Manager's Legal Bulletin

PROBLEM: A Muslim employee needs an accommodation that will allow him to pray several times during the workday. You determine that allowing him to do so won’t affect the department’s productivity. Not so fast. The rest of the staff starts to complain that it’s not fair that one employee gets extra breaks in the day …

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Q. We need more employees to cover evening hours, and we’re not getting many volunteers. Now that we’ve decided to rotate everyone into the evening shifts, I am hearing that we have to add a “shift differential” to those who work nights. Is this true?

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Q. Can vulgar language and jokes, etc., be considered harassment in the workplace if nobody actually files a complaint?

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Just because there’s nothing you can do to completely eliminate gossip from your workplace doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do a thing about it. On the contrary, managers can and should take steps to eliminate harmful rumors and gossip.

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In order for a company to succeed as a whole, its managers need to help their individual employees succeed by effectively managing their performance. All managers can benefit from these reminders during reviews.

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Absenteeism affects all employers, all year long. How do you motivate employees to cut down on absenteeism? Offering perfect-attendance awards may not be the right carrot. Here are six reasons why.

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What not to say to a pregnant worker: “The baby is taking a toll on you.” Sur­­pris­­ingly, that’s exactly what a four-month-pregnant waitress was told when she was cut from the weekly schedule and then fired. The employer will now pay $20,000 to settle her pregnancy discrimination suit.

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Q. One of our workers often wears T-shirts with slogans that have a strong political bent to them. Some employees have complained. Is it a violation of employees’ free speech rights to ban such clothing?

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Countless employees juggle both work and caregiving responsibilities, which may extend beyond caring for children to caring for parents or other elderly family members or relatives with disabilities. Here are some of the most common stereotypes associated with employees with caregiving responsibilities, as well as the illegal employment actions in which they can manifest.

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Q. What factors do the courts use to determine if termination is an appropriate penalty?

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