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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Employers beware! Do your personnel policies—or how you enforce them—violate the National Labor Relations Act? The answer may surprise you, especially if you operate in a union-free environment. Earlier this year, the National Labor Relations Board heard oral arguments in a case that will determine whether employees have the right to use their company’s e-mail system, or other communications-based systems, to communicate with each other regarding union matters and terms and conditions of employment ...

Employers are legally obligated to maintain a safe work environment. When employees commit violent acts against co-workers or customers, employers can be held responsible through negligent-hiring and supervision lawsuits. Each year, roughly 1,000 people are workplace homicide victims. And research shows that killings are five to seven times more likely to occur at workplaces where guns are allowed ...

Q. May an employer fire an employee and then ask the employee to sign a waiver of claims or severance agreement? ...

Q. An employee of ours has attendance problems. Before we could counsel her on the attendance problems, she was approved for intermittent FMLA to care for her elderly mother. While she has taken FMLA days for her mother, she also continues to have attendance problems unrelated to her FMLA leave. Can we proceed with counseling and possible disciplinary actions while she is under FMLA? ...

Q. If an employee believes he has been terminated unfairly, does he have a legal right to challenge the termination? ...

A director of nursing for the John J. Kane Regional Center, an Allegheny County long-term care facility in Glen Hazel, sued the county, alleging she was fired for reporting unsafe conditions to authorities after a resident drowned in a bathtub in June 2005 ...

Q. What may an employer say about why an employee left or was fired? ...

The ADA makes it illegal to discriminate against employees because of their “association” with disabled people. But what about disciplining an employee for taking time off to care for the disabled person? According to a recent Pennsylvania case, that’s perfectly OK—as long as FMLA leave is not involved ...

Q. I think one of our employees is stealing. What are the proper steps to take to handle this situation? ...

Sometimes, serious allegations—possible theft, sexual or racial harassment or violence—surface against employees. How you respond can be crucial to limiting your organization’s liability. The best response may be calling a timeout in the form of administrative leave pending an investigation. You can safely do so without fear that the move will generate even more litigation from a suspected wrongdoer ...

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