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The Employer Bill of Rights: A Manager's Guide to Workplace Law

Book Description

Any employee can sue any employer at any time, and for just about any reason. There is no such thing as a bulletproof personnel decision. It's no wonder businesses fear lawsuits from employees—they are costly in terms of time, money, and distraction.

But fear not. The Employer Bill of Rights: A Manager's Guide to Workplace Law is a practical handbook designed to help managers and business owners navigate the ever-changing maze of labor and employment laws, rules, and regulations. Following its practical guidelines will help you deter most lawsuits and place you in the best possible position to defend those that ultimately are filed.

Your expert guide, employment attorney Jonathan T. Hyman, shows you how to assert your rights to protect your investment in people, operations, facilities, and other assets—all with any eye to maintaining a more productive, harmonious, and profitable workplace. In addition, The Employer Bill of Rights:

  • Explains in practical and plain language the key legal issues that managers face on a daily basis in managing their employees.

  • Describes how to make personnel decisions that will help you avoid costly litigation.

  • Explains the who, what, why, when, where, and how of each of the major federal employment discrimination acts.

  • Tackles cutting-edge human resources issues such as wage-and-hour disputes and managing social media in the workplace.

  • Shows how to hire and fire employee without the fear of an expensive discrimination lawsuit.

  • Describes how to control your operations by implementing legal policies and procedures related to plant shut downs, employee scheduling, work rules, and the maintenance of confidential, critical information.

  • Proposes recordkeeping practices designed to support your decisions.

  • Shows why you should follow the Golden Rule in all personnel matters with your employees.

No personnel decision or policy is litigation-proof, but The Employer Bill of Rights: A Manager's Guide to Workplace Law will help you make informed decisions to hedge against and avoid the biggest blunders and errors that too often result in expensive and time-consuming lawsuits.

What you'll learn

  • How to hire and fire employee without the fear of an expensive discrimination lawsuit.

  • How to legally pay your employees under the complex and confusing regulatory scheme imposed by the Fair Labor Standards Act, in addition to legally granting or denying leave of absence requests.

  • The who, what, why, when, where, and how of each of the major federal employment discrimination acts.

  • The key provisions you need in your employee handbook, and how to draft them.

  • How to maintain a bona fide "open door" to avoid problems with retaliation or union organizing—as well as to promote an amicable workplace.

  • How to control your operations by implementing legal policies and procedures related to plant shut downs, employee scheduling, work rules and policies, and the maintenance of confidential, critical information.

  • Record keeping practices designed to support your decisions.

  • Why it matters that you follow the Golden Rule in all personnel matters with your employees.

Who this book is for

The Employer Bill of Rights: A Manager's Guide to Workplace Law targets the owners of small to mid-size businesses and the managers that work in them. These businesses usually lack a dedicated in-house counsel responsible for, or knowledgeable in, labor and employment law. They often may also lack a human resources department. Without these internal resources, such businesses often shoot from the hip when making hiring, firing, pay, and other personnel decisions. Because of the intricacies and nuances of the ever-changing world of labor and employment law, these decisions can lead to costly mistakes. This book ensures that each personnel decision is made with the law—and the company's best interests—in mind.

Table of Contents

  1. Titlepage
  2. Dedication
  3. Contents
  4. About the Author
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. Introduction
  7. Chapter 1: The Employer Bill of Rights
  8. Chapter 2: The Right to Hire on Qualifications
    1. Illegal Job Interview Questions
    2. Systemic Discrimination in Hiring Practices
    3. The Fair Credit Reporting Act and Background Checks
    4. Other Unique Hiring Issues
    5. Concluding Thoughts: A Chocolate Cupcake by Any Other Name . . .
  9. Chapter 3: The Right to Fire on Performance
    1. Discrimination, Pretext, and Honest Beliefs
    2. Courts Step In When Congress Will Not—Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
    3. The Sinister Reach of the Cat’s Paw
    4. Family Responsibility Discrimination
    5. Public Policy
    6. Who You Gonna Call (When You Are Sued)?
    7. Concluding Thoughts: Document, Document, Document
  10. Chapter 4: The Right to Control Operations
    1. Layoffs and Releases of Federal Age Discrimination Claims: The Older Workers Benefit Protections Act
    2. Plant Closings and Mass Layoffs: The WARN Act
    3. Special Wage and Hour Considerations for Furloughs and Other Modified Work Schedules
    4. The Rules Change (Somewhat) If You Have a Labor Union
    5. Concluding Thoughts: Layoffs versus Furloughs
  11. Chapter 5: The Right to Set Sane Work Rules
    1. Prelude: A Rant about Forms
    2. The Common Handbook Mistakes (and How to Fix Them)
    3. Antismoking Policies
    4. Workplace Technology Policies
    5. Concluding Thoughts: The Importance of Clarity
  12. Chapter 6: The Right to Be Told When There Is a Problem
    1. Harassment
    2. Retaliation
    3. Closing Thoughts: Sue Me? No, I Sue You!!
  13. Chapter 7: The Right to Receive an Honest Day’s Work
    1. Exemptions
    2. Internships
    3. Employee or Independent Contractor?
    4. Working Time
    5. Calculating the Regular Rate of Pay for Overtime Purposes
    6. Pay Docking
    7. Other Miscellaneous Pay Issues
    8. What Is the Answer? Audit, Audit, Audit
    9. Concluding Thoughts—A Glimmer of Hope from the Supreme Court?
  14. Chapter 8: The Right to Have Our Say Before You Form a Union
    1. How to Avoid a Labor Union
    2. What If You Think Your Employees Are Considering Unionization?
    3. Protected Concerted Activity
    4. Concluding Thoughts: Whither the 93%?
  15. Chapter 9: The Right to Reasonable Notice for Special Requests
    1. The Family and Medical Leave Act
    2. Reasonable Accommodations for Disabilities
    3. A Special Note About Pregnancy Accommodations
    4. Military Leaves
    5. Religious Accommodations
    6. Concluding Thoughts
  16. Chapter 10: The Right to Confidentiality
    1. Starting at the Beginning: What Information is Confidential?
    2. Protecting Confidences or Stifling Competition? Drafting and Enforcing the Noncompetition Agreement
    3. Hiring and Firing
    4. Concluding Thoughts: The Expanding World of Protecting Confidences
  17. Chapter 11: The Right to Be Treated with Respect
    1. Responsibility, Where Have You Gone?
    2. (In)Civility and Discourse
    3. Concluding Thoughts: The Golden Rule of Employee Relations
    4. Epilogue: Lessons from Children’s Literature
  18. Appendix: Some Common Workplace Policies
    1. Social Media Policy
    2. Bring Your Own Device Policy
    3. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Policy
    4. Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
    5. Harassment Policy
    6. Checklist of Potential Handbook Provisions
  19. Index