The HR Specialist — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Page 308
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The HR Specialist

If your organization plans to lay off employees, make sure you don’t target anyone for a furlough because of a workers’ comp claim or prior injury. That’s why it’s a good idea for someone in HR to audit the layoff list for any apparent retaliation …

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Balancing business needs against employees’ legitimate FMLA rights is one of the hardest parts of managing absenteeism. Now there’s one less thing to worry about. A new case makes it clear that you don’t have to request an FMLA certification every time an employee calls in sick …

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The United States 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has joined a growing number of federal courts holding that employers are liable for co-worker retaliation. The decision, in Hawkins, et al., v. Anheuser-Busch, increases employers’ liability when an employee retaliates after another worker has complained about improper conduct …

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Q. We granted an employee maternity leave following the birth of her child—12 weeks of leave in accordance with the FMLA. Other than the FMLA, our company has no past practice or policy of granting leave (paid or unpaid) to employees except for their own medical conditions. Our employee claims that we will be discriminating against her because of her pregnancy and status as a new mother if we do not grant her additional leave time. I am aware of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Does it require us to grant our employee additional leave to care for her newborn? …

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Q. We have a problem with the union steward in our plant. He seems to think that his primary responsibility is working for the union, and that his job is secondary. He spends an inordinate amount of time filing and working on grievances. Are we required to pay an employee who is the union steward for time spent on union activities? …

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Q. Our company has a policy requiring employees who are leaving the company to participate in an exit interview. One of the requirements is to check that the terminated employee has returned all company property, including company manuals, laptop computers, identification badges and similar items. Frequently we don’t get everything back that we should. It has been suggested that we hold the employee’s final paycheck until he or she returns all company property. Do you see any problem with adopting such a policy? …

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Employees sometimes think that just about any minor medical or physical problem is a disability protected under the ADA. Simply put, that just isn’t the case. As the following case shows, being unable to sit for a few hours at a time isn’t a covered disability …

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You have an obligation under state and federal disability laws to provide disabled employees with reasonable accommodations. But sometimes accommodations don’t improve attendance or performance. Sometimes the disabled employee doesn’t cooperate. In those cases, what are your options? …

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It doesn’t take much for a sex discrimination complaint to turn into a trial. Sometimes all it takes to start a Title VII sex discrimination and Equal Pay Act lawsuit is hiring a woman to fill a position that had been previously held by men who made more money …

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More and more former service members are using the benefits Congress provided when it passed USERRA. In a recent decision, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals excused a former service member from even the most minimal of requirements before filing suit. That case is clearly part of a trend, one that may lead to more litigation for organizations that employ veterans …

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