Articles by Richard D. Alaniz

Keeping Illegal Immigration Issues on ICE

January 18, 2010
In the past, we’d see federal agents stage a well-publicized bust and cart off numerous undocumented workers. But that was under a different administration. Now, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has shifted its focus away from undocumented workers and is targeting the employers who hire them.
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When Increased Productivity Leads to More Lawsuits

December 21, 2009
How some efficiency initiatives can land you in legal hot water: For Domino’s Pizza, speedy delivery was more than a promise - it was a guarantee: 30 minutes or it’s free. When executives coined the marketing campaign, they probably didn’t think about potential legal ramifications. But legal ramifications followed.
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Determining Which Employees Are Disabled Under the New ADA Regulations

November 23, 2009
On Jan. 1, amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) took effect but the new amendments left many unanswered questions. Now, as instructed by Congress, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has proposed rules designed to bring some clarity to both employers and employees.
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Coming Face-to-Face With Facebook and Tweeting

October 19, 2009
More and more companies are turning to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter as a new means of advertising their products and services, especially to those tough to reach young people. But if it’s showing up in this column, you can guess there must be risk involved.
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Legal Liability for Ergonomics and Add-On Equipment

September 21, 2009
The best of intentions can often lead to the worst of results. Technology can be a particularly problematic issue, especially when it comes to the areas of ergonomic issues and add-on (or aftermarket) equipment. If used incorrectly, these types of equipment can lead to sprains, strains, or even more serious injuries.
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Ricci v. DeStefano: Sotomayor's Headache or Yours?

August 24, 2009
In her confirmation hearings, perhaps no part of Sonia Sotomayor’s judicial work received more attention than her opinion in Ricci v. DeStefano. This case illustrates the problems employers face in trying to make employment decisions without running afoul of Title VII - the law prohibiting employment discrimination.
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Getting to Know GINA - The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act

July 20, 2009
It may sound like the plot from a science fiction movie - through genetic testing, someone finds out she may develop a serious disease, her company finds out and fires her, and she can’t get health insurance because of this future health risk. Congress, though, took steps to ensure this scenario does not become reality.
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Laying Off Employees? Don't Get Bit by Recent Changes to COBRA

June 22, 2009
The changes to COBRA provide an employee with a subsidy from the government that covers 65 percent of the cost of COBRA health insurance coverage. The subsidy is a nice idea. But as always, the government decided to create a bunch of new administrative red tape for employers to deal with.
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Lilly Ledbetter: Wait, That Happened How Long Ago?

May 18, 2009
Trivia question: What was the first law that President Obama signed into law after being elected? Answer: President Obama’s first act upon taking office was to sign the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. Although it hasn’t received much fanfare, the ramifications of the Act are only now starting to be understood.
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New Law Eliminates Employers' Best Defense to ADA Claims

April 20, 2009
Why do you need to worry about recent changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? If you answered, “Because I’m going to start losing lawsuits,” you would be right. In a nutshell, the amendments expand the definition of disability and broaden the number of employees who will be covered by it.
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