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Labor and Employment Archives

Norris Named the Best Lawyers 2018 Litigation - ERISA "Lawyer of the Year" in Charleston, WV

Jenkins Fenstermaker, PLLC is proud to announce that Charlotte Ann Hoffman Norris has been honored as the Best Lawyers® 2018 Litigation - ERISA "Lawyer of the Year" in Charleston, WV's metropolitan area. Based on peer evaluations, this award shows that Charlotte's peers recognize her 26 years of exemplary work in the area of ERISA litigation in employment law as outstanding in that practice area.

WV Employers' Workers' Compensation Duties

West Virginia (WV) employers know that handling workplace injuries properly is a serious issue. There are certain procedures that employers should follow when an employee is injured on the job. In order to ensure a smooth workers' compensation claim process, the employer must fulfill certain responsibilities. This article examines WV employers' workers' compensation duties after workplace injuries.

Workplace Drug Testing in WV Under the WV Safer Workplaces Act

As of July 7, 2017, employers have much more leeway to conduct workplace drug testing in WV for illegal drugs--but only if employers also institute new procedural safeguards. That is because on April 8, 2017 the House of Delegates passed the West Virginia Safer Workplaces Act.

How to Handle Anonymous Complaints: Pay Attention Now or Pay Your Attorney Later

Should your company pay any attention to anonymous complaints? I have heard several people say that anonymous complaints are not worth the paper they are written on. The last time I heard such comments came during a presentation I gave on employee handbooks. I was outlining the elements of a good handbook policy on sexual harassment. One element I advocated is a channel for employees to anonymously report sexual harassment as well as any other complaints.

WV Tobacco Use Discrimination: What Employers Need to Know

Employers in the Mountain State need to know that West Virginia (WV) law prohibits discrimination against employees who use tobacco products while not at work. Commonly known as a "smoker protection law," the WV tobacco use discrimination law places significant restrictions on actions employers may take due to off-duty tobacco use.

The NLRB blows the joint (employer test): Hy-Brand sets new standard

Employers have this funny quirk: They like to know the identities of their employees and get a bit testy when told they are wrong (it's something to do with payroll, taxes and unions). That is why employers reacted negatively when the NLRB issued the Browning-Ferris Industries of California opinion in 2015 and created a new test for determining joint employment.

The NLRB Prefers the Camel to the Camel's Nose: Micro-Unions under PCC Structurals

How many unions can fit inside one building? After the NLRB issued its decision in Specialty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center of Mobile in August 2011, the business community predicted that "micro-unions" would pop up in workplaces, vastly increasing the number of unions with whom an employer would be obliged to bargain. Senator Lamar Alexander said that a single store might find itself saddled with more than a dozen unions: "The National Labor Relations Board's decision to allow micro-unions fractures workplaces.... your local department store could splinter into dozens of factions that the employer must now negotiate with -- with the men's clothing department, the bedding department, the fragrance department, and the women's shoe department all represented by separate unions...."

Business and Employment Arbitration in West Virginia

When legal disputes arise, many expect to be vindicated by a decision made at a trial. The justice achieved in jury or bench trials is dramatized regularly on television, and we buy into that picture of litigation. But the reality is that juries are not made up of actors, and jurors don't always behave in predictable, stereotypical ways. Sometimes, alternative dispute resolution is a less expensive and more secure way to achieve the goals in your legal dispute. Before insisting on their day in court, litigants should consider arbitration in West Virginia.

WHAT'S AN EMPLOYER TO DO? Addressing Workplace Harassment in the #MeToo Era

I have lost track of the number of times in my 27-year career--usually when giving a seminar presentation--that I have been asked the question, "How can I keep from being sued?" My response never varies, "You can't." A person or a company can do the very best that they can--follow all the rules to the best of their abilities--and, yet, still be brought into litigation. Sometimes, despite best efforts, they have made a mistake (and the larger the company, the more individuals there are to make those mistakes). Sometimes, they simply are wrongly accused. Sometimes, unfortunately, they (or someone in their organization) did not believe the rules applied to them. All that can be done is to lessen the risk of suit by employing best practices. The overriding reason for employing best practices, however, should never be simply to avoid lawsuits, but instead to instill a culture where people work well together to achieve a good result. Reducing the risk of litigation is just one positive byproduct.

The NLRB Adopts the "Goldilocks" Test for Employer Rules

Did you read the excruciatingly boring 30-page "Report of the General Counsel Concerning Employer Rules" that was issued on March 18, 2015, by NLRB General Counsel Robert F. Griffin, Jr.? Don't embarrass yourself by admitting this fact - and don't cry when you learn that the effort was totally wasted.
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