Failure to call off is employment misconduct

July 9, 2015
Employees who don’t call off work as company rules require may be guilty of misconduct. That means they lose the right to unemployment compensation if they are fired.
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Keep backup data on employees’ hours worked

July 1, 2015

Make sure you back up timecard information. Old-fashioned stamped cards can get lost or damaged. If that happens and an employee alleges she wasn’t paid for all work, the court may take her word—not yours—for how many hours she put in.

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White-collar OT threshold doubling to more than $50K

June 30, 2015
The Department of Labor estimates the move will make at least five million more workers eligible for overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours in a week.
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Provide clear rules on promotions to prevent failure-to-promote lawsuits

June 26, 2015

Employers that provide clear rules on what employees must do before being considered for promotions can reduce the possibility of failure-to-promote lawsuits. That’s because employees who don’t follow those clear rules can’t argue they weren’t promoted on account of their membership in a protected class. They lost out because they didn’t follow the rules.

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Speaking up at staff meeting generally not protected by the First Amendment

June 24, 2015
Public employees have the right to free speech and can’t be punished for exercising it. But that doesn’t mean they can say anything, anywhere. The exercise of free speech must concern a matter of public importance and not be done as part of the employee’s job.
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Imitating an accent: Is that harassment?

June 10, 2015
Q. Several employees from time to time imitate the accent of a co-worker in his presence. Although the co-worker doesn’t seem to mind the teasing, is there potential trouble here?
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Hiring teens this summer? Heed FLSA regulations

June 10, 2015
If you’re planning on hiring teenagers this summer, remember that the Fair Labor Standards Act has strict rules.
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Don’t tell harassed worker to ‘move on’

June 8, 2015
A new employee says her co-worker has sexually harassed her. You investigate and discover she’s telling the truth. You discipline the co-worker. Is that the end of the matter? Not if the new employee won’t stop talking about what happened and it’s beginning to interfere with her ability to get her job done.
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OK to call employee who is on FMLA leave–just keep the conversation short and sweet

June 3, 2015

Employees out on FMLA leave are supposed to be freed of their regular work responsibilities. They are on leave, after all. Some supervisors have taken this to mean that they may never call an employee who is out on FMLA leave to discuss work-related matters. That’s not entirely true.

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More free lawyers may lead to more litigation

June 2, 2015

Generally, only indigent defendants are entitled to a free lawyer to defend against serious criminal charges that may result in jail time. The practical result is that employers really don’t have to worry too much about wholly frivolous claims, since few attorneys will take such cases on a contingent fee basis. Recently, however, there has been a growing trend among judges to appoint free attorneys in employment cases.

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