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.

Q. Are there any specific rules defining “early out” retirement packages offered to employees? Our company is planning to offer early outs. Our criteria mandate that an employee must have worked 15 years and be at least 50 years old. But we have employees who have worked as long as 28 years, but fail to meet the 50-year-old criterion. Is this age discrimination in a reverse sort of way? —T.G., Florida

Q. One of our managers has medical problems (she qualifies for the ADA and is in an age-protected class) and has used a significant amount of sick pay. Because we don't have a defined sick pay policy, this manager is paid sick time whenever she's out (full day or half day). How can we legally cap this? Is the development of a policy with specific hours our only alternative? —F.E., Georgia

Q. In a previous issue of HR Specialist, you said that employers can’t force employees to visit a psychologist. Our Internet policy says that if we find employees accessing pornographic Web sites, they’ll receive a three-day suspension without pay and a mandatory referral to an EAP counselor. Can we require this? —A.C., Maryland

Q. Currently, our company pays 70 percent of employees' health insurance premiums. But we need to either decrease the percentage or possibly ask employees to pay the entire premium. How much notice must we give employees before making such a change? —D.O., Louisiana

Q. We have a point system for absences and lateness. Our no-fault attendance policy states that if employees call off after the start of their shift, they’ll receive two points. What if the reason for the absence is covered by the FMLA? Should the employee still receive the two points? —C.S., Florida

You know the workplace should be free of racially or sexually charged comments and that supervisors most certainly shouldn't engage in such banter. But you can't wipe prejudice out of every employee's mind ...

HR professionals in New York have worked hard in recent years to try to improve the state's expensive workers' compensation system. But you'll have to wait at least another year for reform ...

Don't think that leaving the final firing decision to someone in company headquarters will shield your organization from a discrimination lawsuit. Even if the ultimate decision-maker doesn't know the race, sex or age of the employee in question, the fired employee can still file a discrimination claim if he or she can point to lower-level bias that tainted the decision ...

When you terminate an employee for refusing to accept a schedule change, that person typically isn't eligible for unemployment compensation. But if your organization makes one little mistake in such circumstances, it could be on the hook for benefits ...

Don't write off employee training just because your training budget is somewhere between slim and none. You might think affordable (or free) training is hard to come by, but that's not true, says Linda Newell, director of learning and development for Policy Studies Inc. ...