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 349
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The HR Specialist

The only thing between your organization and a discriminatory discharge verdict is the HR office. An impartial and cool-headed HR professional must oversee the process every time an employee is terminated. Keep careful track of exactly how the decision-making process moves forward in every case, and insist that HR have the final word on termination …

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Q. We are an Illinois-based company and have an employee whose mother is very sick with cancer and in need of medical care at home. The employee is entitled to FMLA leave. The issue is that the mother lives in Hawaii and he has asked for leave starting next month. I don’t mean to be “cold,” but it sounds like a vacation from our bitter winter. Must we grant the leave for him to go to Hawaii? …

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Q. We don’t have a hotline for employees to call to complain about harassment, discrimination or retaliation. We have been considering one, but we are concerned about anonymous complaints. Should we set up one anyway? …

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Q. Our hiring process involves conducting background and reference checks. If an employee has a felony conviction within the past seven years, we automatically refuse employment. Any reason we should change our policy? …

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Q. We have an employee who comes to work and performs very well. Over the past several months I have come to learn that she is constantly receiving harassing calls and threats from her husband. We feel helpless and want to do something but we don’t offer employee assistance programs. What are our options? …

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CareerBuilder.com recently asked 2,929 hiring managers and HR pros to name the lamest excuses they had ever heard for missing work. Who knew America’s work force was so fragile—or creative? Maybe some innovative strategies can stem the tide of absenteeism.

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Any presence of pornography in the workplace can spark expensive, reputation-draining lawsuits. You need a policy of zero tolerance: No adult material anywhere, anytime — not on office computers, in e-mails, on videotapes or DVDs.

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The following sample policy was excerpted from The Book of Company Policies, published by HR Specialist, © 2007. Edit for your organization’s purposes. _____________________________ Purpose: “All employees have the right to work in an environment free from physical violence, threats and intimidation. The Company’s position is that violence is a form of serious misconduct that […]

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When it comes to hiring good employees, you know that experience and education aren’t everything. There’s nothing wrong with considering such “soft” factors as loyalty and reliability when making hiring decisions. Just make sure you don’t consider things such as disability, FMLA absences or other protected characteristics …

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The Texas Supreme Court has weighed in for the first time on an important interpretation of the Texas Whistleblower Act. Until now, a key term in the act was largely undefined: Exactly what is an “adverse employment action"? …

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