Employment Law

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Overtime pay. Discrimination. Family leave. Harassment ... Federal employment laws govern all of these issues – and many more – that you deal with at some point in your career.  It's important for supervisors and managers to know the basics of how to comply with those laws. Here's a list of the top 10 most important federal employment laws:

Reductions in force (RIFs) are fertile ground for employee lawsuits to sprout up. But as this ruling last month shows, even when a company conducts a perfectly good RIF procedure, it can be torpedoed in court by a manager’s untimely comments …

Some employees believe that applying for or taking FMLA leave insulates them from legitimate punishment. They think, “You can’t discipline me because I just took FMLA leave; that would be retaliation.” That just isn’t true.

When a former Burger King employee complained to the EEOC that she had been sex­ually harassed at one of the chain’s restaurants in Glens Falls, N.Y., the EEOC sprang into action. As part of its efforts to stop sexual harassment against teenage employees, the agency began looking at more than 350 Burger King restaurants in 16 states. The agency eventually sued.
An employee handbook can be the foundation of employee performance and a shield against lawsuits, or it can be a ticking time bomb that confuses employees and strips away your legal ...
The Fair Labor Standards Act forbids employers from retaliating against workers because they’ve “filed any complaint” about their pay, perks or work conditions. On March 22, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that such complaints don’t need to be in writing to be considered “protected activity.”
Businesses must stay abreast of an alphabet soup of federal laws—ADA, ADEA, FMLA and so forth—each with its own requirements. Some apply only to employers with more than 50 employees. Others come into play if you have only one. If you have federal contracts, your threshold may be based not on how many workers you have but the value of your contracts.

It might feel uncomfortable to try to help an employee who might be a victim of domestic violence. But you could be saving lives if you encourage supervisors and co-workers to do so. A proactive decision to provide support to domestic-violence victims not only protects them—it also protects companies’ bottom lines.

When supervisors hear someone complaining about sexual or other harassment, they may be tempted to blow it off as a distraction or tell the co-workers involved to stop it. That’s not good enough. To prevent a successful employee lawsuit, you must impress on first-line supervisors and managers that it’s their responsibility to report any sexual harassment complaint to HR or other appropriate company official.

Last month, The HR Specialist hosted the 7th annual Labor  & Employment Law Advanced Practices (LEAP) Symposium in Las Vegas. Here are a few nuggets of insight and advice from the more than 30 attorney speakers: