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The HR Specialist: Ohio Employment Law

It sometimes happens: Production floor or other entry-level employees lacking a—shall we say—sophisticated outlook on life go a little too far. Perhaps they play a practical joke that is offensive to a co-worker. Someone complains, and HR investigates. The culprits apologize, and everything settles down. Is the organization in the clear? …

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As more time passes after an employee takes FMLA leave, courts grow less and less likely to link an adverse employment action to taking leave. That means employees have a harder and harder time proving that being fired, for example, was retaliation for exercising their FMLA leave rights. But be careful …

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We’re all different, and personality conflicts are a fact of life. But even if some supervisors and subordinates may not be on the best of terms, minor slights and unfair treatment aren’t enough for a discrimination lawsuit …

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Julie Gallagher joined the Cleveland office of logistics company C.H. Robinson Worldwide (CHR) as a sales rep. She quit four months later in disgust over what she described as “a guys’ locker room” atmosphere. Gallagher sued, alleging the environment was hostile toward women, but the court ruled against her …

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Fortune magazine recently published its 2008 list of “100 Best Companies to Work For,” and four companies headquartered in Ohio made the list …

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The U.S Labor Department has announced proposed revisions to the FMLA regulations.  And the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2008 amended the FMLA to provide leave for eligible employees to care for injured service members and to deal with any “qualifying exigency” arising out of the fact that a covered family member is on active duty or has been notified of an impending call to active duty …

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Former Ohio State University basketball coach Jim O’Brien is free to return to the sidelines after an NCAA appeals committee lifted all sanctions against him. O’Brien was fired from OSU in 2004 over several charges of misconduct …

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he Ohio Legislature has approved the creation of the Ohio Agriculture to Chemicals, Polymers, and Advanced Materials Task Force, a 13-member panel tasked with promoting Ohio’s cutting-edge bioproducts industry …

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The setting for a termination meeting can be crucial in preventing an unexpected charge—false imprisonment. To avoid unfounded false imprisonment charges, make certain termination meetings are private, yet open. Allow the employee to sit by the door, with nothing blocking her exit …

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If your organization operates in a union environment, much of the discipline you impose will be controlled by a collective bargaining agreement. But that doesn’t always mean that you will be able to avoid court battles over discrimination claims …

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It may seem like common sense, but now the Supreme Court of Ohio has issued a clear ruling: Employees who can’t work because of injuries or illnesses lose their workers’ compensation benefits if they regain the ability to make a living by breaking the law …

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Three teenage students suspended for calling a teacher a pedophile on the social networking site Facebook.com have settled their lawsuits with the Three Rivers School District in Cincinnati …

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A proposal that would require most Ohio companies to give employees at least seven paid sick days each year is headed to the state Legislature under the Healthy Families Act …

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In a dramatic reversal, the Ohio Supreme Court significantly limited the reach of its earlier decision in Coolidge v. Riverdale School Systems. That 2003 decision led attorneys and employers to conclude that it violated Ohio state public policy to terminate any employee who was eligible to receive temporary total disability payments under the Ohio Workers’ Compensation Act …

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When office romances sour, scorned lovers often use Title VII to allege that their former lover was a sexual harasser. And even if the lovers are happy, workplace romances can cause problems in the office or on the shop floor. If co-workers feel a love affair results in favoritism, the relationship may lead to charges of conflict of interest, harassment, retaliation or discrimination …

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Employers have a right to expect a certain level of decorum in the workplace. Employees fired for using crude language or engaging in threatening behavior won’t likely be able to collect unemployment compensation, since their own misdeeds caused them to become unemployed …

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Three Cleveland-area businesses have filed a class-action suit against the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). Linderme Tube Co., Timely Advertising Specialty Co. and Corky and Lenny’s restaurant have charged that the BWC’s group-rating system awards unrealistically high premium discounts to elite, group-rated employers …

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Gov. Ted Strickland has directed state agencies to draft proposals for offering early retirement incentives to trim their staffs and save money. Spokesman Keith Dailey said Strickland is concerned about the possibility of a recession and its potential impact on the state budget …

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The courts look unfavorably on literacy tests for positions that don’t directly require writing skills, as seen by a recent U.S. District Court decision for the Southern District of Ohio. The court awarded $1.6 million to 700 black workers who were screened out of apprenticeship programs at Ford Motor Company, Visteon Corp. and Automotive Components Holdings …

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Workers at the Springfield plant of International Truck and Engine Corp., a subsidiary of Illinois-based Navistar, are hoping to attract hundreds of new jobs through a tentative agreement to acquire General Motors Corp.’s medium-duty truck business …

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