The HR Specialist: Ohio Employment Law

The way an individual speaks can convey more than the actual words he or she uses. Body language, tone of voice and other mannerisms (such as rolled eyes) are also powerful communication. But that doesn’t mean that an otherwise neutral statement delivered with what an employee thinks is a demeaning tone can be the sole basis for a lawsuit.

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A union official will have 366 days to contemplate her actions after being convicted of embezzling from Portsmouth’s Carpenters Union Local 437.

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Employees who get into arguments may be violating workplace rules. But that doesn’t mean that firing them cuts off possible unemployment compensation benefits.

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An employee’s casual remark to HR can lay the groundwork for a retaliation claim if the comment could be interpreted as objecting to some form of discrimination. That’s good reason to train HR staff to report all comments and consider them as protected activity.

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Smart employers don’t leave it up to a direct supervisor to manage ADA reasonable accommodation. Instead, they work out a system that requires HR’s oversight. Otherwise, a boss with a grudge could set up a disabled employee to fail—and set the table for a costly ADA lawsuit.

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Employees with serious medical conditions that require occasional time off are entitled to intermittent FMLA leave. If you grant leave and the employee makes a new request that wasn’t specified in the original medical certification, you can insist on a new certification.

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Do you have an employee who just doesn’t seem capable of doing his job? If you document the shortcomings, you can create a special test designed to measure improvement. Just be sure to provide appropriate training materials as part of your effort.

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The Civil Rights Act of 1964 dominates this year’s employment-related Supreme Court docket, with the Justices hearing two cases involving Title VII of that landmark law. Also to be decided between now and next June: cases involving the FLSA and ERISA.

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Employees who have taken FMLA leave and then been fired often sue. However, all is not lost for ­employers faced with such a case—if they can show they would have fired the em­­ployee anyway. In fact, chances are, they’ll win.

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A bill before the Ohio Senate could thoroughly revamp how employees file complaints about workplace discrimination and harassment—and greatly benefit employers that have robust anti-discrimination and harassment policies and practices.

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