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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An employee who reports that his or her employer is violating state or federal law may be protected from discharge. The employee can sue for retaliatory discharge and also on the premise that firing him or her violates public policy ...

The charges leveled against Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick are atrocious. There's no doubt about that. As a human being, you may be ready to throw the book at him (and worse). But if you're a Human Resources manager faced with an employee who is accused of engaging in criminal or otherwise unsavory off-duty activities, your reaction must be less emotional.

Pregnant Texas employees are protected from discrimination under the Texas Commission of Human Rights Act (TCHRA). The TCHRA prohibits sex discrimination and makes it an “unlawful employment practice if because of … sex … the employer discharges an individual.” It also defines sex discrimination to include “discrimination because of or on the basis of pregnancy.” ...

Q. I suspect one of the employees in our office is abusing his FMLA leave because he always seems to call off work at the end of the week or around holidays. What options are available to us to deny his suspicious leave requests? —E.L. ...

A Houston-based seismic technology and equipment company is facing a nearly $1 million jury verdict as the result of a lawsuit brought by one of its former manufacturing managers. Input/Output terminated Gaines Watkins in 2002 when he was 68 years old, claiming the company was making changes that he was “incapable or unwilling” to implement. Watkins sued, claiming he was fired because he didn’t fit the company’s new youthful image ...

Q. Our company recently terminated an employee for violating company policy. At the time of his termination, he had a company laptop, which he refuses to return. Can we withhold his final paycheck pending the return of the company equipment? Or, can we deduct the value of the equipment from his final paycheck? —S.F. ...

Employers at a post-Hurricane Katrina job site recently agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by the family of a Texas construction worker who died while doing repair work at a warehouse in Louisiana. Bobby Patton was working on a hurricane-damaged roof when he fell through an unmarked skylight to the concrete floor ...

Q. An employee has been out for the past few months on workers’ comp. During his recovery, we placed someone else in his position. His replacement has performed better than the injured employee, and we want to keep the replacement. Do we have to return the original employee to his job following his return from workers’ comp leave? —R.P. ...

Performance evaluations are important tools to help employers gauge whether employees are performing at expected levels. They can help organizations spot talent and leadership potential, while identifying areas where employees need extra training and support. Evaluations also can protect employers from frivolous lawsuits filed by employees who claim they’ve been demoted, fired or otherwise unfairly treated when the real reason was poor performance ...

In May, the Texas seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.1% (from 4.2% in April and 5.0% a year ago), its lowest point since 1976. Texas employers have added 239,000 jobs over the past 12 months ...