The HR Specialist

Q. I recently read an article about employees who were attacked at work by other employees who never should have been hired in the first place. How can an employer reduce its risk of liability for negligent hiring? …

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Employers often have to balance the rights of divergent protected groups in ways that seem impossible. Consider what happens when a local ordinance says you cannot discriminate against an employee based on sexual orientation, while state and federal law says you cannot discriminate against someone for a sincerely held religious belief …

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Q. We have an employee who claims she feels sick whenever she is at work. She attributes it to a mold allergy. What should I do? …

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In today’s workplace, many supervisors have to manage people from four different generations, all of which respond to different kinds of carrots, sticks and management styles. The breakdown: Traditional workers: born before 1946 Baby Boomers: 1946–1964 Generation X: 1965–1979 Millennials: 1980–1995 According to anecdotal information and research (see box below), managers in U.S. organizations are […]

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In day-to-day business, companies have every right to demand that employees follow the chain of command. They can require workers who have complaints about work processes or disagreements with co-workers to take up their issues with supervisors, and not go over bosses’ heads. If employees defy those rules, that can be insubordination—and it can justify termination …

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Have you ever suspected that one of your employees was not quite as injured or ill as he says? Employers certainly can insist on a medical examination to determine the exact nature and extent of workers’ medical problems—and any appropriate work restrictions. Just make certain you treat all injured employees the same …

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The FMLA has a built-in penalty for intentionally interfering with the law. Courts can double the damages when they believe an employer acted to circumvent the FMLA. Acting in good faith is the key. Even if a court finds in favor of an employee’s FMLA complaint, you may be able to avoid paying double if you can show you carefully considered whether the employee was eligible for FMLA leave …

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Q. May a former employee sue me for giving a bad reference? …

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Q. A worker who was injured on the job but now is better is refusing to return from leave. What can we do? …

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Q. Is there any limitation on how long workers’ compensation leave may go on? …

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