Category

Employment Law

Don’t Run Afoul of the Fair Credit Reporting Act!

By Employment Law

We recently learned of a situation where a business hired a background screening firm that, in the terms of the paperwork it had applicants sign, stated a requirement that was illegal. Specifically, the vendor stated that by signing the background check authorization form, the applicant was agreeing to hold the vendor and its client harmless from any activity relating to the background check or the information obtained through the process. Illegal Language on Background Check…

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You’re Asked to Produce Employment-Related Documents—Now What?

By Employment Law

Small businesses are already required to submit a significant amount of paperwork each year, without suffering the inconvenience of a legal “discovery” request. One of our clients recently received such a notice, in which she was asked to provide all relevant documents and information pertaining to a terminated employee. Because she was a client of Marathon HR, we were able to provide all the available documents and verify that what we sent constituted all the…

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Handle “Whistleblowers” with Respect and Attention

By Employment Law

We recently learned of a case, filed by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) against North Jackson Specialty Steel in Ohio, where an employee reporting safety concerns was terminated within days of his complaint. The USDOL alleges that the company fired the employee—a furnace operator—specifically for reporting unsafe conditions after he learned that a safety device had intentionally been disabled. When any company receives such a complaint, it should investigate the problem. It then can take positive…

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ERISA Turns 40: What Does that Mean for Your Business?

By Employment Law

On September 2, 2014, ERISA—the Employment Retirement Income Security Act—turned 40 years old. Implemented at a time when companies were able to go out of business and take their employee’s pensions with them, ERISA changed the face of retirement forever. Today, it continues to protect employees in many ways, including protecting some $7.5 trillion in assets for 141 million workers. The impetus for ERISA began when Studebaker Corporation went bankrupt, and its poorly funded pension plan…

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Labor Day Reading List

By Employment Law

We’ve all heard of “summer reading lists” for lazy days spent on vacation, but how about a Labor Day reading list? In honor of the holiday, the Department of Labor added 10 new titles to its Books that Shaped Work in America. This list now encompasses 110 tomes, ranging from a delightful young people’s favorite (The Little Engine that Could; Watty Piper) to an insightful analysis of the corporate model (The Concept of the Corporation; Peter…

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When Dangerous or Deadly Behavior Knocks on the Office Door

By Employment Law

In July 2014, when Ross Harris left his 22-month-old son, Cooper, locked in a car while he went to work at Home Depot, the entire community—if not the nation—mourned the death of an innocent child. And, while Cooper’s death was certainly tragic, the case raises concerns for business owners that go beyond child safety. In leaving Cooper in the car, Harris engaged in unlawful activity on company property. Even if the child had not been injured by…

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Is Your Playbook Updated?

By Employment Law

In honor of the start of football season, we wanted to remind our customer that successfully running a business, like coaching a football team, requires leading the team with a well-defined set of rules and responsibilities. And, as with football, for every play you run, all players should know and embrace their roles and carry a shared goal of success. In small companies where everyone pitches in, this analogy may be not be fully relevant….

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