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Category Archives: Employment Law

Things to Avoid When Conducting Employee Interviews

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

Conducting interviews in a manner that allows you to gain insights into potential new hires is already challenging. But asking the wrong questions in an in-person interview or on a job application can also open the door for legal issues. State and federal laws strictly prohibit discrimination in hiring based on: Race/color Religion Gender… Read More »

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Why It Is Important to Document Employee Discipline

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

Most employers and HR professionals do not enjoy disciplining employees. But, unfortunately, it is an important part of promoting quality and productivity. And while it may be tempting to offer employees second chances, it can create liability issues for your company if it makes your disciplinary policies appear arbitrary or, even worse, nonexistent. Uniform… Read More »

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Interacting with Employees Who Have Filed Claims Against You

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

Many employers find it awkward and uncomfortable when they receive notice that a current employee has lodged an employment law complaint against them. This is especially true in smaller companies where employers have more personal relationships with their employees. Some employers unwisely take it personally. Others become overly tentative in their dealings with the… Read More »

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How Your Business Benefits From Uniform Employee Policies

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

Especially in recent years, many employers have trended toward running more casual workplaces. And while there can be certain benefits to this approach — especially for small businesses — it also presents numerous risks and complications. Employers must take these into account when choosing this type of management style. Even if employers do choose… Read More »

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Does the ADA Require Employers to Accommodate Employees Who Suffer from Alcoholism?

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits employer discrimination against individuals with disabilities and requires employers to offer reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities who can otherwise perform the essential functions of their jobs. But we usually think of disabilities as things like paraplegia, multiple sclerosis, or speech defects — conditions entirely… Read More »

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Phased Retirement: Is It Right For You and Your Company?

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

A recent article in the Washington Post discusses the likelihood of phased retirement becoming more prevalent in the Washington, DC area over the next few years. As large numbers of baby boomers “age out” of the traditional full-time workforce, employers and employees alike must consider whether and how to retire. Phased retirement — a… Read More »

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Creating a Discrimination-Free Workplace

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

Creating a discrimination-free workplace means more than just avoiding harassment and wrongful termination lawsuits. Employees who feel valued and judged based on their contributions work more productively. Additionally, workers who feel that they have a safe and established way to communicate with superiors about problems with coworkers will help root out unethical or illegal… Read More »

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Is Alcohol Testing a Violation of the ADA?

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits employer discrimination against individuals with disabilities and requires employers to offer reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities who can otherwise perform the essential functions of their jobs. Employers may not ask prospective employees about the nature or severity of disabilities or require them to take… Read More »

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

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

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… Read More »

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How Do I Know if Wage and Hour Laws Apply to Me? A Quick Guide for Employers and Employees

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) became federal law in 1938, establishing a national minimum wage, requiring time-and-a-half pay for overtime in many jobs, and prohibiting child labor. In Washington, DC, district law requires employers to pay the national minimum wage as established by the FLSA—currently $7.25—plus one dollar. But wage and hour laws… Read More »

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