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 309
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The HR Specialist

Q. What payroll records must my company keep under North Carolina law?…

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Q. Must I allow my employees time off to vote? …

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Q. My company does not have a vacation policy. Should it? …

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Q. Must a North Carolina employer allow its employees certain rest or meal periods? …

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The best way to prevent lawsuits or to get a quick dismissal of unfounded charges is to document every employment decision carefully. Following these five simple rules can convince judges and juries that your HR decision-making is legit, above board and fully in line with the law.

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It could have been the case that employer nightmares are made of—but the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals saved the day. Interpreting Indiana law, the federal court ruled that employees have just two years to sue over disputed sales commissions, not the 10 years a former employee argued for …

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It’s hard enough being a manager, supervisor or HR professional without worrying that a court may second-guess your decisions. It’s even harder in cases where making a mistake means personal liability. Fortunately, you don’t have to add age discrimination claims to those for which you can be held personally liable …

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Q. Our policy requires an employee out on FMLA leave to run any accrued vacation or sick time concurrently with FMLA leave until that time is used up. (At that point, the FMLA leave becomes unpaid.) We also have a short-term disability (STD) policy that kicks in after seven consecutive days and lasts up to eight weeks. A pregnant employee recently requested 10 weeks of FMLA leave, starting upon the birth of her child. She currently has 3½ weeks of accrued vacation time. Can we require her to use up all of her vacation time once she goes out on maternity leave, even though she is also receiving STD payments? …

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Q. Some employees discovered that a co-worker has been secretly recording conversations with them and some supervisors. One of them brought it to our attention after he grew suspicious that the employee was digging for information about some employment decisions we had made. Several employees have complained about the invasion of their privacy. The company president’s first reaction was to have the employee arrested, but I’m not sure he broke any laws. Our policies prohibit general harassment, but do not specifically address clandestine recordings. Can we discipline this employee? Should we contact police? …

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Q. Our company is looking to revise and update its employee handbook. This will be the first update in several years. Is there anything specific that we should focus on to make sure that we are up-to-date? …

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