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The HR Specialist: Indiana Employment Law

Under the Indiana Civil Rights Act, it’s unlawful to subject people to differential treatment based on race, religion, color, sex, disability, national origin or ancestry. The law prohibits discrimination in education, employment, access to public conveniences and accommodations, as well as real estate transactions …

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In conjunction with the recent increase in the federal minimum wage, Indiana hiked its minimum wage from $5.15 to $5.85 per hour (effective July 24, 2007). Over the next two years, the state minimum wage will increase (along with the federal minimum wage) by 70 cents per hour in two phases …

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Indiana employers that want to hire foreign workers for specific temporary jobs must jump several hurdles. You must show that no qualified American workers are available for the position. Before advertising a position, you must obtain a prevailing wage statement from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development

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Lake County will be forced to defend a lawsuit filed by several corrections officers who allege the county violated federal pay rules by requiring all corrections officers to report for work 15 minutes early for roll call …

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Union membership nationwide has been on a steady slide for the past 40 years and Indiana is no exception. A new Indiana Department of Labor report shows that only 12.5% of workers in Indiana are members of a labor union, down from more than 40% in the mid-1960s. The report predicts that the percentage will fall to 9.5% by 2010 …

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Many Indiana employers wisely use noncompete agreements to protect their legitimate business interests in their customer base and trade secrets. But will those agreements stand up in court? While some employers have successfully used noncompetes, others don’t believe they’re worth the paper they’re printed on. Depending on how the noncompete is drafted, either can be true …

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OSHA inspectors slapped steel contractor National Store Fixtures Division of United Fixtures in South Bend with a $79,500 fine for failing to protect workers at a construction site last year. Following a tip, OSHA conducted a site inspection and found employees working more than 15 feet off the ground without fall protection while installing steel walls …

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Mid-State Motors of Fort Wayne will pay $1.1 million to a former sales manager for retaliating against him after he filed an EEOC complaint. The sales manager, Trent Chapin, was replaced by a Pakistani Muslim employee shortly after a new Pakistani general manager took over the dealership …

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With an increasing number of employees just saying “yes” to drugs these days, you can expect more Indiana companies to develop random drug-testing programs and establish rules that allow them to fire workers who test positive or don’t cooperate with the test. One note of caution: Make sure you can demonstrate that your drug test results are accurate and reliable …

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Does your organization offer a bonus plan that rewards workers for their productivity? If so, be sure to avoid a surprisingly common mistake that’s tripped up many Indiana employers: incorrectly structuring the bonus plan—or making deductions from bonuses—in a way that violates the FMLA. A new Indiana court ruling shows how an organization can legally pro-rate an employee’s bonus …

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