The HR Specialist

Q. We employ nearly 100 employees at a facility in San Jose. What type of notice must we provide if we are planning to lay off more than half of these employees during the first quarter of next year? …

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Are you prepared for the coming crackdown? Have you taken the necessary steps to stay in compliance?

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Employees who can’t tell their employers they have serious health conditions may still put their employers on notice—and trigger their FMLA rights. “Unusual” behavior alone can be enough to notify a reasonable employer that an employee may have a serious health condition. That unusual behavior can include shouting at a supervisor, a panic reaction or other sudden emotional outbursts …

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Have you stressed to supervisors and managers that they shouldn’t let an employee’s promotion paperwork sit on their desks for weeks at a time? If not, do it now. Here’s why: Sitting on a promotion can be an adverse employment action …

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Has your organization lost a previous race discrimination lawsuit? Ouch! You can bet some of your employees filed away that information for future use. However, you can take heart in a court’s recent decision that having previously lost a discrimination suit doesn’t constitute “proof” that your organization continues to discriminate—unless the new case deals with exactly the same type of alleged discrimination …

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Does your organization have a rule against removing company documents from the workplace? If not, consider adding one. Documents should remain on the premises, and allowing them to “walk” can spell big trouble. For example, employees may be tempted to remove and copy documents they think will aid a later lawsuit against the company …

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That old stalwart of HR paperwork—the I-9—finally got its much-anticipated face lift. On Nov. 7, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a new version of the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (Form I-9). Start using it now!

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The Internet lets employers can find out much more about prospective employees than they could just a few years ago. One sort of web site of interest to employers doing background checks: the government’s sex offender registries. Follow these guidelines to use that information responsibly—and legally.

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You may have seen the "60 Minutes" report last Sunday on the  "millennials"—the 80 million Americans born between 1980 and 1995. They’re your new employees and they’re…well… different. Some of them even want mom and dad to come along with them to job interviews. And that’s just fine by some large employers.

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