The HR Specialist: Employment Law

Employers will ring in some new laws in 2012 that will bring new opportunities and challenges, including the VOW to Hire Heroes Act and the Dodd-Frank amendments to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

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You’ve told managers before, now tell ’em again: Email may seem like private communication, but it really isn’t. Anything a manager says in an email may become evidence in a lawsuit.

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Eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave during each 12-month period. But lawsuits often hinge on one question: Which 12 months? It’s the employer’s duty to let employees know how much leave they’re entitled to or have al­­ready taken.

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Nine in 10 employers expect litigation against their organizations to increase or stay the same in 2012 compared with 2011, according to Fulbright & Jaworski’s 8th annual Litigation Trends Survey Report.

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Test your knowledge of recent trends in employment law, compensation and benefits and other HR issues with our monthly mini-quiz.

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Do you offer extra off-duty training for employees that, while technically voluntary, is strongly recommended? If training participants are hourly employees, chances are you will have to pay them for this time.

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OSHA just released its list of the most frequently cited workplace safety and health violations for fiscal year 2011. Topping the list: fall protection in construction, scaffolding in construction, hazard communication, respiratory protection, lockout/tagout, electrical wiring methods, powered industry trucks, ladders in construction ,,,

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The EEOC issued an advisory letter last month that gives employers more clarity on their proper use of applicants’ arrest and conviction records during the hiring process.

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OSHA has issued its first written en­­force­­ment instructions regarding incidents of workplace violence. Officials will use the directive to decide whether allegations of workplace violence warrant an investigation.

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A customer service rep at a call center went out on bereavement leave at least once a month. Lots of aunts and uncles, he said. The HR department discovered the employee had a family member on the “inside” at the funeral home who was creating a fake program for each fake funeral.

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