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It’s not enough to have a sexual harassment policy. You had better be prepared to enforce it—no matter who is doing the harassing. In the following case, family ties cost a bundle for an employer that turned a blind eye to harassment.
Here’s a problem that may never have occurred to management when it decided to use arbitration as an alternative to costly court litigation: Arbitration agreements are contracts, and not all employees can enter into binding contracts—minors, for example.

Judges see a lot. It’s usually pretty easy for them to figure out when an employer is trying to use “the lousy economy” as a pretext to discriminate against an employee. But judges are also good at recognizing when discrimination hasn’t been a factor in an employment decision.

Effective Jan. 1, Illinois employers must comply with the Illinois Employee Credit Privacy Act, which severely restricts the use of an applicant or employee’s credit history in hiring, firing or promotions. Covered employers may not use credit reports or credit information from sources other than credit reporting agencies when evaluating employees or applicants.

When you have to fire a protected-class employee for sexual harassment, there’s always the fear that he will turn around and sue for discrimination. But remember: Credibility plays a part in deciding what happened in cases of alleged harassment. If a respected and trusted employee made the harassment accusation, the fired worker will have a hard time winning a lawsuit.

It’s a legitimate workplace fear: Someone with emotional or mental problems will act out against co-workers. Sometimes, the consequences are deadly. Most of the time, threats of violence are just words. But words are enough to justify firing an employee who expresses intent to do harm, because of the fear that it instills in others.

Q. Which employers are required to comply with the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), and who does GINA protect?
Here’s a bit of good news for HR professionals who worry that they aren’t conducting perfect investigations. Courts just want to see employers act reasonably. That doesn’t mean investigations must prove employee misconduct beyond a reasonable doubt.
A Wilmington company that operates several Subway restaurants will pay two former employees $55,000 to settle sexual harassment complaints against an assistant store manager. The EEOC sued SKMATCH Inc. in federal court after attempting to resolve the dispute without going to court.

Booz & Co. has created a methodology to assess “big and bold” growth ideas, based on five lenses: 1. Share of wallet. 2. New regulations. 3. Technology and applications. 4. Distinctive capabilities. 5. Business models.

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