Make sure your medical leave policy doesn't automatically terminate employees after a certain number of days. Blood Systems Inc. recently agreed to pay 23 employees a total of $650,000 after the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission argued that its policy violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. The problem: Employees were terminated after 120 days without any individual consideration of whether a leave extension would be a reasonable accommodation of their disability.
- Long delay seldom sinks lawsuits; retain records until case is resolved
- OK to punish employees for disruptive acts--even if done in the context of protesting bias
- Use plain language on work documents so everyone can understand them
- No unemployment benefits if employee quit before you had a chance to fix problems
- Follow promotion rules to stop unexpected suits