Reducing the risks of employment lawsuits
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Reducing the Risks of Employment Lawsuits. Laws …. Laws …. Laws …. Federal Civil Rights Federal Wage and Hour Federal Employment State Employment. Federal Civil Rights Laws. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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Reducing the Risks of Employment Lawsuits

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Reducing the Risks of Employment Lawsuits

Laws …. Laws …. Laws ….

  • Federal Civil Rights

  • Federal Wage and Hour

  • Federal Employment

  • State Employment


Civil Rights


Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Prohibits discrimination in employment based on race, sex, color, religion, or national origin.

Two types of discrimination cases:

  • Disparate Treatment Cases

  • Disparate Impact Cases

Age Discrimination in Employment Act

  • Prohibits discrimination in employment based on age

  • Protected class consists of people 40 years and older

Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978

  • Employers cannot discriminate in employment based on pregnancy related conditions

  • Cannot refuse to hire applicants because they are pregnant

  • Cannot fire employees because they become pregnant

  • Employers must treat pregnancy as any other illness or disability

  • Same reemployment rights as other employees that go on leaves of absence for other disabilities or illnesses

FMLAFamily and Medical Leave Act

Employers are required to provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for:

  • birth, adoption or placement of a child or care for the same

  • “serious health condition” for spouse, parents or children.


  • Covered employee

  • 12 month period

  • Can take PTO and EDL during

  • Must complete form to request

  • Tracking “absences”

  • Define “serious health condition”

Americans with Disabilities Act

Employers may not discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability in recruitment, advertising, job applicant procedures, hiring, upgrading, promoting, seniority, demotion, transfer, layoff, termination, return from layoff, rehiring, pay, job assignments, leaves of absence, sick leave, selection for training, etc.


  • Who is considered disabled?

  • What does the law provide?

    • Employer may not discriminate

    • Employers must make reasonable accommodations as long as it does not cause an undue hardship

    • What you can/cannot ask


Wage & Hour


Fair Labor Standards Act

  • Minimum Wage Provisions

  • Overtime Provisions

Exceptions – “Exempt” Employees

  • Executive

  • Administrative

  • Learned Professional

  • Creative Professional

  • Computer Professional

  • Outside Sales

  • Highly Compensated Employee

Equal Pay Act

  • Prohibits paying lower wages to employees of one sex than are paid to employees of another sex for “equal work”

  • Four factors taken into consideration:

    1. Skill

    2. Effort

    3. Responsibility

    4. Similar working conditions

Common Wage & Hour FAQs

  • Can employees be required to work overtime?

  • Can you require lunch/rest breaks? Does the law require them?

  • How should time cards be handled?

Common overtime mistakes:

  • Allowing non-exempt employees to begin or end work before or after their assigned hours

  • Allowing non-exempt employees to work through their lunch breaks

  • Allowing non-exempt employees to take work home

  • Counting PTO as work time

  • Docking salaried exempt employees for partial day absences

Employee or Independent Contractor?

Factors to consider:

  • Behavioral control

  • Financial control

  • Definition of Relationship

Other Federal Employment Laws

  • Immigration Reform and Control Act

  • Fair Credit Reporting Act



  • Jury System Improvement Act

  • National Labor Relations Act

  • Polygraph Protection Act

  • WARN

  • Drug Free Workplace Act of 1989



CRITICAL Legal Issues Facing Management

  • Employment-At-Will

  • Wrongful Discharge

  • Harassment

    Document Document DocumentDocumentDocument

Recruiting and Hiring

  • The Hiring Process

  • Legally Recruiting Quality Candidates

  • Legal Problems in Interviewing

  • Rejecting Unsuitable Applicants

  • Reference Checking

  • Pre-Employment Testing

    Document Document DocumentDocumentDocumentDocument

Managing Employees Legally

  • Establishing Job Standards

    • Job Descriptions

    • Job Assignments and the Law

    • Dealing with Performance Problems

      Document Document DocumentDocumentDocument

Performance Reviews

  • When performance reviews cause legal problems

  • How to reduce vulnerability

  • Biggest DANGER – not being honest with the employee

    Document Document DocumentDocumentDocument

Dress Codes

  • What we can require/prohibit

  • What can cause problems

Regarding Employee…

…Right to Privacy


…Telephone Calls

…Cell-phone Policies


…Internet use

Disciplinary Procedures and the Law

Two conditions necessary to be effective:

  • Tell them WHAT you expect

  • Tell them WHY you expect it

Discipline Procedure

  • Friendly Warning

  • Verbal Warning

  • 1st Written Warning

  • 2nd Written Warning (if applicable)

  • Termination (if applicable)

    Document Document DocumentDocumentDocument

Legally Terminating Employees

  • Resignation or discharge?

  • The truth about firing:

    • Firing poor performers raises morale

    • Don’t feel bad

Checklist For Lawful Terminations

  • Was there a written rule or regulation?

  • Was the employee informed of it?

  • Was the rule administered fairly and consistently?

  • Do you have adequate written documentation?

  • Have you thoroughly investigated the facts?

  • Has the employee been presented with an opportunity to present their side of the story?

Ask Yourself

  • Is it fair?

  • Would it seem fair to a judge?

Unemployment Claims

  • What is the impact on the agency?

  • Who is eligible?

  • What is the process?

    If you have done it right, you are now VERY happy!


Mary A. Flores


Wk. 817.277.1148 ext. 242

Cell 214.288.3678

[email protected]

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