The HR Specialist

Violate the Fair Labor Standards Act at your peril. If you incorrectly classify an employee as exempt and refuse to pay overtime, you face a possible three-year willful violation statute of limitations—plus the possibility a court will double what you owe. Before you decide an employee is exempt, consult the U.S. Labor Department or a qualified employment law attorney …

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Does your company’s sexual harassment policy include a provision that tells employees they must promptly report alleged sexual harassment? If it doesn’t, consider adding such a clause. The wording may help if an employee waits to report that her supervisor was allegedly harassing her …

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Q. I know some states, such as South Carolina, require employers to insert disclaimers into employee handbooks to prevent the handbooks from affecting the employer’s status as an “at will” employer. Does Georgia have such a law? …

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Q. How should an employee handbook disclaimer be worded? Is any specific language required in order for the disclaimer to be effective? …

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Providing affordable employee health insurance is tough for many small companies and those employing lots of part-time workers. If that sounds like your organization, it may be time to consider offering a “mini-med” plan that covers limited health care expenses at a relatively low cost. Here’s what you need to know …

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Q. My company implemented an employment arbitration program several years ago, applicable to employees in all states, including Georgia. I recently have been told that Georgia law has special employment arbitration rules requiring that both the employer and the employee initial arbitration agreements in order to be enforceable. Is this true? We don’t do this …

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For the first time, the FMLA has been amended—a brand new law grants family members of military  men and women special FMLA leave rights.

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Discrimination lawsuits can take years to resolve, and memories fade over time. That’s one reason to take careful notes during your initial investigation. Be sure to record exactly what the alleged victim says happened. You don’t want to be blindsided later …

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The ADA applies to employers with 15 or more employees. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) covers employers with 20 or more employees. Pretty clear, right? But whom you count is crucial, especially if your head count is right on the cusp of the ADA or ADEA threshold …

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