Articles by Richard D. Alaniz

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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The New FMLA: It's Not Just for Pregnancies Anymore

March 23, 2009
When someone mentions the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), many people immediately think of pregnancies. And FMLA is a resource for employees impacted by pregnancies, but it’s much more than that. New regulations governing the FMLA have become effective, so it’s a good time to review FMLA issues.
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Can You Keep a Secret? More Importantly, Can Your Employees?

February 16, 2009
A recent survey found that a substantial number of employees admitted to stealing confidential employer information. Your proprietary company information is vital and there are a number of steps you can take to greatly reduce your risk of theft.
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Background Checks: Is an Honest Employee Too Much to Ask For?

January 19, 2009
In the old days, a background check consisted of a couple phone calls to a former employer and a reference check. Modern background checks involve a comprehensive investigation. But the law draws some clear limitations on what can be considered valid criteria and what crosses the line into unfair discrimination.
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Discrimination by Association - What Employers Need to Know

December 22, 2008
“Association discrimination” claims arise when an employee claims he or she has been discriminated or retaliated against because of an association or relationship with a disabled person. Employers need to tread carefully in this area.
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Companies Need to Prepare Now for ADA Changes

November 17, 2008
When President Bush signed the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Amendments Act of 2008 into law, it signaled major changes in the legislation that prohibits workplace discrimination against people with disabilities. When the law becomes effective on Jan. 1, employers need to be prepared for those changes.
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Called to Depose in a Lawsuit? Here Are 10 Tips You Need to Know

October 20, 2008
It’s the type of phone call no manager wants to get - there has been an accident at a work site that involves someone else. In such cases, a lawsuit can follow, and you may be called to give a deposition and possibly testify in court. If you should ever be deposed, here are 10 tips to remember.
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The Advantages and Pitfalls of Monitoring Your Employees

September 22, 2008
Employee monitoring can offer advantages to both employees and employers, including more efficiency, better work product, and mitigating risk for all parties involved. At the same time, managers should be aware of legal restrictions and also need to be sensitive to employees’ concerns.
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