The HR Specialist

Are you overpaid, underpaid or in the right ballpark? A new survey of 88,000 HR professionals provides average compensation levels for dozens of HR positions. Plus, it highlights an important trend–incentive compensation is growing more common in the HR world.

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The FMLA gives eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year. Employers are free to discharge employees who cannot return to work after that time is up—that’s legal under the FMLA. But before you fill out that pink slip, consider whether the employee may be disabled under the ADA. If so, he may be entitled to more time off as an accommodation …

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Q. I have a salaried employee who used all his vacation and sick time. He is allowed a total of 21 days and has used 22, but he wants to take more vacation in November and is always sick (so he’ll probably be out more). Can I deduct his pay if he’s out more? Or can I take days from next year? This may be an ongoing thing every year …

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Q. An employee of ours has a very distinct, offensive odor. I received several complaints about the smell, so I confronted the employee, hoping to rectify the situation. Unfortunately, he did not respond well and threatened to sue. Does he have a case? …

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Q. Do oral promises my employer made during my job interview or during my employment constitute part of my contract of employment? …

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Q. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, may I dock an employee’s pay as a disciplinary penalty? …

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You may remember the big employee win against Wal-Mart. A class-action lawsuit under Pennsylvania’s wage-and-hour law made national headlines when the retailer was zapped for allegedly allowing employees to work “off the clock.” Now the news has gotten much worse for the company—$62.3 million worse, to be exact …

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Q. Is an employee who injures herself at a company-sponsored picnic eligible for workers’ compensation? …

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RadioShack earned a public relations beating last year when it used e-mail notifications to alert 400 employees at its Texas headquarters that they were being laid off. But that practice may be more popular than you think …

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