Employee relations law journal (Employee Relat Law J)

Journal description

For over 25 years, senior human resource executives, in-house counsel, and attorneys specializing in employment law have turned to Employee Relations Law Journal to find out what the law says, how the courts are ruling, and what to do to comply. Practicing professionals provide you with clear and authoritative articles on key issues such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, family medical leave, sexual harassment, terminations and RIF's, age discrimination, alternative dispute resolution, key NLRB decisions, controlling benefits costs, and trends in employment law. Regular columnists explore the meaning of new laws, regulations, and cases in benefits, safety and health, and labor-management relations.

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Website Employee Relations Law Journal website
Other titles Employee relations law journal
ISSN 0098-8898
OCLC 2242810
Material type Periodical
Document type Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publications in this journal

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    ABSTRACT: This article examines some of the recent court and administrative decisions about temporary workers, suggesting that these rulings may affect the ability of private businesses to remain profi table and the ability of public entities to deliver necessary government services within the confi nes of taxpayer budgets. W ho are my employees? A simple question that often times does not have a simple answer. It is a question, however, that every employer in the private and public sectors needs to ask itself (regularly) if it wants to use temporary or contract workers but does not want to get into legal trouble for such practice. 1 Precisely because laws governing employment taxes, employee ben-efi ts (such as ERISA or the California PERL), workers' compensation, and anti-discrimination (such as the FLSA) focus, in part, upon whether a worker is an "employee" rather than an independent contractor, employers asleep at the switch could fi nd themselves with an enormous and unexpected tax bill or, worse, on the wrong side of a jury verdict. All employers must be vigilant of developments in this area of the law, which may affect whether they use, and how they structure relationships with, temporary or contract workers. Despite growing numbers of lawsuits, statistical evidence shows that the use of temporary workers has changed very little in the past decade. 2 That being the case, evolving case law and administrative decisions about temporary workers may have a profound impact upon the ability of private businesses to remain profi table and on the ability of public entities to deliver necessary government services within the confi nes of taxpayer budgets. This article examines some of the recent trends in this area. THE MICROSOFT CASE 3 'This is going to be the next wave of employment litigation[.]' 'The Microsoft case sounds a siren of alarm. Employers should be very careful because, later on, if their contractors or temps are reclassifi ed as employees, they may be eligible for very expensive retroactive benefi ts.' 4 In Vizcaino, one of the largest and most high profi le companies in America got tagged by the Internal Revenue Service, and then in court, John A. Vogt, an attorney in the Los Angeles offi ce of Jones Day, can be reached at javogt@jonesday.com.
    Employee relations law journal 01/2006; 3(32).
  • Employee relations law journal 02/1997; 23(1):125-32.
  • Employee relations law journal 02/1997; 23(2):133-50.
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    ABSTRACT: The EEOC recently issued "Enforcement Guidance" on psychiatric disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Although the Guidance provides clarification of a few issues involving mental disabilities under the ADA, in most respects the Guidance is problematic. For example, the Guidance suggests that the inability to get along with a supervisor or coworkers may constitute a disability under the ADA, that an employer may have to "accommodate" a disabled employee's misconduct, that an employer cannot require an employee to follow doctor's orders as a condition of employment, and that an employer may be obligated to modify work rules and procedures to accommodate a mentally disabled employee but is prohibited from explaining to coworkers why it is making such modifications. As the EEOC's Guidance exceeds or conflicts with the ADA in some respects and is largely unworkable in many respects, it remains to be seen how many courts will actually follow it.
    Employee relations law journal 02/1997; 23(2):5-29.
  • Employee relations law journal 02/1997; 22(4):119-45.
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    ABSTRACT: In the typical ADA claim, the plaintiff will claim that he or she has a disability but is nevertheless able to perform the essential functions of his or her job. This position is often in direct conflict with other non-ADA claims that the plaintiff has made or is making, where the plaintiff is claiming total disability and/or that he or she is unable to work. This article examines these phenomena, reviews the numerous recent cases that have found for employers based on these inconsistent positions of the plaintiff, and explains how employers can be develop and present this defense.
    Employee relations law journal 02/1996; 22(1):5-30.
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    ABSTRACT: ERISA's board preemption provision has survived many challenges to its scope and effect. Now it may have succumbed in the face of a few statements tucked into the legislative history of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Language in the legislative history presents the view that the Act was meant to overturn ERISA preemption of state family and medical leave laws. The text of the FMLA contains no corroborating language to support that view. However, at least one court found the statements in the legislative history to be persuasive and ruled that under the FMLA, ERISA does not preempt state family and medical leave laws that regulate ERISA plans. If other courts follow that decision, there will be great implications to employee benefit plan regulation and administration. This article explores the court's decision and the relationship between the FMLA and ERISA preemption.
    Employee relations law journal 02/1996; 22(3):5-24.
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    ABSTRACT: In adopting the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), Congress made a series of small but significant steps toward improving access to health care benefits. The Act's centerpiece is its new requirements for group health plans and for the health insurance industry for assuring portability, access, and renewability of health insurance coverage. Of nearly equal importance is the pilot program established for testing the viability of medical savings accounts. Other health-related changes include adjustments in the rules governing duplication and coordinating of Medicare-related plans, recommendations with respect to privacy of health information of employees, an increase in the deduction for health insurance costs for self-employed individuals, and permission for unemployed persons to make withdrawals from IRAs and other qualified plans for certain medical services' costs. This article summarizes these and other key provisions of HIPAA.
