The dark side of the moon: Employee loses $2 million

January 9, 2013
An investment banker in Chicago, unhappy when he discovered a co-worker had been fired, mooned his boss. He was fired and, as a result, lost out on a $2 million payout that would have vested soon.
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EEOC bias complaints remained near record high in 2012

January 9, 2013
The U.S. economy’s slow rebound has done little to dampen employees’ enthusiasm for filing EEOC discrimination complaints.
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Lesson from Hooters: Leave nicknames off receipts

December 12, 2012

An Asian couple sued a Hooters restaurant in New York for racial bias after they discovered a slur printed in the customer ID field of their takeout receipt.

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Must we give extra pay for extra duties?

December 12, 2012
Q. We are short-staffed and some employees have been assigned extra tasks. Some have said they want more money because of this. Do we have to comply? — J.V., Indiana
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Applicant’s last boss not a reference; can I still call?

December 12, 2012

Q. I’d like to contact an applicant’s former supervisor, but that person wasn’t included in the applicant’s reference list. Can I call anyway? — T.K., Michigan

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Keep clear time records to answer the ‘Am I eligible for FMLA?’ question

December 12, 2012

One key criterion for employees to be eligible for Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave is that they must have worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months preceding the FMLA leave. That’s why it’s important to track employees’ hours, even hours worked by exempt employees, too.

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Salary negotiations: Take and retain notes

December 12, 2012

Sometimes an existing employee can earn less than a new employee who holds the same job. If that existing employee belongs to a protected class, he or she may fire off a pay-discrimination claim. That’s when interview notes documenting the salary negotiations come in handy.

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Warn bosses: Don’t say anything about medical conditions that may be covered by FMLA

December 3, 2012
Making comments about someone’s illness is both rude and unprofessional. It may also be the basis for a lawsuit. That’s reason enough to warn supervisors and managers against discussing medical problems related to FMLA leave
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Criminal backgrounds: Be careful when checking

November 14, 2012

A new study from CareerBuilder suggests that more than half—51%—of hiring managers say their organization has hired someone with a criminal record. But be careful if you delve into backgrounds of applicants.

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Can pizza replace pay during a ‘working’ lunch?

November 14, 2012

Q. When we receive a big order, our nonexempt employees are required to work through their lunch break. Although we do not pay them overtime for this work, we buy pizzas and sodas for all the affected workers. Although they seem to appreciate this gesture, is this lawful?

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