Human Resources

From employment law to compensation and benefits, FMLA and hiring and firing and more, Business Management Daily provides comprehensive Human Resources updates.

Discover how your colleagues – and competitors – are dealing with discrimination and harassment, employment law, benefits programs, and more.

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The EEOC and the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division have signed a new memorandum of understanding firming up the agencies’ enforcement cooperation on discrimination, harassment and retaliation complaints involving local, state and federal government employees.
Not every complaint amounts to “protected activity” that shields an employee from retaliation.
Retail giant Walmart has announced it will raise its minimum wage to $9 an hour,  and vowed that by February 2016, 500,000 of its employees will be earning at least $10 per hour.
Back in 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that an employee who was fired after his fiancé—who worked for the same employer—filed an internal discrimination complaint could sue on his own accord alleging retaliation. The fiancé, the court concluded, was within the “zone of interest” meant to be protected from retaliation under Title VII. The Court held that by firing someone’s significant other, the employer in effect would indirectly punish the complainer. Until now, exactly who would be included in the “zone of interest” was in question.

These days, many employers don’t bother to print employee handbooks, arbitration agreements and other employment documents. Instead, they exist solely in electronic form, acknowledged by so-called electronic signatures instead of written ones. That’s fine, as long as you have a system for authenticating those e-signatures.

Efforts to make life so miserable for an employee that she quits can come back to haunt you. It could be seen as retaliation—even if the employee never quits.
When one of your employees takes FMLA leave, you may require a fitness-for-duty exam showing she is fully able to perform her job before you allow her to return. As long as you require everyone who takes FMLA leave to undergo such exams, the rules authorize you to discharge workers who can’t or don’t provide certification before their return.
Here’s something to remember when you are ready to dismiss an employee for poor attendance: You can’t use any FMLA leave as a negative factor, and you can’t include any FMLA leave when tallying absences.
Employers that don’t pay men and women the same for substantially identical work violate the Equal Pay Act (EPA). The employer’s intent doesn’t matter. What matters is that the pay is unequal. The EPA is a strict liability statute, as one of the world’s most gender-equitable nations learned when it was sued in Minnesota.
When the General Services Administration dropped $823,000 in 2010 to fly 300 federal workers to a lavish team-building conference in Las Vegas—complete with clowns, a mind-reader, an employee-produced rap video and after-hours parties in hotel suites—the Obama administration cracked down. But now, the pendulum is swinging back.
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