The HR Specialist: Ohio Employment Law

North Canton-based Star Air faces a DOL lawsuit that seeks more than $600,000 in fines and reinstatement for two drivers allegedly fired for re­­fusing to drive unsafe vehicles.

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Meyer Tool has agreed to pay $325,000 to settle race discrimination charges leveled by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Pro­­grams. The OFCCP claims the company systematically discriminated against black applicants.

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Your sexual harassment policy may not be worth the paper it’s printed on if doesn’t spell out an alternative reporting option for em­­ployees who allege they were harassed by their supervisors. You must allow employees to bypass their bosses.

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Sushi Rock restaurants failed to ensure tipped employees made at least minimum wage, according to the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division. Now the chain must pay at least $100,000 in back pay, to be split among 54 employees.

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If you really agonize over termination decisions, here’s a reason to relax a little. Firing someone for wrong-doing doesn’t require you to be absolutely right about what happened. As long as you conduct a reasonable investigation and make the decision based on the facts as you understand them, a court won’t second-guess you.

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If you need to conduct a reduction in force because of slow business, it’s perfectly legal to move employees around to better meet your new needs even as you lay off others. Few judges will second-guess those moves, even if the main im­pact is on one employee who happens to be a member of a protected class.

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Under the ADA, employees who associate with disabled individuals can’t be discriminated against. But that doesn’t mean you are obligated to accommodate any schedule needs, provide additional time off or otherwise accommodate the employee so she can care for the disabled child.

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If you haven’t been enforcing your rule requiring absent employees to call in every day, start now. Just make sure employees know you plan to enforce it going forward.

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Each year the Human Rights Cam­­paign rates Fortune 500 companies on how well they treat lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees. Nine Ohio firms couldn’t have scored any better, earning perfect 100s from the gay-rights advocacy organization.

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The Kroger grocery chain, headquartered in Cincinnati, is being sued for disability discrimination by a former employee in Texas.

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