Articles by Richard D. Alaniz

Balancing Legal Marijuana, Safe Workplaces, and Drug Testing Policies

What Employers Need to Know
April 21, 2014

More states are legalizing medical marijuana, and recreational use is legal in two others. A tangle of federal laws adds to the confusion. Being aware of the legal issues involved and the changing legal landscape is important for employers to ensure that their drug testing policies are legal and enforceable.


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Using Background Checks Wisely: Tips and Recommendations

One of the EEOC’s Areas of Focus Has Been Background Checks, Especially Criminal History
March 24, 2014

One of 2013’s hallmarks in the labor and employment field is the aggressive stance taken by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which enforces federal anti-discrimination laws. One of the EEOC’s areas of focus has been the use of background checks, especially criminal history.


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Best Practices in Hiring: Reducing Turnover and Limiting Liability

By Putting a Little Effort into Finding Quality Employees, Employers Can Reduce Turnover
February 17, 2014

Finding good employees is a key step in retaining employees and thus reducing turnover. There are a number of steps employers can take to help improve their hiring procedures.


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OSHA Ramps Up Scrutiny on Temp Worker Safety

Employers Must Understand and Comply with Their Duties Regarding Training and Safety
January 20, 2014

As the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) ratchets up its scrutiny on temp workers, employers must understand and comply with their duties regarding training and safety, before accidents occur.


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Watch Out for UFOs: Worker Centers as ‘Union Front Organizers’

They Don’t Follow the Same Rules as Unions, Even While Some Lay the Groundwork for Unionization
December 23, 2013
Non-union companies usually work to keep an eye out for signs of union organization among their workforces. However, they are generally focusing on unions and union organizers, not nonprofit groups like “worker centers.” Yet some of these worker centers have begun partnering with unions.


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How Federal Contractors Can Navigate Affirmative Action Compliance

Laws Governing Affirmative Action for Contractors Are Lengthy and Complicated
November 18, 2013
If companies with federal contracts or subcontracts are found to be non-compliant in regard to equal employment and affirmative action, they can face mandatory changes in their employment policies as well as bad publicity.


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Being Prepared for an EEOC Investigation

Recent Trends and Tips
October 21, 2013
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has taken an increasingly aggressive posture toward enforcement actions against employers. Employers should be aware of these troubling trends in EEOC behavior and be prepared to properly respond to an EEOC complaint.


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Preparing for a Storm of Disability Claims

EEOC Complaints Are Being Filed at a Record Pace
September 23, 2013
Several factors that have been developing over the last several years are poised to plunge employers into a new wave of disability claims. There are a number of proactive steps that employers can take to avoid problems.


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A Narrower Definition of ‘Supervisor’ Aids Employers

Supreme Court Ruling Helps Limit Liability
August 19, 2013
On June 24, 2013, the United States Supreme Court narrowed the definition of who qualifies as a “supervisor” for the purposes of harassment cases. This holding is a significant win for employers and affords opportunities for employers to limit their liability when harassment claims are made.


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Managing the Rise of Meritless Whistleblower Retaliation Claims

To Properly Respond, Companies Need to Understand the Latest Trends and Developments
July 22, 2013
In order to properly respond to meritless whistleblower retaliation claims, companies need to understand trends and developments in this area. They must also know how to respond if one of their employees claims retaliation.


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