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Q. A few employees have complained that we use their Social Security numbers (SSNs) as their ID numbers. They’re concerned about identity theft. Is it legal to use Social Security numbers for ID purposes?
While legal problems can crop up during an employee’s tenure, the two events that carry the most legal risk for employers are the hiring and the departure of an employee. Hiring discrimination lawsuits are particularly dangerous. To stay out of court, managers should build their hiring process around these principles:
While in your employ, an employee has an absolute duty to act in your best interests, and not to act in the interests of anyone else in a way that is contrary to yours. The "duty of loyalty" prohibits employees from taking certain competitive actions while still working for you. Here's how to limit the damage from an employee-turned-competitor:
Just the facts, ma'am. Your employee handbooks should clearly state your organization's rules and benefits without including any excess or superfluous language. If you embellish the document with needless explanations, you may end up eating your words ...
Employers must balance the desire for a drug-free workplace with employees' privacy rights. So before implementing a drug testing policy, employers must address several issues, such as whether random drug testing is legal and if they can reject an applicant who won't submit to a pre-employment drug test.
The Whistleblower Protection Act encourages employees of federal government agencies, and those under federal contracts in the private sector, to monitor and report wrongdoing by their employers. It also forbids any retaliation against either employees or applicants for engaging in protected activities involved in whistleblowing.
Most lawsuits are not triggered by great injustices. Instead, simple management mistakes and perceived slights start the snowball of discontent rolling downhill toward the courtroom. Here are 12 of the biggest manager mistakes that harm an organization’s credibility in court.
The National Labor Relations Board has postponed until April 30 the date when employers must display a new pro-union poster. The change came at the request of a Washington, D.C., federal court hearing business groups’ legal challenge regarding the rule.
The economy is a shambles, and employers are doing everything they can to stay in business. That includes terminations, salary and wage cuts and temporary furloughs. Nearly every one of those moves carries litigation risk. With little to lose, more and more employees are willing to stake bias claims, hoping to score a big settlement. Their allies are attorneys who will look for any reason to sue. What should employers do?
Employers will ring in some new laws with the New Year, and those laws will bring challenges and opportunities.