The HR Specialist: Employment Law

Facebook says it’s seen “a distressing increase” in reports of employers seeking to gain access to employees’ profiles. Several states are taking action.

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Here’s a good rule of thumb when disciplining employees: Consider it a given that if discipline leads to termination, the entire disciplinary decision-making process will be challenged in court. That’s why you must carefully document every disciplinary action, starting with warnings.

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When it comes to making job offers, you or your hiring managers could be inadvertently locking the organization into employment contracts with new hires. Written job-offer letters run the highest risk of creating implied promises. To avoid creating any job-security promises, follow these do’s and don’ts:

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

 

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The former personal assistant to Lady Gaga has filed a lawsuit claiming the entertainer failed to pay her overtime. She says she’s owed hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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One of the few times you can overrule an employee’s religious accommodation requests is when safety is involved, as the following case shows.

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Does your computer system allow employees to write notes about customers? Do your employees think the customers will never see those notes? That’s a recipe for a disaster, as a California restaurant found out.

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Some employees believe all they have to do to invoke FMLA leave protection is to call in, say they’re “sick” and wait for their employer to request medical certification. Wrong! Merely calling in sick doesn’t trigger any employer obligations under the FMLA.

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After the EEOC’s informal discussion letter about ­employers’ use of high school diplomas as a hiring prerequisite “caused significant commentary and conjecture,” the EEOC decided last month to issue additional guidance to help clarify the issue.

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Some employees are simply difficult to manage. They start arguments and may see harassment or discrimination at every turn. Sometimes they cross a line, implying they could get violent. How you handle their complaints can spell the difference between winning and losing a lawsuit.

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