-will.  This essentially means that an employer does not need cause to fire an employee unless an employment contract or other company document specifically says otherwise.  But that does not mean an employer can fire an employee for… Read More »

Some Simple Steps to Avoiding Discrimination Lawsuits

Discrimination and harassment are ugly words.  And because of the nature of the law, even well-meaning and conscientious employers can face allegations of employment discrimination or harassment based on gender, race, age, religion, or disability. These allegations can lead to government investigations and lawsuits that, even if ultimately unsuccessful, can be costly to defend against… Read More »

The WARN Act

The WARN Act, or Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, was enacted by Congress in 1988, but it remains vitally important today. Its basic stipulations are that businesses must notify all full-time hourly and salaried workers, union or other representatives, and local government officials at least 60 days in advance of plant closings or mass… Read More »

Laid Off While Pregnant – What Does the Law Say?

The jobs of women who request maternity leave for pregnancy and post-pregnancy are protected by law. However, some employers will lay off women who get pregnant and hire new workers in order to maintain certain levels of productivity. Women laid off while pregnant can take legal recourse, but their case will depend on being able… Read More »

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