The HR Specialist

Nationwide, severance benefits have declined a bit since 2001, according to a survey of 1,030 HR executives by consultant Lee Hecht Harrison. Only one-third of employers changed their severance policies during …

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Wrapping up a year in which natural disasters and ongoing war grabbed the headlines, look for corporate gifts, including those to employees, to focus more on charity and comfort than on …

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Issue: HR audits can help you identify weak points in your employment-law compliance.
Risk: If you don’t act on the audit’s recommendations (and employees find out) that mistake can kill …

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Issue: Employees who return from injury leave may or may not be covered under the ADA.
Risk: By treating employees as if they’re “disabled” (even if they’re not), supervisors create …

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Issue: Hurricane Katrina’s devastation woke up many employers to the need to revisit their disaster plans.
Risk: Even if you drafted a plan after the 9/11 attacks, you may find …

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Issue: Some supervisors, particularly males, try to bond with employees by giving them nicknames.
Risk: When nicknames are insensitive to a protected class (race, ethnicity, etc.), they could trigger hostile-environment …

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Issue: Very precise wording is needed when employees waive their rights to sue for age discrimination.
Risk: Employers often treat age-bias waivers like any other waiver, a critical mistake that …

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Issue: Severance packages usually ask departing employees to waive their rights to file various employment lawsuits.
Risk: If you include FMLA in that mix, you’ll risk having the whole package …

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Issue: Sarbanes-Oxley’s focus on HR requires you to do more to help your organization comply.
Benefit: Helping your organization meet SarbOx mandates enhances your role as a strategic partner.

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Here’s a primer on what sexual harassment is and how to react when you see it.

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