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HR Soapbox

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Few issues churn up as much HR confusion and frustration as the FMLA. That's why organizations are typically more than happy to quickly pull the termination trigger right after employees reach their legally allotted 12 weeks of FMLA leave. But employees who need a finite amount of additional time off may be legally entitled to more leave as a "reasonable accommodation" under the ADA. Learn more ...

From March 12-14, 2014, hundreds of HR professionals from across the country gathered at the Bellagio in Las Vegas for the 10th annual Labor & Employment Law Advanced Practices (LEAP) Symposium, hosted by Business Management Daily and The HR Specialist. Here are some nuggets of wisdom from the event:
At some point, every business and every employee seems to fall in a rut or get stuck in neutral. The problem typically isn’t bad luck, bad people or even a bad economy. It could be you. Here are eight “tough love” truths to help get you going again ...

How would your employees respond if you took away their desks and, instead, told them they could plop down anywhere each day with their laptops and phones. Conversion to such an “untethered” office isn’t a concept sweeping the country, but it is being tested in some locations. How would your office respond?

A new breed of business-related apps aim to copy SnapChat, making self-destructing online discussions popular in business, too. The goal: become the digital equivalent of behind-closed-doors meetings and off-the-record conversation, with no written record of the discussion. But the trend carries some legal risks for HR ...

The Monday after the Super Bowl has become "the biggest unofficial holiday of the year, with 1.5 million people calling in sick as a result of the game and about 4.4 million people will show up late for work.” How many of those late/missing workers will try to tap into their job-protected allotment of FMLA leave? And what can you do to help combat this kind of FMLA abuse? Here’s a 9-step program:
The legal wall criminalizing marijuana has begun to crumble and, in major turnaround from past decades, a majority of Americans now support legalizing pot. But for employers (even in those pro-pot states), this new legality trend doesn’t have to alter your policies. Here's more advice, and a link to a sample policy ...
Employment law can be confusing. But at what point does a manager actually think it's legally wise to make a chart predicting the pregnancies of his female employees? That's what happened in a recent case. Step inside and learn from their mistakes ... 

Retail giant Target grabbed HR headlines recently when it announced it was removing from its job applications any questions about applicants’ criminal backgrounds. Reason: Minnesota (where Target is based) passed a law that forbids private employers in the state from asking criminal background check questions on job applications. Minnesota is one of 10 states and 50+ cities to change their laws in response to a grassroots campaign called “Ban the Box.” Many employers are also changing their applications on their own ...

Charges of job discrimination (race, age, sex, religion, disability, etc.) by U.S. employees spiked during the Great Recession. However, an improving economy had employees in a less litigious mood during fiscal year 2013. Here are the just-released numbers ... 

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