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The HR Specialist: Ohio Employment Law

Courts hold white employees who allege racial discrimination to a slightly higher standard than members of other protected classes. The higher standard is met if the white employee can show that the decision-maker is a member of another protected class.

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Here’s a tip that may prove in­­valuable if a former employee decides to sue over an alleged hostile work environment: Track and respond to every reported incident. That way, should a lawsuit later allege additional, more severe incidents, you are in a good position to argue they never happened.

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Employers that don’t take the time and effort to understand the ins and outs of the FMLA do so at their peril. Courts are beginning to lose patience and have started assessing employers double damages for FMLA violations. Something as simple as not making sure employees understand what method you use to calculate FMLA leave entitlements can mean huge liabilities …

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The FMLA provides leave for employees who need to care for seriously ill family members. Some employers argue that if several family members are providing care, they don’t have to approve FMLA leave if that means more than one family member would be present. That argument won’t fly.

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By a vote of 6-4, Cuyahoga County commissioners have approved a measure that will provide health insurance benefits to the children of gay partners of county employees.

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Mentor-based North Coast Wood Products has settled a Department of Labor lawsuit alleging the company’s owner illegally diverted money from 11 participants in the now-defunct company’s profit-­sharing plan.

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The Court of Appeals of Ohio has let stand a decision that denied unemployment benefits to a woman who quit her job so she could move with her husband to California.

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The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision earlier this year to uphold the “ministerial exception” that exempts religious institutions from having to comply with some employment laws has cleared the way for two lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

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Employees won’t get far if they try to sue their employer over discipline that has yet to occur.

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Employers that find themselves in the cross hairs of the National Labor Relations Board should get expert legal help, especially if charged with unfair labor practices. That’s because once the NLRB concludes you fired employees for engaging in protected activity, it is very hard to argue against those employees’ eventual reinstatement.

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