The HR Specialist

In a company downsizing, management may make what seem like capricious decisions on who stays and who goes. That can be a huge problem if an older employee suspects age discrimination and sues—especially if there are other smoking-gun signs of discrimination, such as a supervisor’s apparent antipathy for older workers …

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The FMLA allows employers to designate time off as FMLA leave even if employees want to use other time off (such as vacation and personal days) to deal with serious health issues. But be careful—if the time off turns out to be for a health condition that wasn’t serious and you later deny FMLA leave because the employee has none in the bank, she can charge you with interference with her FMLA rights …

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Ohio state law may provide limited protection for employees fired in violation of “public policy.” But as the following case shows, those cases are limited to at-will employees, not those who have the protection of union representation or a union contract. Such employees don’t need the same protection that at-will employees may need …

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For a decade, the Chagrin Falls post office allowed mail carrier Martin Tepper to take Saturdays off to observe the Sabbath. In 2002, under pressure from fellow carriers tired of working extra weekends, the U.S. Postal Service began scheduling him for Saturday duty. Tepper sued in federal court in 2004 claiming religious discrimination …

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Q. It is my understanding that employers are required to view I-9 verifying documents within three business days of an employee’s hire. My company hires employees in various states, and I cannot personally view the I-9 documentation of the out-of-state employees. What process is acceptable for completion of the I-9 verification process if I cannot personally view the required documentation? …

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Q. It has always been a rule in our workplace that employees’ individual compensation information is to be kept confidential and is not to be discussed with co-workers. I recently had to write up one of my employees for violating this policy. That employee told me that my rule prohibiting discussion of wage information is illegal. Is this true? …

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Q. We operate an outside recreational facility that is only operational for three months a year. Our attorney has advised us that we are not required to pay the current Ohio minimum wage or overtime wage rate as stipulated on the Ohio minimum wage poster. I thought that all Ohio employers were required to pay the minimum wage rate and overtime, and do not want to violate the law. Is our attorney’s advice correct? …

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Issue: Employees too often see their base salary as their bottom-line compensation. Risk: Without a clear view of their total compensation package, employees become disillusioned and seek greener …

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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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