Articles by Richard D. Alaniz

A Social Life: When Employees and Applicants Take to Facebook

Imagine one of your employees bashes your company or their coworkers on Facebook. You might think that you could fire that employee. But you would probably be wrong. Or consider whether you should Google job applicants. It may seem like a no-brainer, but if you don’t do it correctly, you could end up in the midst of a lawsuit.
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Responding to the Increasingly Aggressive Pursuit of Employers and Undocumented Workers

The Social Security Administration’s re-introduction of No-Match Letters, along with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s skyrocketing issuance of Notice of Inspections of I-9s, evidences the federal government’s increasingly aggressive stance to curb the hiring of unauthorized workers and to penalize employers who do.
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Get the Right Results From Employment Tests, While Avoiding Charges of Discrimination

To bring more objective standards to the hiring and promotion process, many organizations are using or considering employment tests. However, when employment tests are not designed, administered, or used correctly, they can leave employers vulnerable to claims of discrimination and reverse discrimination.
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Public Unions, the Economy and What's at Stake for Companies Now

It’s a story that’s playing out across the country - cash-strapped governments are scrambling to balance their budgets while hamstrung by the contracts of current and retired public union workers. Without the ability to renegotiate contracts or get concessions from unions, governments are left to increase their tax rates and cut services.
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Check, Please: Using Credit Checks as Part of the Hiring Process

For many employers, running credit checks on job applicants is a regular part of the hiring process. But employers also need to be very careful when they use background credit checks for job applicants. They must weigh their need to know with a person’s right to privacy.
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Diabetes, Epilepsy, and the ADA: Finding the Right Balance in the Workplace

Complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has always required employers to walk a fine line. The guidelines aren’t always clear, every disability and particular situation involve a unique set of factors, and the laws are constantly developing. Many are still trying to sort out the implications of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA).
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In 2011, Reviewing Overtime Standards Should Be One of Your Resolutions

For many employers, properly calculating overtime can feel like an unending process. Factoring in break times can be complicated. Employees who may seem exempt from overtime may actually be entitled to it under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Unfortunately, miscalculating overtime can be costly for companies in terms of fines and lawsuits.
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When Violence Affects the Workplace, What Liabilities Do Employers Face?

Workplace violence risks are real, and employers face legal liabilities when employees or customers are victims. Employers must understand how they could be vulnerable to a lawsuit after an incident of workplace violence, and what they can do to prevent such incidences.
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A New Route to Allowing Unions Through Card Checks?

The proposed Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) was a major concern for employers with workforces that were considering or might consider unionizing because it could bring in a so-called card-check system. EFCA failed to become law, but a recent decision by a regulatory agency could still lead to card check.
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Take a Good Look: Conducting Legal, Meaningful Employee Evaluations

Companies that allow managers to rush through the evaluation process or fail to follow proper protocol expose themselves to legal problems. They also miss the opportunity to offer feedback and help workers set goals, identify areas that need improvement, and determine whether employees deserve raises or promotions.
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NEWSMakers: Jim Johnson

Jim Johnson,an experienced trade school and community college instructor, discusses the HVAC industry and his column in The NEWS, ‘The Service Ticket.’ Listen now for a hint to the Not Enough Heat question from the Dec. 15 issue. Posted Jan. 30.

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