The Wisconsin Legislature recently passed 2013 Wisconsin Act 208, which adds certain restrictions on the ability of employers, educational institutions, and landlords from requiring or obtaining access to social media and other personal accounts of their employees, prospective employees, students, and tenants.
As most employers know, the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") was significantly amended effective January 1, 2009, to broaden the scope of what constitutes a "disability" under the Act. Historically, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission looks to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual ("DSM"), published by the American Psychiatric Association as a diagnostic tool, for guidance on what types of mental impairments might qualify as disabilities under the ADA. The new version of the DSM, DSM V, adds categories for mental illnesses and loosens criteria for previously identified mental illnesses, which may well result in the expansion of the number of an employer's employees who qualify as being disabled by a mental illness under the ADA. A psychiatric disorder described within DSM V may be a "disability" if not specifically exempted under the ADA and if it significantly limits a major life activity.
No business wants to be sued by an employee or former employee. It is expensive to defend employment lawsuits. In addition, such litigation is time consuming for management and may decrease company morale. There is a means by which employers can minimize employee lawsuits. Your company can require that employees sign arbitration agreements and thus waive their right to file lawsuits in certain situations when they have a dispute with their employers.
Most employers know that conducting an exit interview with an employee who has resigned is a good idea. No company wants to lose valued and productive employees without knowing why. But exactly how an exit interview is facilitated will dictate the amount of useful information obtained.
Employers frequently require job applicants to submit to a criminal background check. An applicant's criminal history can be relevant to an employer in combating theft and fraud, preventing workplace violence, and avoiding potential liability for negligent hiring. However, the use of criminal-history records can constitute unlawful employment discrimination because exclusion from employment of persons with a criminal record can have a race-based disparate impact. A policy that automatically excludes all employment opportunities because of any criminal conduct is inconsistent with these factors because such a policy does not focus on the dangers of particular crimes and the risks in particular positions.