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Articles by Richard D. Alaniz

Big Changes Ahead for Joint Employer and Independent Contractors

Employers Need to Understand the Current Landscape and Update Their Policies and Procedures

NLRB actions and court decisions have taken the issue of joint employers, independent contractors, and leased employees far beyond a single industry. These changes could profoundly impact the liability and responsibility companies have regarding contractors and contingent employees.


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A ‘Year of Action’ Leads to Years of Regulation

Another Executive Order Increases Compliance Headaches for Federal Contractors

In keeping with his promise of a “year of action” during this year’s State of the Union address, on July 31, President Obama signed an executive order — entitled Fair and Safe Workplaces — that vastly extends the federal government’s enforcement reach over private federal contractors’ employment policies.


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Talking the Talk: Developing Communication Policies for the Digital Age

Employers Need to Stay On Top of the Latest Legal and Regulatory Developments

Positive workplace policies have long been uncontroversial. Typically, these policies set the expectation for employees that they will represent their employer in a positive light, and won’t make negative comments or engage in gossip. This seems common sense — what could go wrong?


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Obesity as a Disability: Complying with the Latest in ADA Rulings

Employers Need to Understand How the ADA Affects Their Workplace

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and now some courts are considering obesity a disability, and employees who are severely overweight may qualify for protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).


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When Workers’ Comp, ADA, and FMLA Intersect, the Complexity Increases

Employers Should Brace for Three Times the Headache

Taken separately, workers’ compensation laws, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) represent complicated laws that are often difficult to figure out. When workers must be absent from the workplace under two or three of these laws, the situation becomes even more complex.


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Balancing Legal Marijuana, Safe Workplaces, and Drug Testing Policies

What Employers Need to Know

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

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

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

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
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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Chris Mathis, president of Mathis Consulting Co. and vice chair of ASHRAE’s residential ad hoc committee, talks about ASHRAE’s exploration into the residential market. Posted on Oct. 17.

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