    Employee relations law journal 02/1996; 22(3):89-106.
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    ABSTRACT: In the three years since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted, significant developments have occurred in the form of new administrative and judicial interpretations of the Act. The new guidelines and decisions will assist employers in complying with the ambiguous, and sometimes confusing, provisions of the ADA. Recent developments in areas such as the definition of a disability and the permissibility of medical inquiries, along with continuing developments in the areas of mental disabilities and defining reasonable accommodations, give employers insight into the obligations created by the ADA. These developments are a good starting point to understanding the ADA, but there is still a long way to go. This article surveys the recent developments in the law and examines the considerations that have become important to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the courts in interpreting the ADA's provisions.
    Employee relations law journal 02/1996; 21(4):5-38.
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    ABSTRACT: The Americans with Disabilities Act has been heralded as the Emancipation Proclamation for persons with disabilities. The purpose of the law is to provide nothing less than a "clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities." Precisely how the nondiscrimination principles of the ADA will be applied to an employer's provision of health benefits to its employees has been the subject of much debate since the Act's passage in 1990. Although the statutory language and the legislative history support a limited application of the ADA to benefits issues, recent court decisions and enforcement actions by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission indicate that the ADA may have a much more profound impact in the area of benefits plan design and administration. Moreover, as benefits administrators take a much more active role in managing health care decisions, the ADA may become a vehicle for legal challenges to those decisions that affect the disabled.
    Employee relations law journal 02/1995; 20(4):571-94.
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    ABSTRACT: Due to the high cost of health care claims and COBRA's status as remedial legislation, COBRA has generated a significant amount of litigation in recent years. While the early COBRA decisions tended to broaden the law in order to provide a remedy to an otherwise uninsured qualified beneficiary, the recent trend in the case law has been to limit the expansion of COBRA rights based on a narrower construction of the statute. Even so, COBRA still represents a legal minefield for employers. As a result, a careful employer will minimize its exposure by monitoring changes in the law and its interpretation and making appropriate modifications to its COBRA documentation and administration. This article discusses some of the more significant recent changes in the law affecting qualified beneficiaries' COBRA rights--and therefore, employers' exposure.
    Employee relations law journal 02/1995; 21(2):93-107.
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    ABSTRACT: While numerous sources have focused on employee rights and employer obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, this article will emphasize employer rights with respect to mental disabilities under the ADA. Specifically, it addresses the ADA's definition of "mental disability," the right of employers to screen job applicants in spite of the ADA, the conditions under which an employer may require an employee to undergo a "fitness for duty" examination, and the limits of the duty to "reasonably accommodate" an employee with a mental disability.
    Employee relations law journal 02/1995; 20(4):541-69.
  • Employee relations law journal 02/1995; 21(1):131-8.
  • Employee relations law journal 02/1995; 21(2):139-45.
  • Employee relations law journal 02/1994; 20(2):299-312.
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    ABSTRACT: The impact of health reform on employee health benefits programs could be dramatic. Depending on the health reform program adopted, employers could face significant new regulatory and economic burdens in operating employee health benefits programs or could find themselves greatly relieved of such burdens. President Clinton's proposal, in particular, would dramatically alter today's practices. This article focuses on how the Clinton proposal would change employee health benefits programs. Although President Clinton has indicated a willingness to compromise, his legislation may prove to be a house of cards, with all provisions interdependent. Employers should study all pending proposals carefully and weigh in on the debate so as to ensure that lawmakers are fully educated before making potentially irreversible decisions.
    Employee relations law journal 02/1994; 19(4):471-83.
  • Employee relations law journal 02/1994; 20(2):325-33.
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    ABSTRACT: Virtually all company welfare benefit plans contain one or more disability-specific benefit limitations. The Americans with Disabilities Act casts doubt on the lawfulness of these limitations. The legislative history of the ADA is confusing, and the EEOC's failure to offer meaningful guidance on this issue further clouds the situation. Based on the Supreme Court's prior interpretation of language similar to that used in the ADA, we believe all disability-specific limitations adopted prior to the ADA are entitled to a "safe harbor"; disability-specific limitations adopted after Congress passed the ADA are still lawful unless the limitations are intentionally used to discriminate in a nonbenefit aspect of employment.
    Employee relations law journal 02/1993; 19(1):77-89.
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    ABSTRACT: The recently enacted Family and Medical Leave Act requires larger employers to provide eligible employees with up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave for certain medical and family-related reasons. This article addresses who the law applies to; the circumstances when leave must be granted; how the leave period is supposed to be scheduled; various notice, scheduling, medical certification, and reporting requirements; reinstatement and continuation-of-benefits requirements; and other key provisions of the Act. The basic requirements of the Act are not complicated, but certain issues that are not addressed by the Act or its legislative history--such as what qualifies as a serious health condition justifying a leave, when an intermittent or reduced schedule leave may be taken and how such schedules are determined, and how differences with state family and medical leave laws are to be reconciled--will have to be resolved by administrative regulation or litigation.
    Employee relations law journal 02/1993; 19(1):5-22.