The HR Specialist

Looking for a no-cost way to help employees save more for retirement? Consider making enrollment in your 401(k) automatic for all employees. They’ll have to affirmatively opt out if they don’t want to participate.

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The long-whispered, unofficial goal had been a February 2015 release of these new overtime rules. February came and went, and Labor Department officials are tight-lipped about when the rules will be released and what’s taking so long.

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EEOC efforts to crack down on employers’ use of credit and criminal checks suffered a serious setback on Feb. 20 when the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that exonerated an employer of illegally running discriminatory background checks on job applicants.

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Employees filed 8,826 charges of racial harassment with the EEOC in fiscal year 2014, the most ever. In 10 years, racial harassment charges have increased by 58%.

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Asked by CareerBuilder.com what caused them to straggle in late, 3,000 U.S. employees most often blamed slow traffic and oversleeping.

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Not every complaint amounts to “protected activity” that shields an employee from retaliation.

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The EEOC and the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division have signed a new memorandum of understanding firming up the agencies’ enforcement cooperation on discrimination, harassment and retaliation complaints involving local, state and federal government employees.

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Retail giant Walmart has announced it will raise its minimum wage to $9 an hour,  and vowed that by February 2016, 500,000 of its employees will be earning at least $10 per hour.

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Efforts to make life so miserable for an employee that she quits can come back to haunt you. It could be seen as retaliation—even if the employee never quits.

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When one of your employees takes FMLA leave, you may require a fitness-for-duty exam showing she is fully able to perform her job before you allow her to return. As long as you require everyone who takes FMLA leave to undergo such exams, the rules authorize you to discharge workers who can’t or don’t provide certification before their return.

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