Author Archive | Debbie Ecker

-Dilemma Competing Accommodations

Dilemma: Choosing Between Competing Requests for Accommodation

An Ohio federal court has addressed a reasonable accommodation conflict at The Ohio State University.  The facts were as follows: A sophomore at OSU, Madeline Entine, was diagnosed with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder.  She also suffered from debilitating panic attacks. She was recognized as having a disability under the Americans with […]

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Separation Agreements

The Appropriate Use of Separation Agreements to Limit Employer Liability

When preparing to involuntarily terminate an employee, employers should consider the risk factors that may dictate the use of a separation agreement. For example: Is the employee in a protected class (age, race, religion, color, sex, national origin, mental or physical disability, veteran status)? Has the employee recently engaged in protective activity (such as taking […]

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Employers Be Prepared: New Rule Affecting Overtime Eligibility Has Been Proposed by U.S. Department of Labor

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking announced by the Department of Labor on March 7 ,if implemented, will raise the threshold for overtime eligibility so that employees will have to earn at least $35,308 a year ($679 a week)  in order to be exempt from overtime pay for any hours worked over 40 in a workweek. […]

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cannabis clinic

What should employers know about Ohio’s medical marijuana law and what should they do?

Patients with one of 21 specified medical conditions may obtain a doctor’s recommendation for marijuana use in the forms of edibles, oils, patches or vaporizers. The conditions are: AIDS, ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy or another seizure disorder, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, hepatitis C, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, pain that is […]

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medical professionals

Can Employers Require Employees to Get a Flu Shot?

Every year employers struggle to cover for employees who are out sick with the flu, as well as germ control when sick employees come to work and spread their germs. Although mandatory flu vaccines are lawful, employers must make sure that their policy allows for exceptions to avoid running afoul of federal or state antidiscrimination […]

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Accommodation Under the Americans With Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to provide a reasonable accommodation to allow a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of his/her job unless an accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer. A “qualified individual” is defined as a person who can perform the essential functions of […]

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harassment graphic

Preventing Harassment and Dealing With It

In this era of “me too”, “time’s up” and growing harassment challenges, it is imperative that employers check their anti-harassment policies and clearly communicate them with descriptions of behaviors that may constitute harassment and examples. Although recent media coverage has focused on sexual harassment, policies should also prohibit conduct that may be based on age, […]

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Can an Employee Take FMLA Leave to Care For a Sibling With a Serious Health Condition?

Employers of 50 or more employees must grant eligible employees up to 12 weeks of job-protected unpaid leave for certain qualifying circumstances, including “care for the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent with a serious health condition”. The law does not mention other relatives, such as siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, or other relatives. […]

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