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Category Archives: Employment Law

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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What At-Will Employment Really Means

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

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… Read More »

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Some Simple Steps to Avoiding Discrimination Lawsuits

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

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… Read More »

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The WARN Act

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

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… Read More »

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Laid Off While Pregnant – What Does the Law Say?

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

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… Read More »

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