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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As of Jan. 1, 2008, employees have new rights under the Illinois Human Rights Act. The amendment, signed last August, permits employees for the first time to bring civil actions in circuit court and have their cases heard by juries. Originally, the Illinois Human Rights Act was a completely administrative, nonjury process for resolving employment discrimination claims ...

Q. We are an Illinois-based company and have an employee whose mother is very sick with cancer and in need of medical care at home. The employee is entitled to FMLA leave. The issue is that the mother lives in Hawaii and he has asked for leave starting next month. I don’t mean to be “cold,” but it sounds like a vacation from our bitter winter. Must we grant the leave for him to go to Hawaii? ...

Q. We don’t have a hotline for employees to call to complain about harassment, discrimination or retaliation. We have been considering one, but we are concerned about anonymous complaints. Should we set up one anyway? ...

Q. Our hiring process involves conducting background and reference checks. If an employee has a felony conviction within the past seven years, we automatically refuse employment. Any reason we should change our policy? ...

Q. We have an employee who comes to work and performs very well. Over the past several months I have come to learn that she is constantly receiving harassing calls and threats from her husband. We feel helpless and want to do something but we don’t offer employee assistance programs. What are our options? ...

Illinois has reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, lifting the state Legislature’s ban on E-Verify that had been scheduled to take effect Jan. 1. Employers may continue to use the federal electronic verification system to check workers’ employment eligibility status until lawmakers have had a chance to re-examine the issue ...

About half the states have underfunded the retirement plans of their public workers, according to a recent study by the Pew Center on the States. The center warns that states on the bottom half of the list may have to choose between honoring their pension obligations and funding other state programs ...

It’s easy to become isolated in the HR office, especially if you are physically separated from the shop floor or other work locations. So it should come as no surprise that some things that go on outside your limited view may mean trouble. That’s why you need to keep open lines of communication between HR and the field. Make sure all employees know how and where to report sexually or racially hostile language or actions ...

The only thing between your organization and a discriminatory discharge verdict is the HR office. An impartial and cool-headed HR professional must oversee the process every time an employee is terminated. Keep careful track of exactly how the decision-making process moves forward in every case, and insist that HR have the final word on termination ...

Sometimes, employers may want to maintain some flexibility to handle unique leave situations. For example, what would your organization do if a valued, loyal and long-term employee developed a terminal disease? Would you allow him a “leave of absence” with continued insurance coverage until his death to save his family from financial ruin? You can, if you are careful about exactly how you go about it ...

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