Employment Law

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When disciplining, focus on behavior, not possible disability that caused it

October 8, 2014
Here’s a tip that may save you from an unnecessary trip to court: When it comes to disciplining a disruptive worker, make sure you and your supervisors focus solely on the behavior.
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How many references should be checked?

October 8, 2014
Q. Our interview process includes contacting job candidates’ references. But we have no set policy on how many we call. For some, it’s one reference; for others we contact three. Any problems with this? — D.M., New York
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Pay for voluntary training during lunch break?

October 8, 2014
Q. If our organization offers voluntary employee training, which takes place during lunch, do we have to pay employees for the time spent attending training?
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Don’t tolerate name-calling, especially when it’s race-based

October 8, 2014
If there is one thing that will get a federal judge’s attention, it’s name-calling that targets a particular race or ethnicity. While one comment may not be enough for a lawsuit, repeated name-calling almost certainly demonstrates hostility. That’s especially true if a supervisor makes the comments.
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Worker accusing me of wrongdoing: Can I fire?

September 15, 2014
Q. An employee of mine recently reported me for what he believed were safety violations. Can I discharge or discipline him if the accusations turn out to be false? — G.L. Texas
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Can we get rid of our outside smoking area?

September 15, 2014
Q. We have a smoking area outside our building. However, the smoke is drifting into the ventilation system and ending up in the office. Nonsmokers are complaining. Do we need to provide a place outside where employees can smoke? — Paula, Nebraska
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A $1.39 bag of chips turns into $180,000 payout

September 15, 2014
When Walgreens cashier Josefina Hernandez was having a hypoglycemic attack, she grabbed a $1.39 bag of potato chips off the store rack and ate them in order to stabilize her blood sugar level. Because she ate the chips before paying for them, Walgreens fired her.
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Never stereotype jobs based on gender roles

September 15, 2014
Remind front-line managers and team leaders that they shouldn’t assign jobs or duties based on a worker’s gender. Nor should anyone in management make comments that could be interpreted as sexist or as assumptions that certain roles are best assigned to either men or women.
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Courts won’t hear it: Don’t try piling on after-the-fact reasons for termination

August 11, 2014
Sometimes, after an employee has been discharged, a supervisor will discover that the employee broke additional rules. But even if what you discover would be enough to have justified discharge on its own, chances are a court won’t let you use the information in your defense.
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Avoid a lawsuit: Lawyer shares 5 secrets

August 11, 2014
Aaron Zandy, an employment law attorney with Ford Harrison in Orlando, Fla., offered these five lawsuit-prevention tips during his presentation at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) conference held this summer in Orlando.
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