The HR Specialist — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Page 331
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The HR Specialist

A California Superior Court decision ordering coffee giant Starbucks to pay its baristas $100 million in lost tips has the company in a froth. Trouble has been brewing since it instituted a policy letting supervisors split tip income with hourly workers. You don’t want to find yourself in the same hot water.

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If you find out that a worker out on FMLA leave is actually working for someone else, it’s time to check the employee’s FMLA certification. If the certificate says he’s “unable to perform work of any kind,” you can and should take action …

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Sometimes, employers make promotion mistakes that are purely unintentional. That can happen, for example, if an employer somehow overlooked a qualified employee for a promotion. If that employee is a member of a protected class, however, it’s easy to believe that the reason was illegal discrimination …

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The California Supreme Court has ruled that managers and supervisors shouldn’t be held personally responsible when an employee wins a retaliation claim under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act …

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More and more courts are ignoring the labels companies and independent contractors put on their relationships—and even rewriting the relationship in some cases. That means that someone an organization has carried on the books as an independent contractor can be reclassified as an employee …

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When W&M Properties took over management of an office complex, it immediately set about changing the staffing model under which building engineers would work. Managers began interviewing the seven incumbent engineers for positions under the new structure as well as outside, nonunion candidates. At some point during the interviews, a hiring manager let it be known that the company did not want a unionized work force …

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Q. We are a small company with fewer than 10 employees. We would like to terminate an employee who is pulling down workplace morale. What are the risks? …

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Q. I have an employee who is taking leave under the FMLA. The company is continuing to pay the same portion of her health insurance premiums that we paid while she was working. She’s having lingering medical problems, as is her newborn child. If she decides not to return, may we recover any of the premiums we paid? …

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Q. We would like to monitor e-mail usage at our workplace. Can we access employee e-mail without violating their rights to privacy? …

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