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The HR Specialist

Q. One of our employees went on disability after a motorcycle accident. We terminated him at his request, as he wanted to cash out his 401(k). His doctor recently released him from disability, and he’s seeking reemployment for a different position. Our owner is concerned that if he doesn’t offer the ex-employee a job, we may face legal retribution. And he’s concerned that if we do bring him back, we’ll end up with a workers’ comp claim from a slip/fall injury. Do we have any obligation to rehire this employee? …

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Election Day could bring enormous changes to the world of labor and employment law. Don’t wait until Nov. 4 to react. Here are the three potential scenarios for change, the eight key legislative issues in the hopper and the five things you can do right now.

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While Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects employees from discrimination based on national origin, it does not separately protect employees from discrimination based on their citizenship status. What counts is alleged discrimination based on the country of origin, not whether someone is a citizen of the United States or some other country …

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If your company isn’t a union employer, that doesn’t mean you can ignore the National Labor Relations Act. Chances are, someone wants to make your company a union workplace and will try to trick you into becoming one. In fact, one of your job applicants may be that wolf in sheep’s clothing. He or she will lie to get a job—and then call in the union organizers …

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Q. Does Colorado require severance pay if companies do layoffs? …

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Q. Are there any special requirements for waiver-and-release agreements? …

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Q. Some of our exempt salaried employees are requesting time off without pay. Can we do this without jeopardizing their exempt status? …

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Q. An employee reported that her husband, who is a soldier, is returning (safe and sound) from active duty. She wants to take off a month to be with him after being apart for so long. Is this FMLA leave? …

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Q. We’re a small company and have never had an employee handbook. Why should we have one? …

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Q. We have a sexual harassment policy. Is that enough? …

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