Water Well Journal

November 2016

Water Well Journal

Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/740475

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Page 61 of 90

Work with your HR manager to help create reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities. 6. Military leave The Uniformed Services Employ- ment and Reemployment Rights Act makes it illegal to discriminate against employees who volunteer or are called to military duty. When reservists return from active duty tours of less than five years, you must reemploy them to their old jobs or to equal jobs. (www.esgr.org/ site/USERRA/FAQ.aspx) Don't challenge a returning reservist's bid to get their old job back; courts typi- cally side with employees in USERRA disputes. 7. Gender-pay differences The Equal Pay Act says employers can't pay female employees less than male employees for equal work on jobs requiring equal skill, effort, and respon- sibility. (www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/ sex.cfm) Although supervisors are often not responsible for deciding compensation, they should collaborate with their HR department to assure employees of both genders are paid equally if they are in the same job, and should take any com- plaints of pay discrimination to HR. Whenever faced with an employee inquiry regarding different pay for the same job title or role, supervisors should be prepared to point to varying levels of responsibility, duties, skill requirements, or education requirements. 8. Workplace safety The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires employers to run a business free from recognized hazards. (www.osha.gov) Supervisors must provide employees with a work environment that is free of recognized hazards that could cause serious physical harm, and also need to comply with occupational safety and health standards. Supervisors may also be responsible for making sure employees receive safety training, assessing hazards in the work area, determining the type of pro- tective equipment needed, investigating incidents and inspecting equipment, and reporting all accidents and injuries that employees have at work. 9. Pregnancy discrimination The Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits job discrimination on the basis of "pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions." You cannot deny a job or promotion merely because an em- ployee is pregnant or had an abortion. She cannot be fired for her condition or forced to go on leave. (www.eeoc.gov/ laws/types/pregnancy.cfm) Supervisors should treat pregnant employees the same as other employees with temporary disabilities on the basis of their ability or inability to work. This includes requests for accommodations in order to perform the essential duties of the job. For example, if you provide light duty for an employee who can't lift boxes because of a bad back, you must make similar arrangements for a preg- nant employee. Similar to other laws, supervisors should not discriminate against pregnant employees in terms of hiring, firing, compensation, training, benefits, and other relevant terms and conditions of employment. 10. Immigration The Immigration Reform and Control Act makes it illegal to hire and employ illegal aliens. Employers must verify identification and workplace eligibility for all hires by completing I-9 Forms. (www.uscis.gov) Managers should note it's still illegal to discriminate against illegal aliens— by means of harassment or lower than minimum pay—even if the illegal immigrant is hired inadvertently. Every employer should understand the basics of these employment laws— although be aware there are other federal and state employment laws that may also impact you and your business. For this reason, it's critically important to train your supervisors and managers on employment law, and provide continual coaching and development to maintain compliance. 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