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State Sen. Shirley Turner has proposed a bill that would prevent employers from using credit checks during the hiring process in many cases. Citing the downturn in the economy, Turner and other bill supporters note that many people have less than perfect credit, and that shouldn’t keep them from getting jobs.

It’s understandable that someone who has had a heart attack and taken time off to recover might assume that he’s disabled under the terms of the ADA. That’s not always the case. As is true of other conditions, it’s only a disability if the heart attack’s residual effects substantially impair a major life function.

Employees injured on the job and collecting workers’ compensation payments can’t refuse suitable work within their restrictions. If they do, they lose their benefits.

Courts often hesitate to second-guess employers when they fire employees for what seem like honest reasons. And employers that set out clear performance expectations and then show how the terminated employee fell short rarely lose a lawsuit. That’s because, absent smoking-gun evidence of discrimination, fired employees have to prove they were meeting their employer’s legitimate expectations.

Q. One of our full-time employees took time off when her husband had a heart attack. We’re a small company with 30 employees. Management was very upset and wouldn’t let her take any paid time off and wouldn’t guarantee her position. She had accumulated several weeks of paid leave. Is it legal to keep her from taking paid time off to care for her husband?

The almost universal employer response to increased workplace violence has been the implementation of so-called zero-tolerance policies. The problem with zero-tolerance rules is that they only work if they’re uniformly enforced. Employers can’t pick and choose which employee’s behavior violates the policy. To do so invites legal trouble, as the following case shows.

Courts increasingly insist that employees meet deadlines for filing EEOC or other discrimination complaints. The law allows employees just a short period of time to start the lawsuit process after an employer’s adverse decision. Smart employers have systems that precisely track internal complaints. With those in place, employers can more easily argue that the employee waited too long to sue.

The EEOC has sued an East Texas health care company for firing a housekeeper after learning she was pregnant. The federal agency sued Murphy Healthcare, which operates Frankston Healthcare Center, for firing Myesha Kerr, allegedly because it was concerned that she would be required to perform heavy lifting and be exposed to toxic chemicals.

Base pay for administrative professionals across the United States is expected to remain consistent with 2010 levels, according to a new report. Where are the gains?
Employees may be absent from work for extended periods of time because of illness or injury. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy recently released an online “Return to Work Toolkit” that serves as a one-stop portal to numerous free, online resources for employers and employees coping with return-to-work issues.
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