The HR Specialist: Florida Employment Law — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Page 3
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The HR Specialist: Florida Employment Law

Courts don’t tolerate religious har­assment, but they won’t punish an employer for occasional lapses in good sense, either. That’s the lesson of the following case.

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The Equal Pay Act (EPA) requires that men and women in the same workplace be given equal pay for substantially similar work. If you discover a pay disparity between substantially similar male and female employees, fix the problem right away to let women catch up. Don’t use pay policies as an excuse to slow the process.

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There is no freedom from discrimination based on having premarital sex, but there is a right to be free of pregnancy discrimination. It may seem odd, but employers can technically fire someone for behavior that doesn’t meet the employer’s “moral” standards as long as no other protected characteristic is involved.

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Employers that count FMLA-covered absences against employees are interfering with their FMLA rights. Before you make a final termination decision based on poor attendance, make absolutely sure that you have excluded all possible FMLA leave.

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Floridians filed 307 more discrimination complaints with the EEOC in fiscal year 2011 than they did in 2010. The greatest number of Florida complaints—3,231 in all—alleged retaliation.

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Here’s a difficult situation for even the most experienced HR pro: What should you do if you believe the head of your company is a harasser? There’s no easy answer, as this case shows.

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Failing to offer some employees the opportunity to participate in training can mean a possible lawsuit. But that’s only true if the employee who missed out on the training opportunity let it be known that he was interested.

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OSHA has cited Merlin Industries Inc. and Thermal Concepts Inc.—two Davie businesses owned by the same family and sharing the same address—for 17 safety violations, worth $59,100 in fines.

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Do you have employees who were born and raised in other countries and who therefore speak English with heavy, foreign-sounding accents? If so, be careful how you approach any discussion about their speech. If supervisors or managers criticize workers’ accents, a national-origin discrimination lawsuit may be in your company’s future.

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OSHA is suing the Manatee School for the Arts in Palmetto after it fired an employee who complained to the feds about safety concerns.

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