Age Discrimination in Employment Act
Prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of age; applies to individuals who are at least 40 years old. Individuals who are not yet 40 years old are not protected by the act and may be discriminated against on the basis of their age.
adverse employment action
Any action or omission that takes away a benefit, opportunity, or privilege of employment from an employee.
qualified for the position
Able to meet the employer's legitimate job requirements.
Employee must retire upon reaching a specified age. Deemed illegal by the 1986 amendments to the ADEA, with few exceptions.
reasonable factor other than age (RFOA)
May include any requirement that does not have an adverse impact on older workers, as well as those factors that do adversely affect this protected class but are shown to be job-related. For example, if an employee is not performing satisfactorily and is terminated, her failure to meet reasonable performance standards would constitute a reasonable factor other than age.
Relief that is not in the form of money damages, such as injunctions, reinstatement, and promotion. Equitable relief is based on concepts of justice and fairness.
Liquidated damages limit awards to a predetermined amount. As used in the ADEA, liquidated damages are equal to the unpaid wage and are available in cases involving "willful violations" of the statute.
Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act
Prohibits discrimination against otherwise-qualified individuals with disabilities by any program or activity receiving federal assistance. Requires affirmative action on the part of federal contractors and agencies to recruit, hire, and train disabled workers.
Americans with Disabilities Act
Extends Rehabilitation Act protection to employees in the private sector, with few modifications.
ADA and Rehabilitation Act protection
As long as an individual with a disability is otherwise qualified for a position, with or without reasonable accommodation, the employer may not make an adverse employment decision solely on the basis of the disability.
A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual; a record of such impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment.
"Any physiological disorder or condition . . . affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genitourinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine; or any mental or psychological disorder" that substantially limits one of life's major activities. [From the EEOC regulations.]
major life activities
"[F]unctions such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working." [From the EEOC regulations.]
"[U]nable to perform a major life activity that the average person in the general population can perform; or significantly restricted as to the condition, manner, or duration under which an individual can perform a major life activity." [From the EEOC regulations.]
essential functions of a position
The employer may not take an adverse employment action against a disabled employee based on the disability where the individual can perform the essential functions of the position: those tasks that are fundamental, not marginal or unnecessary, to the fulfillment of the position's objectives.
An accommodation to the individual's disability that does not place an undue burden or hardship (courts use the language interchangeably) on the employer. The reasonableness of the accommodation may be determined by looking to the size of the employer, the cost to the employer, the type of employer, and the impact of the accommodation on the employer's operations. It is important to understand that each case will be determined by looking to the particular job responsibilities as they are impacted by the employee or applicant's particular disability. Courts have referred to this inquiry as one that is "fact intensive and case specific."
Failure to meet the appropriate standard of care for avoiding unreasonable risk of harm to others.
Liability for injury imposed regardless of fault.
A private (civil) wrong against a person or her or his property.
involves "the analysis of chromosomes, genes or gene products to determine whether a mutation is present that is causing or will cause a certain disease or condition.
A right that is guaranteed by the Constitution, whether stated or not.
That segment of the workforce represented by private companies (companies that are not owned or managed by the government or one of its agencies).
That segment of the workforce represented by governmental employers and governmental agency employers. In some situations, this term may include federal contractors.
Law made and applied by judges, based on precedent (prior case law).
A physical invasion of a person's space, belongings, or body.
Negotiations and agreements between management and labor about wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment.
A court order requiring individuals or groups of persons to not perform certain acts that the court has determined will do irreparable harm.
yellow dog contract
Agreement employers require employees to sign stating they do not belong to a union and will not join one. Now illegal.
A work stoppage by employees who are not directly involved in the labor dispute; done to show union solidarity.
community of interests
Factors employees have in common for bargaining purposes.
The group of employees in a workplace that have the legal right to bargain with the employer.
Union member chosen as intermediary between the union and employees.
collective bargaining agreement
Negotiated contract between labor and management.
Union with branches at particular workplaces.
Unions composed of skilled craftworkers not situated at any one workplace.
The representative of a union, usually craft.
mandatory subject of bargaining
Wages, hours, and other conditions of employment, which, by law, must be negotiated between labor and management.
permissive subjects of bargaining
Nonmandatory subjects that can be negotiated between labor and management.
Employer hires only union members.
management security clause
Parties agree that management has the right to run the business and make appropriate business decisions as long as applicable laws are complied with.
Collective bargaining negotiations during the term of the contract.
The carrying of signs, which tell of an unfair labor practice or strike, by union members in front of the employer's business.
A strike not sanctioned by the union.
Management does not allow employees to come to work.
no-strike, no-lockout clause
Labor and management agree that labor will not strike and management will not stage a lockout.
Permits employees to choose not to become a part of the union.
Union and management agree that employees must be a member of the union.
union shop clause
Provision in a collective bargaining agreement allowing a union shop.
agency shop clause
Requires nonunion members to pay union dues without having to be subject to the union rules.
Bargaining unit employees who do not pay dues but whom the union is still obligated to represent.
The least amount a covered employee must be paid in hourly wages.
A defense to a negligence action based on the injured party's failure to exercise reasonable care for her or his own safety.
assumption of risk
A defense to a negligence action based on the argument that the injured party voluntarily exposed herself or himself to a known danger created by the other party's negligence.
fellow servant rule
An employer's defense to liability for an employee's injury where the injury occurred on the job and was caused by the negligence of another employee.
emergency temporary standards
Standards are imposed by OSHA without immediately going through the typical process where an employee is exposed to grave danger from exposure to substances and the standards are necessary to protect employees from the danger.
OSHA requires that the employer provide safety training to all new employees and to all employees who have been transferred into new positions.
general duty clause
A provision of the act requiring that employers furnish to each employee employment and a place of employment free from recognized hazards that cause or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to the employee.
Conscious disregard for safety; conscious failure to use due care.
greater hazard defense
An employer may use the greater hazard defense to an OSHA violation where the hazards of compliance are greater than the hazards of noncompliance, where alternative means of protection are unavailable, and where a variance was not available.
employee benefit plan (or plan)
A contractual obligation either through a plan, fund, or arrangement by which an employer or an employee organization such as a labor union agrees to provide retirement benefits or welfare benefits to employees and their dependents and beneficiaires.
retirement or pension plan
A plan that provides for compensation at retirement or deferral of income to periods beyond termination of employment.
Retirement plan where the benefits payable to a participant are based on the amount of contributions and earnings on such contributions.
Retirement plan where the benefit payable to a participant is defined up front by a formula, the funding of which is determined actuarially.
Someone who has discretionary authority over the investment or management of plan assets.
Becoming legally entitled to receive a benefit where the benefit cannot be forfeited if employment is terminated.