Stop lawsuits cold: Launch immediate investigation when bias accusations fly

January 7, 2011

Some managers worry needlessly that they will be sued for discrimination if they fire an employee—especially one who acts as though she has a chip on her shoulder. But as long as an internal investigation finds that the employee hasn’t been discriminated against because of a protected characteristic, you likely have little to worry about.

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When harassment case is on the line, be ready to prove you did everything you could to stop it

January 7, 2011
Employers have an obligation to try to prevent harassment when it erupts. But courts often give an “A” for effort. They won’t measure your efforts solely by whether your prevention strategy worked.
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Worker always complaining? Investigate anyway

January 7, 2011

Some employees gripe all the time. You know them: They’re the ones who regularly appear in your doorway, ready to file yet another complaint with HR about supposed unfair treatment and discrimination. No matter how groundless, look into their claims.

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Three’s a crowd: Can an employee bring someone else along to his performance appraisal?

January 7, 2011
Q. An employee has asked to have his wife present during his performance evaluation. Does he have the right to bring a representative?
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Sick leave and FMLA: Should you call off your call-in policy?

January 7, 2011
Does your call-in policy demand that employees contact their supervisors daily when they’re out sick? If so, can you still require that of employees who are out on FMLA leave? Here’s what a ruling last week said …
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Lawsuit-proof your company: 20 tips from HR peers

January 6, 2011
In a recent survey, The HR Specialist asked readers whether they’ve been sued by employees and, if so, what single piece of advice would they give to other HR professionals to help them avoid (or respond to) an employee lawsuit. Here are some of their suggestions:
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Exemptions change: Review duties each year

January 5, 2011
As employees’ duties change, make sure you regularly update their job descriptions to reflect realities on the ground. Then use those job descriptions to see if they are still properly classified under the FLSA. Don’t rely on an analysis that’s even a couple of years old. As this case shows, even an analysis provided by the DOL isn’t safe.
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Must we pay for restroom breaks?

January 4, 2011
Some breaks are required by law … and some are required by biology. Are employers required to pay when employees answer nature’s call?
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If employee gives late FMLA notice, when must you cut slack?

January 4, 2011
The latest FMLA regulations give employers new powers to demand notification from employees. But while you can now hold employees to your “usual and customary” notice procedures when they’re notifying you of unexpected FMLA leave, you must allow some flexibility for emergency circumstances. The question is, how much?
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How to Respond to an EEOC Complaint: 10 Steps to Success

January 4, 2011
The EEOC and state and local agencies have been filing more administrative charges in recent years and that trend is likely to continue. Because administrative charges can be precursors to discrimination lawsuits, it’s critical for you to handle them properly. These 10 tips will help you prepare to respond: 1. Tell the whole story Often, […]
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