Articles by Richard D. Alaniz

To Contest or Not to Contest: The Dilemma Involved in Unemployment Compensation Claims

Former employees occasionally seek unemployment benefits they don’t deserve, either because they are desperate, confused, or trying to cheat the system. Employers, ultimately bearing the cost of unemployment payments, must evaluate whether to challenge those unemployment claims. That question has recently become more difficult.
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The Pluses and Minuses of Charging Employees Deductibles for Preventable Accidents

It’s the bane of many managers’ jobs - the preventable accident. In order to instill a sense of responsibility in employees, employers may consider charging workers a deductible after they have had a preventable accident. However, before instituting a policy about charging deductibles, there are many things to consider.
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Managing Medical Marijuana Use in the Workplace

For employers with operations in the 14 states that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes, it is a difficult task to juggle the need for a drug-free workplace environment and the rights of employees who have prescriptions to legally use marijuana. How does legalized use of marijuana impact drug testing policies?
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My Employees Want the Day Off to Demonstrate on Immigration! What Should I Do?

With the passage in Arizona of a controversial immigration-related state law and possible federal immigration reform legislation, it is possible we may soon be seeing more immigrants’ rights demonstrations. The economic impact of employees missing work to participate is obviously a legitimate concern.
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Health Care Reform Legislation: What Should Employers Do Now?

When President Obama signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 into law, it brought months of bitter debate to an end. Regardless of how employers may feel about the two pieces of legislation that make up health care reform, most have been left to wonder: What exactly do we do now?
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National Defense Authorization Act Expands Military Family Leave

Last October, President Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2010 into law. Among other things, the amended NDAA expands the number of employees who are eligible to take Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) qualifying leave. In this case, it is to care for sick or injured family members in the military.
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When Disaster Strikes, Ensure Company Relief Efforts Are Legal and Effective

Employers that have workers who want to get involved in disaster relief efforts while on the job must proceed carefully. It is critical to ensure that any company-sponsored charitable efforts are legal, transparent, effective, and consistent with the company’s business ethos and approach.
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OSHA Increases Its Emphasis on Accurate Recordkeeping

Now more than ever, it’s important to dot the i’s and cross the t’s when reporting workplace injuries and illnesses. Recently, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) began sending inspectors to company offices and worksites to assess the accuracy of their injury and illness records.
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Keeping Illegal Immigration Issues on ICE

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

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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