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Leaders & Managers

From the nitty gritty of daily management to addressing your aspirations of leadership, this section for leaders & managers tells you how to make strong leadership decisions, build effective teams, delegate and stay above the everyday management muddle.

Get tips, strategies, tool and advice on: performance reviews, preventing workplace violence, best-practices leadership, team building, leadership skills, people management and management training.

If you need additional incentives to stop sexual harassment in the workplace, how’s this for a motivator: A court has ruled that employees who endure gender-related violence can now sue their employers for damages under the Illinois Gender Violence Act.
Good news for employers: The Court of Appeal of California has found that claims adjusters are exempt administrative employees not entitled to overtime. The court rejected the notion that all claims adjusters who work for insurance companies are nonexempt employees without regard to the work they actually perform.

Some employees facing discipline believe that if they file a discrimination complaint, they can escape trouble. If disciplined, they’ll cry “retaliation!” Smart employers counter this subtle form of blackmail by clearly documenting and time-stamping all decisions and the process that led up to those decisions.

It does no good to have a sexual har­assment policy if managers don’t know how to enforce it. Without regular manager training on how to respond to complaints, you might as well not have a policy.

Some employees think nothing of threatening their co-workers. Most employers disagree and aggressively move to stop such harassment. Courts are on the employers’ side: They’ll seldom second-guess a decision to fire the culprit.

It takes just one or two disgruntled employees to start an FLSA class-action overtime lawsuit. Be prepared to fight such lawsuits early and vigorously. Your best bet: Classify employees correctly in the first place.

When it comes to deciding whether to grant reasonable accommodations, the first step is to determine whether the employee is really disabled. A diagnosis isn’t the last word. Does the condition actually limit the employee in some substantial way?

This year is shaping up to be a tough one for organizations worried about employment law issues. So far, the U.S. Supreme Court has decided three big employment law cases—and every time, ruled in favor of employees. The latest expanded employer retaliation liability under the FLSA. But that’s not this year’s only press­ing wage-and-hour problem. Pay atten­tion to these other issues:

Under limited circumstances, a job applicant might be able to win a discrimination lawsuit without actually applying for a job. For example, someone could conceivably prove that it would have been be futile to even bother filling out an application. Fortunately, such cases are rare.

Here’s some good news for employers that take sexual harassment complaints seriously. In Sutherland v. Wal-Mart, the 7th Circuit emphasized that an employer’s prompt response to an employee’s complaint of sexual harassment may protect it from liability.