Employment Law

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Can you terminate for off-the-clock activities?

January 21, 2016
When can you legally terminate a worker for what he or she does on their own time? The answer is an unsatisfying, “It depends.”
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Employment Law Q&A

January 13, 2016

Q. Our custodian has his own office in a sparsely traveled part of the building. He sometimes leaves his door ajar to the point that his racy wall calendar can be seen by passersby, few as they are. Should I act on this? — Dan, New York

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Disability harassment: Be alert to 2 types.

January 13, 2016
With respect to harassment based on disability, the type of harassment often depends on whether the disability is visible, such as quadriplegia, or hidden, such as a psychiatric disability, Lisa Banks, attorney in Katz, Marshall & Banks, told a task force assembled by the U.S. Equal Employment Oppor­­tu­­nity Com­­mission on Dec. 7.
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Bad-weather absences: When must you pay exempt employees?

December 16, 2015

The snow’s coming down pretty good and an exempt employee calls to say she can’t make it in today because her car is stuck. Can you deduct a full day’s pay from her salary for that missed day? What if she’s non-exempt? What if you close work because of bad weather? Here’s guidance to help you make the call.

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Who gets the promotion? 6 steps to smart and legal decisions

December 14, 2015
If your organization is typical, it’s relying more heavily on internal promotions. And as more employees compete for coveted promotion, we’re seeing a corresponding rise in failure-to-promote lawsuits. To ensure a discrimination-proof selection process, you should:
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Incident may be ‘creepy’ but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s harassment

December 9, 2015
Here’s some good news: Just because a supervisor says or does something stupid or tasteless doesn’t mean the employer will suffer. Take an isolated incident that might be characterized as odd or creepy. While perhaps uncomfortable for the employees involved, most of the time it won’t result in a successful lawsuit.
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Petty annoyances aren’t reason enough to sue

December 1, 2015
Some employees seem to believe they are owed a perfect workplace, free of all stress. They’re wrong.
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FMLA leave for sibling care? It’s possible

December 1, 2015
A DOL ruling last year that clarified the definition of “son or daughter” under the FMLA opens up the potential for employees to take leave to care for siblings or other family and nonfamily members. If the employee is serving in the parental role for a sick child, he or she may be eligible.
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Résumé reveals disability? How to respond

November 16, 2015
Don’t allow hiring managers to quickly sort résumés from disabled applicants into the “No” pile. It’s an increasingly popular practice, a new study shows, but decidedly unlawful.
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Dishonesty at any level? You can fire

November 13, 2015
Employees terminated for dishonesty aren’t entitled to unemployment compensation benefits. And being dishonest can involve breaking company rules to gain an advantage even if there’s no direct theft involved. Just be sure that before you terminate the worker for breaking the rule, you document the incident and can explain why you believe she acted dishonestly.
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