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The HR Specialist

Issue: Courts are seeing a spike in discrimination claims involving people of the same race.
Risk: Some supervisors wrongly ignore same-race complaints, believing, for example, that “blacks can’t discriminate against …

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Issue: HR specialists can become emotionally hooked on solving employees’ problems. Risk: Resulting emotional overload can sap your time, your energy …

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Issue: When will a court hold you to an employment contract? Risk: Promising a former employee that you’ll fudge the truth on job references in exchange for a lawsuit waiver …

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Issue: Your intranet is packed with valuable HR information, but few employees are using it. Benefit: If employees see the intranet, not your office, as the first stop for HR …

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Issue: Whether employees who resign have the same right to file harassment lawsuits as those who are fired. Risk/benefit: A new Supreme Court ruling says “Yes,” quitters can sue. But …

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Issue: Employees handling your organization’s purse strings could be pulling them in the wrong way. Risk: Lax controls leave your organization wide open to invoice fraud. Action: Suggest the …

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Ever since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) took effect a dozen years ago, hiring managers have walked a legal tightrope in job interviews. ADA’s basic message is that you can’t ask pre-employment questions that could reveal the applicant’s disability. But the law sets different rules for different stages of the hiring process, including: Pre-offer. [...]

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Even if you ran into a stone wall in the past trying to obtain references on prospective employees, don’t give up. It’s true that some bosses are reluctant to talk about former employees because they fear lawsuits if they give a bad review. But attitudes are changing. More states are passing laws that provide immunity [...]

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Issue: Minor squabbles between employees and supervisors escalating into illegal “discipline.” Risk: If left unchecked, they can escalate, resulting in discrimination or retaliation claims. Action: Use the following case …

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Issue: Survivors of recent layoffs are asking about severance plans before signing on. Benefit: More than ever, a good severance plan can help lure the best candidates. Action: Trumpet …

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