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Labor and Employment Law: Quick Guide of Most Common Questions

employment labor law

Describe how to design an effective performance review.

360 degree appraisal

Describe the concept of collective bargaining.

The goal of bargaining is a contract. Three of the most common conflicts are (1) whether an issue is a mandatory subject of bargaining, (2) whether the parties are bargaining in good faith, and (3) how to enforce the agreement.

Describe the Family and Medical Leave Act, COBRA.

The Family and Medical Leave Act guarantees workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year for childbirth, adoption, or medical emergencies for themselves or a family member.

Describe the main points of the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Who do these acts serve?

– Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
– The Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits age discrimination against employees or job applicants who are age 40 or older.
– The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of disability.

Describe the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, and the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. List the main components of each of the acts.

The NLRA ensures the right of workers to form unions and encourages management and unions to bargain collectively and productively. The Fair Labor Standards Act regulates minimum and overtime wages. It also limits child labor

Describe the process of union formation.

A union organizing effort generally involves the following pattern:
Campaign
Authorization cards
Recognition
Petition
Election

Describe what constitutes wrongful discharge under the law

A termination by the employer of a contract of employment at will which is motivated by bad faith or malice or based on retaliation is not in the best interest of the economic system or the public good and constitutes a breach of the employment contract.

Differentiate between appropriate and inappropriate interview questions.

Personal (Spouse, children, medications…) vs. Work-related (School, experience, drug use…)

Explain the responsibilities of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

The goal of the Occupational Safety and Health Act is to ensure safe conditions in the workplace.

What actions by an employer constitute employment discrimination?

– Under the Equal Pay Act, an employee may not be paid at a lesser rate than employees of the opposite sex for equal work.

What are actions which would constitute wrongful discharge of an employee?

An employer who fires a worker for a bad reason is liable under a theory of wrongful discharge. Generally, an employee may not be fired for refusing to break the law, exercising a legal right, or performing a legal duty.

What are appropriate and inappropriate hiring practices?

– Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
– The Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits age discrimination against employees or job applicants who are age 40 or older.
– The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of disability.

What are legal and illegal actions during a labor dispute between a union and an employer?

Section 8(b) of the NLRA makes it an unfair labor practice for a union to interfere with employees who are exercising their rights under §7, to encourage an employer to discriminate against an employee because of a labor dispute, to refuse to bargain collectively, or to engage in an illegal strike or boycott.

What are Progressive discipline programs?

It formally communicates issues to employees in a direct and timely manner so they can improve performance.

What are the rights of union workers and employers in a labor dispute?

An employer may prohibit employees from organizing if the efforts interfere with the company’s work.
The employer may vigorously present anti-union views to its employees, but may not use either threats or promises of benefits to defeat a union drive.

What are workplace safety requirements under OSHA?

• Employers must comply with specific health and safety standards. for example, health care personnel who work with blood are not permitted to eat or drink in areas where the blood is kept and must not put their mouths on any instruments used to store blood. Protective clothing—gloves, gowns, and laboratory coats—must be impermeable to blood.
• Employers are under a general obligation to keep their workplace “free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm” to employees.
• Employers must keep records of all workplace injuries and accidents.
• The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (also known as OSHA) may inspect workplaces to ensure that they are safe. OSHA may assess fines for violations and order employers to correct unsafe conditions.

What challenges can organizations face when hiring non-U.S. residents?

They must check if the applicant is a national of the U.S., a lawful permanent resident alien, or an alien with work authorization.

What rights do employees have to privacy in the workplace?

– More than half the states have passed laws that protect the right of employees to smoke cigarettes while off-duty.
– Most states permit private employers to administer alcohol and drug tests.
– Under the Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988, employers may not require, or even suggest, that an employee or job candidate submit to a lie detector test, except as part of an “on-going investigation” into crimes that have occurred.
– The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (ECPA) permits employers to monitor workers’ telephone calls and e-mail messages if (1) the employee consents, (2) the monitoring occurs in the ordinary course of business, or (3) in the case of e-mail, the employer provides the e-mail system.

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