Managing to stay out of court: 2019 employment-law quiz.

Position::Employment law

The number of lawsuits filed by employees has spiked in recent years, and often those lawsuits are caused by one simple supervisor mistake or misunderstanding of employment law. How well do you know your legal duties as a manager? Take this quick quiz, and check your answers in the box below:

  1. Which of the following is a lawful interview question?

    1. When did you graduate high school?

    2. Do you have a family?

    3. Do any family members work for our company?

  2. If you have several qualified applicants for a job and one has a disability, the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) requires a company to hire the disabled person. Myth or fact?

    1. Myth

    2. Fact

  3. At what age do employees become eligible for job protection under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act?

    1. 40 years old

    2. 50 years old

    3. 60 years old

  4. For employees to be eligible for job-protected leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), they must specifically request "FMLA leave" to their managers?

    1. True

    2. False

  5. Say an hourly employee works overtime hours that weren't approved by his manager. Federal law says the company:

    1. Can dock the employee's full pay for those unapproved work hours

    2. Can dock only half his pay for the unapproved hours

    3. Cannot dock the employee's pay

  6. When a state has an employment law that's different from federal law, employers should comply only with the state law.

    1. True

    2. False

  7. Federal law sets limits on the number of hours and types of tasks you can assign to younger workers. At what age (under federal law), can employees perform any job and with no hours limits?

    1. 17 years old

    2. 18 years old

    3. 19 years old

    Answers... and the lessons learned

  8. C. Family members. The first two questions could trigger discrimination claims, but asking about family co-workers could directly relate to an employer's legitimate anti-nepotism policy.

  9. A. Myth. An employer is always free to hire the applicant of its choosing as long as the decision is not based on disability. For example, if two people with similar experience and education apply for a data entry job (and one is disabled), you can hire the person with the highest speed and level of accuracy because he or she is the most qualified.

  10. A. 40 years old. The ADEA prohibits discrimination in hiring, firing, pay, or any other aspect of employment. (Note: Some states do protect younger workers.)

  11. B. False. Workers don't need to mention the FMLA at all. It's the responsibility of...

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