Articles by Richard D. Alaniz

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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Determining Which Employees Are Disabled Under the New ADA Regulations

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

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

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?

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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