Aaron Hotfelder

J.D. · University of Missouri School of Law

Aaron Hotfelder is a legal editor at Nolo specializing in employment law and workers' compensation law. He has written for Nolo and Lawyers.com since 2011, covering topics ranging from workplace discrimination to unemployment benefits to employee privacy laws. He's a member of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA).    

Books and citations. Aaron has edited many Nolo titles, including The Manager's Legal Handbook, Dealing With Problem Employees, and Working With Independent Contractors, and is a co-author of The Employer's Legal Handbook. Aaron's work has been cited by U.S. News & World Report, TheStreet.com, the St. Louis University Law Journal, and the Minnesota Law Review, among many other outlets.

Early legal career. Before joining Nolo as a legal editor, Aaron worked at a small law firm in Columbia, Missouri, representing clients in Social Security disability, long-term disability, and workers’ compensation cases. He later spent three years serving as an employment law consultant for a human resources and benefits compliance firm.

Education. Aaron received his law degree in 2010 from the University of Missouri School of Law. He holds a B.S. in criminal justice from Truman State University, known by some as the "Harvard of Northeast Missouri." 

Articles By Aaron Hotfelder

Wrongful Termination: When Should You Talk to a Lawyer?
If you've recently been fired or laid off, you may be wondering whether you have any legal claims against your employer. Many fired employees don't: Because employees are generally presumed to work "at will," they can quit at any time, and they can be fired at any time, for any reason that isn't illegal.
Can I Get Unemployment Benefits If I Was Fired?
Unemployment benefits are available to those who are temporarily out of work through no fault of their own.
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: What You Need to Know
The practice of sexual harassment is centuries old. An early -- and extreme -- example of sexual harassment in the U.S were the sexual assaults on African American Women slaves by their owners, without any legal recourse available to the victims. Sex discrimination has only been illegal in the U.S since the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Who Is Eligible for Unemployment Benefits?
Not every person who is out of work is eligible for unemployment benefits. Unemployment benefits are intended as a temporary wage replacement for those who are out of work, through no fault of their own, until they find a new job.
How Long Must I Be Employed Before Being Eligible For Unemployment Benefits?
If you've recently lost your job, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits. To get benefits, you must meet your state's eligibility requirements. Although each state has its own rules, every state requires applicants to have had some recent connection to the workforce before they were unemployed,
Getting a Right to Sue Letter Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits disability discrimination in the workplace. An employee who wants to sue under the ADA may not go straight to court, however. Instead, the employee must first file a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or a similar state agency and get a right to sue letter.
Do I Have To Accept a Severance Package?
Some employers offer severance to employees who are laid off or otherwise lose their jobs through no fault of their own. For example, a company that downsizes may offer severance to all employees who are terminated. Employees are under no obligation to accept the severance an employer offers, or to sign
Illegal Workplace Policies: Appearance, Dress Codes, and Grooming Policies
Many employers have policies that regulate employee appearance and dress. These might take the form of dress codes, uniform requirements, policies prohibiting visible tattoos or piercings, or grooming rules (such as that male employees must be clean-shaven or have short hair, or that female employees must wear makeup). Are these policies legal? It depends.
Favoritism in the Workplace: Is It Illegal?
There's no question that favoritism is a bad management practice: It breeds resentment, destroys employee morale, and creates disincentives for good performance. Once employees see that benefits flow from being on the manager's good side -- rather than from doing a great job -- there's little point in working hard.
California Termination and Payout Laws for Employers
Losing employees - whether through layoff, firing, or voluntary resignation - can be stressful for California employers. If you are laying off or firing workers, you have to make sure you don't expose your company to wrongful termination lawsuits. And, you have to follow California's strict rules about