Manager's Legal Bulletin

The next time you hear a motivational speaker intone, “People have to want to change,” head for the door. Such nonsense stymies the best managers. In truth, change is typically imposed on people. They don’t like it, and they enter it kicking and screaming.

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It’s only normal when you have a priority project that needs to be done right the first time that you turn to one of your top-notch employees. But when you start handing your top talent tight-deadline, high-priority projects day after day, you’re no longer offering them a challenge. You’ve crossed the line into “dumping” territory.

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Ruby Tuesday, Inc. will pay $575,000 to settle a class-action age discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC. It alleged that Ruby Tuesday engaged in a pattern or practice of age discrimination against job applicants who were 40 years of age or older at six of the chain’s restaurants.

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When an employee’s candy bar got snagged in a vending machine, he got a little out of hand: He banged on it and rocked it. When the 90-cent Twix bar still didn’t fall, he got way out of hand …

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A waitress, who suffers from dwarfism, saw her hours reduced and was fired after she repeatedly requested that her serving shelf be lowered back to where her former manager put it.

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According to a CareerBuilder ­survey of 2,200 managers, one in three (35%) employers have fired an em­­ployee for tardiness, and 48% of employers expect their employees to be on time every day.

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Can an employer refuse to hire a person because that person’s family member had at one time complained to the U.S. Equal Employ­­ment Oppor­­tunity Commission? The EEOC doesn’t think so.

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Maybe their smiles were hiding the discontent. But according to a lawsuit filed against the NFL’s Oakland Raiders, current and former Raiderettes were paid only $1,250 per season—about $5 an hour for the work they performed, which included game-day cheerleading, re­hearsing and appearing at special events.

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More fathers have been filing em­­ployment lawsuits than ever before, particularly under the FMLA. So it’s essential to avoid relying on outdated gender stereotypes and to treat male caregivers fairly. Here are some traps the EEOC warns em­­ployers to watch out for.

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A New Jersey Lexus dealership stuck to its strict dress code policy and re­­fused to hire a man whose Sikh faith required him to wear a beard, uncut hair and a turban. The EEOC sued, and the dealership will pay $50,000 to settle the discrimination suit.

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