The HR Specialist

You don’t have to treat supervisors the same as other employees if they break the rules. As the following case shows, supervisors who get into physical fights with subordinates can and should be fired—even if you simply discipline co-workers who get into similar confrontations at work …

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Employees who lose their jobs often look for sinister underlying reasons—such as discrimination. That’s why you should think about a strategy to minimize the chance a disgruntled employee will win a discrimination lawsuit. Here’s one way: Fill the vacant position with someone from the same protected class as the terminated employee …

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Are you relying on company rules or the employee handbook to justify a disciplinary action such as a suspension or termination? If so, make sure you keep a copy of the handbook as it existed at the time of your decision. This is particularly important if you maintain the handbook in electronic form …

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When an employee is threatening to file a lawsuit against your organization, it’s natural to feel angry, betrayed or even hurt. But don’t react. Instead, tell him that the decision is his, and you’ll treat him just the same as you always have—lawsuit or no lawsuit …

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Q. Must I offer vacation time to my employees? If I do, must I pay terminated employees for their unused vacation time? …

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Q. What is the minimum wage for North Carolina employees? Is it different than the federal minimum wage? …

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Q. My company has fewer than 20 employees. Must my group health insurance policy still provide COBRA-like continuation coverage to terminated employees? …

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Q. I always hear North Carolina is a “right to work” state. Does that mean there are limitations on how or why I may be fired? Does that have anything to do with “employment at will”? …

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Q. May I refuse to hire a smoker? …

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Q. If an employee is injured at a company-sponsored softball game, where participation is purely voluntary, is the injury compensable under workers’ compensation? …

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