Employment Law

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Is there age bias risk in capping salaries?

July 11, 2014
Q. We started capping em­­ployees’ salaries when they hit the top of the pay scale. Many of these employees are over age 40 and they have been grumbling about bias. Should we be worried?
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FMLA for worker whose kid has stomach ache?

July 11, 2014
Q. Can an employee use FMLA leave to care for her young child who’s home from school because of a stomach ache?
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Can we require leave time for pregnant worker?

July 11, 2014
Q. Can an employer require that pregnant workers take leave?
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When hiring, avoid building a ‘fiefdom’

July 11, 2014
Make sure you are not establishing little fiefdoms that potentially discriminate against one or more protected classes. Remember, preferences that exclude others based on their membership in a protected class are discriminatory, no matter which group is favored.
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Beware of regarding applicant as disabled

July 11, 2014
Do you sometimes have preconceived notions based on uninformed assumptions about a worker’s or a job candidate’s ability to do the job? Beware!
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Plaintiffs’ lawyers can be crafty in court

July 11, 2014
It looked promising for the company when Mindy sued it for sexual harassment. Her evidence was a single offensive comment corroborated by a witness. But at closing argument, her attorney told the jury that she, too, had been sex­­ually harassed at law school, but lacked Mindy’s “courage” to complain…
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No need to tolerate personal woes that spill over to workplace arguments

June 11, 2014
When bad relationships spill over to the workplace, you don’t have to put up with the aftermath. Set strict rules about behavior and don’t tolerate loud arguments, threats or other disruptions.
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Are smoking breaks an ADA accommodation?

June 11, 2014
Q. Some of our employees take extra breaks to go outside to smoke. Nonsmokers are starting to gripe that smokers get more break time. Do we have to allow smokers these breaks as an ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accommodation under “nicotine addiction”? — B.B., Texas
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Is a quick call to worker on FMLA leave permissible?

June 11, 2014
Q. One of our employees is out on FMLA leave. She’s a key worker on a major project. Can we contact her on the status of a report she is working on? — Jenn, New Jersey
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Comments don’t always have to be overtly sexual to create hostile environment

June 11, 2014

When a supervisor constantly ridicules an employee, watch out. The worker may have a hostile work environment claim if she can tie the demeaning comments to just one or two overtly sexual ones. Essentially, the sexual comments become the reference point for the subsequent ones.

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