Top 10 Legal Concerns for Public Libraries, April 2014 New Directors Mtg
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×
 

Top 10 Legal Concerns for Public Libraries, April 2014 New Directors Mtg

on

  • 62 views

These materials are provided as general information only. No legal advice is being given by the Georgia Public Library Service, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, or any other ...

These materials are provided as general information only. No legal advice is being given by the Georgia Public Library Service, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, or any other person. You should consult with your attorney on all legal matters.

Statistics

Views

Total Views
62
Views on SlideShare
62
Embed Views
0

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
0
Comments
0

0 Embeds 0

No embeds

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Microsoft PowerPoint

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment
  • In May 2010 Independent Study Presentation, I ID’d 2 areas from which lawsuits against libraries stem: employees & access.Since that time, I have done 9 more projects for GPLS addressing various legal topics and have consistently found that these are the areas from which nearly all questions spring.

Top 10 Legal Concerns for Public Libraries, April 2014 New Directors Mtg Top 10 Legal Concerns for Public Libraries, April 2014 New Directors Mtg Presentation Transcript

  • An Overview for New Directors April 2014 Top Ten Legal Concerns for Public Libraries
  • Disclaimer  These materials are provided as general information only.  No legal advice is being given by the Georgia Public Library Service, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, or any other person.  You should consult with your attorney on all legal matters.
  • Legal Issues in Public Libraries— where do they arise? EMPLOYEES ACCESS
  • Employment Issues
  • Family Medical Leave Act Mandatory 12 Week Leave--for certain conditions/circumstances  Use In Conjunction with Accrued Leave  Employee may elect or employer may require concurrent use of accrued leave  Comp time is NOT accrued leave  Cannot use accrued leave when receiving short- term disability or worker’s comp
  • FMLA (cont’d) Expiration of FMLA 12-week time period  Automatic termination policy:  May violate ADA because it fails to recognize the difference in each employee’s circumstances  Communication with employee is critical  Document, document, document—even attempted communication  Engage in “the Interactive Process”  Document how leave affects employer
  • Americans with Disabilities Act Requires employer to provide reasonable accommodations for qualified employees with a disability  Determining if employee is disabled  Direct inquiry into health or medical condition prohibited  But asking for basis for request for accommodation and requiring documentation is necessary  Reasonable Accommodation  Leave—possibly in excess of FMLA’s 12 weeks  Job restructuring  Physical modifications to workspace
  • Fair Labor Standards Act Requires employers to pay a minimum wage and compensate workers for overtime at a rate of 1.5 X hourly rate.  Comp time accrual—public employers  Must be 1.5 hours of comp time for each hour of overtime worked  Burden is on employer to monitor hours worked  Either prevent employees from working OT or compensate them  Independent Contractors v. Employees—what’s in a name?  Critical issue is control: how much control do you exercise over the individual’s schedule, work product, time management?
  • Criminal Background Checks Use of criminal background in making hiring decisions under fire by EEOC  2012 EEOC issued new enforcement guidance restricting use of arrest and conviction records in employment decision  Disparate impact on minorities  EEOC has successfully sued Pepsi Beverages ($3.13 million); current litigation against BMW and Dollar General  State of Texas has sued EEOC
  • Ga Security & Immigration Compliance Act  Applies to all employees, but not volunteers  Applies to contractors performing physical services  Landscape professionals  Pest control  Printer/copier repair  Does NOT apply to contractors providing goods  Book vendors  Office supply sales
  • Personnel Policies or Employee Handbook GUIDELINES FOR DEVELOPMENT AND REVISION  Reflect library’s mission  Explain legal obligations and employee rights  Set forth expectations of employee conduct as well as what the employee can anticipate from the employer
  • Personnel Policies Employee Handbook MUST HAVES  Affirm at-will employment relationship  Dress code  Attendance and Leave  Limitation of hours worked  Use of comp time  How to invoke FMLA leave  What is required during FMLA leave
  • PUBLIC ACCESS
  • Laws Providing for Access to Library  First Amendment According to the US Supreme Court, the public library is “the quintessential locus of the receipt of information.”  Americans with Disabilities Act Title II prohibits public providers of programs and services from (a) discriminating against “a qualified individual with a disability;” and (b) excluding such individual from participation in or denial of the benefits of services, programs or activities.
  • Exceptions to Guaranteed Access?  Illegal Activity  Child pornography  Bootleg DVDs  Wholesale copying  Misconduct  Consider progressive discipline  Overdue fines—debt not dischargable in bankruptcy  Accommodation impossible or unreasonable  ADA requires public service providers to make reasonable accommodations
  • Policies Addressing Access Issues Guidelines for Development and Revision  Reflect library’s mission  Legitimate purpose  Specific  Uniform application  Proper communication  Due process
  • Sunshine Laws According to the Supreme Court of Georgia, “Public men and women are amenable at all times’ to the people, they must conduct the public’s business out in the open.”  Open Meetings  Notice  Executive Session—when and how  Open Records  3-day rule  Remember electronic data (email, texts) included
  • Summary A step-by-step approach to dealing with legal issues  Awareness  Don’t be caught by surprise; anticipate issues before they arise  Planning  Form a strategy for addressing common problems  Consistency  Apply policies and make decisions even-handedly
  • Resources Available on the Director’s Knowledge Base  Personnel Policies for Georgia Public Libraries (May 2012)  Georgia’s Open Meetings/Open Records Laws (Oct. 2012)  Legal Issues in Georgia’s Public Libraries, 2d Ed. (Jan. 2013)  Case Studies, Part I (Sept. 2013)  Case Studies Part II (Dec. 2013)
  • Resources for Accessing GA Law  Library Laws at georgialibraries.org (updated 2013)  Entire Georgia code is available online  http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/gacode/  General Assembly’s Website www.legis.ga.gov  Attorney General’s Website www.ga.law.gov  State Government Website www.ga.gov  Rules and regulations of State agencies filed with the Secretary of State. Public access is available at http://sos.georgia.gov/rules_regs.htm
  • Resource for Employment Law The National Employer now available through PINES  Overview of discrimination law  Survey of Ga. law on wrongful discharge  Employment torts  Hiring strategies  Employee handbook  Self-audit for personnel policies  Employee privacy
  • More Resources: Federal Employment Law  EEOC: http://www.eeoc.gov/employers/  US Dept. of Labor: http://www.dol.gov/odep/pubs/fact/overview.htm
  • Celebrate!