Worker smells of alcohol: Can we say anything?

January 14, 2014
Q. There have been a few reports from co-workers about an employee smelling of alcohol. Can we ask him if he has been drinking on duty? — D.L.A., Minnesota
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Want to retain employee threatening to quit? Think twice before over-promising

January 14, 2014
Here’s a warning that may save you time and trouble: If you want to keep an employee who has another job offer, be careful what you promise. It may be enforceable if the employee relies on the promise. At the very least, track your efforts to deliver.
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ADA: Drug and Alcohol Addiction

January 10, 2014

HR Law 101: The ADA requires employers to walk a fine line between enforcing reasonable workplace safety and behavioral rules and making accommodations for those who are addicted to drugs or alcohol. The law doesn’t protect current users of illegal (i.e., “street”) drugs, but it does protect alcoholics and those who’ve shaken their drug addiction sufficiently to no longer be classified as active illegal users …

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11th Commandment: If employee truly believes, thou shalt accommodate

December 13, 2013
Federal law says that as long an employee’s belief is “sincerely held”—which is almost impossible to quantify—employers have to look for a reasonable accommodation that meets the employee’s needs.
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Dealing with a union? Watch what you say

December 13, 2013
Here’s a lesson in how a supervisor can open up his or her company to a lawsuit with loose-cannon comments.
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Harassment often goes unreported

December 13, 2013
A new survey by research firm YouGov asked U.S. workers: “Did you report it when you saw a co-worker being harassed?”
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Sexual banter can lead to courtroom

December 13, 2013
A few stray, sexually oriented comments between co-workers isn’t enough to support a full-blown sexually hostile work environment lawsuit. Prevent legal trouble by stepping in before it gets out of hand.
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Can work continue during paid lunch break?

December 13, 2013
Q. Our hourly employees have a paid 30-minute lunch break. Sometimes we ask them to do some work during that time. Is this legal? — D.A., Pennsylvania
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I divulged worker’s illness: Any HIPAA concerns?

December 13, 2013
Q. An employee called me and told me he wasn’t coming to work because he has bronchitis. I told the rest of the department why the employee is absent. Did I violate HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)? — J.J., Maryland
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Interviewing only a handful of candidates? Note why you skipped some applicants

November 13, 2013
Unfortunately, some applicants don’t take rejection well. That’s why you need to document what you did with each application so you can explain later why the candidate didn’t get the interview or the job.
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