The HR Specialist

When an employee shows you a medical certification that says she has a serious condition qualifying her for FMLA leave, you don’t have to blindly accept the doctor’s word. You can ask for a second opinion. But here’s what many employers don’t realize: Employees can do the same thing …

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More employers are turning to incentives and penalties to increase participation in on-site health-risk assessments. Attracting employees to this first step can improve their health, which cuts your costs. Use the advice below to choose the best approach for your organization …

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While Congress tries to hammer out the biggest immigration law changes in decades, Homeland Security is already cracking down. These developments will likely add new responsibilities and risks to your I-9 and visa practices …

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Insurers incorrectly calculate workers’ compensation premiums for 30 to 40 percent of employers. You can help slash premium costs, and become a hero to your CEO, by knowing what mistakes to look for …

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Corporate America continues to register alarm over unrelenting health care cost growth. If not restrained, health care costs will significantly affect every firm’s profitability and competitiveness …

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The EEOC just revamped its guidance on racial and color discrimination in the workplace. These changes signal increased race-bias enforcement, plus more EEOC attention to "subtle" discrimination …

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No manager is without biases. You naturally take more of a liking to certain employees than others. The key is to make sure those personal opinions don’t influence your decisions regarding employees’ work assignments, performance reviews and day-to-day treatment. Employee favoritism doesn’t just create morale problems; it can also create legal trouble for the organization. […]

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Giving employees nicknames may seem like harmless fun. But realize that giving the wrong nickname can lead to legal trouble. How? If a nickname singles out an employee in a legally protected category, a court may say the nickname contributes to creating discrimination or an illegal “hostile environment.” That may seem obvious in such cases […]

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Giving someone an "excellent" performance rating may seem like a nondiscriminatory act. But, as a new court case shows, high praise can still be deemed retaliation if the review is worse than a previous one and it hurts the employee’s ability to earn a bonus or promotion …

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Employees with diabetes suffer more absenteeism and higher health costs. Sixty-two percent of larger employers have some kind of diabetes management plan, according to Mercer HR consulting …

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