administrative employee - An employee who is exempt from federal laws requiring overtime pay because he makes at least $250 per week, and whose main responsibilities include doing sophisticated work involving the company's policies or business operations, exercising "discretion and independent judgment".
drug test- A test to see if an employee is "under the influence" of illegal narcotics while on the job. The employer usually requires the employee to provide a urine sample, which is sent to a laboratory that tests the sample and reports back to the employer regarding what drugs were found in the urine.
duty of fair representation- A union's legal obligation to treat the members of its bargaining unit fairly. The duty of fair representation ("DFR") specifically requires that the union not treat the workers arbitrarily, discriminatorily, or in bad faith.
employment at will- An employment relationship in which either the employer or the employee may terminate the employment at any time for any reason.
employment contract- A written or verbal agreement that sets forth the terms (such as the amount of pay and length of employment) under which an employee works for an employer. Also known as an "employment agreement".
Fair Labor Standards Act- The Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") is the federal law that governs workers' wages, including payment of minimum wage and overtime.
Family and Medical Leave Act- The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires large employers to permit employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave if they become seriously ill, have complications due to pregnancy, become a parent, or need to care for a family member who has a serious health condition.
random test- A "surprise" drug or alcohol test performed on an employee by an employer.
reasonable accommodation- A "reasonable accommodation" is a change or modification to a job that makes it easier for an employee with a disability to do the job.
retaliation- An act by an employer motivated by the employer's desire to punish the employee for the employee's exercise of some right protected by law.
retaliatory termination- A firing of an employee motivated by the employer's desire to punish the employee for the employee's exercise of some right protected by law (also known as "retaliatory discharge").
right-to-sue letter- The letter issued by the EEOC that gives a worker permission to file a discrimination lawsuit against his employer in federal court.
serious medical condition- An illness that qualifies a worker to take time off under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. A "serious medical condition" might include hospitalization of at least one night or "continuing treatment" - such as incapacity for more than three days with at least one visit to the doctor and additional treatment, or a pregnancy-related condition so serious that it prevented the worker from working.
sick time- Paid or unpaid time off from work for employees who are ill or injured.
vacation time - Paid or unpaid time off from work to take a vacation.
vocational rehabilitation- Training that is paid for by an employer or workers' compensation insurance company for a worker whose on-the-job injury prevents him from going back to his old job.
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