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David B. Ritter

Q. One of our employees has asked to review his personnel file. Must we grant his request?

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Q. One of our employees was issued a company laptop and later corrupted it by downloading games and other nonbusiness software. Can we recover the value of the damaged property from this employee’s next paycheck?

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Q. We are committed to providing a healthy and safe environment for our workforce. To that end, we strictly prohibit smoking on company property. Can we also prohibit employees from smoking during their lunch breaks and outside of work?

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The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was designed to ensure pay equity for women. It does a whole lot more than that! Learn how this landmark legislation affects all protected employee classes and could influence your employee benefits program.

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The federal E-Verify program allows employers to voluntarily enroll in the federal government’s Internet-based system for verifying the employment authorization documents submitted by new hires. Consult your attorney before enrolling in E-Verify to determine whether it makes sense to do so.

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In a significant ruling interpreting the Illinois Human Rights Act, the Illinois Supreme Court recently expanded employers’ potential exposure to sexual harassment claims and damages by holding that an employer is strictly liable for sexual harassment committed by a supervisor, even if the supervisor does not directly supervise the employee who is harassed.

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Q. We routinely pay our nonexempt employees an annual holiday bonus. What effect, if any, does this have on their regular rates of pay for purposes of calculating overtime?

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Q. Carlos, a longtime Latino employee, frequently complains that he is paid less than his white, non-Latino counterparts. He blames this pay discrepancy on a previous supervisor who allegedly denied him several promotions in the late 1990s because of his national origin. I have heard about the Lilly Ledbetter Act. Could it affect us in this case?

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Q. We are having trouble making payroll and have asked our employees to give up pay for 20 hours per month while they work their regular schedules. Can we do this?

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Q.  We have an employee who has worked for us for just six months. However, three years ago, she worked for us for about a year before quitting and going back to school. Now she has requested time off under the FMLA. Is she eligible?

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