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September 2015 Archives

The Americans with Disability Act and It's Accommodations

Often times, employees in White Plains New York are faced with situations where they are unable to continue performing the full scope of their job duties and responsibilities, or they need some type of request. Employees may request a simple accommodation of having their computer moved to an open table rather than having to sit at their desk, something like that certainly would be considered a reasonable accommodation. The question that always arises is whether any other types of requests are considered reasonable, and what’s reasonable to the employer and what’s reasonable to the employee certainly differ from time to time but often times things can be done to bring the two together. The employer is not required to go out and expend significant resources in order to accommodate an employee. For example, if an employee requested to work from home due to a disability but the company has a strict no work from home policy, would it be reasonable or not reasonable for that employee to be given this particular accommodation? Depending on the work circumstances, the work environment, the work location, how long the commute is, whether the work can be performed from home, those are all factors that need to be considered by the employer in determining what’s reasonable.

Is An Employer Obligated to Give an Employee Reference?

Employers in White Plains, New York who are hesitant to give references because they don’t want to say anything negative about the employee and they also don’t want to give misinformation. The down side on today’s social structure in terms of employee references is that often times companies will only give ‘neutral references’ which means that when a potential employer contacts them about an employee they are going to give the title of the position and the dates that the employee held that position and the employer is not going to comment on the abilities of the employee or how the employee performs the job.  The question of references is always a tricky one, in terms of employee references you also have the concern that a supervisor or a manager might give a reference without the company’s authorization, and that’s something that can be addressed easily in handbooks or policies. This way the employer can avoid the potential of having information being given out without authorization or consent.

Are Small Employers Required to Have an Employee Policy?

The usual questions come to us from small employers in White Plains, NY because they feel that their work place is certainly less formal, less rigid and often times employees with small employers don’t punch clocks.  It’s more of an informal kind of family situation, so the question that arises if whether they need to have employee handbooks or manuals or any kind of set policies. Depending on the needs of the small employers, we may advise you to have a hand book or not, very little time needs to go into hand book creating and it doesn't have to be lengthy, my advice is to have something in writing so that the employees have a basic source of information and to whom they can go to if they have concerns.

Can I Sue for Excessive Force?

In terms of claims in New York against police officers or police departments and excessive force, there is always going to be an analysis of what force was necessary in order to subdue or restrain the person being arrested. Sometimes, you have situations where an officer might have viewed the situation more dangerous from his or her personal viewpoint. There are cases in New York which interpret force being used in one sense or another as being reasonable.  In a very similar fact pattern, a court may find that same level of force was not reasonable and most often times the successful claims are ones where there are significant injuries.

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