Equal opportunity for women trumps even outrageous reaction to resignation

December 19, 2011
A boss’s secret preju­dice won’t support an employee’s sex-bias lawsuit if the employer provides equal opportunities to both men and women. That’s true even if the sexist boss reacts outrageously when the subordinate quits.
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Is every function really essential? Be flexible about disabled employees’ duties

December 19, 2011
An employer has learned the hard way that insisting every function of a job is essential is a bad policy when it comes to employees with disabilities.
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Team up for termination meetings; going solo could trigger lawsuit

December 19, 2011
When terminating an employee, never meet one-on-one. Instead, make sure at least two company representatives are present at all times. The reason? If you meet alone, you give the employee an opportunity to put words in your mouth—words that may end up as evidence against you in court.
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Drug test leads to disability bias suit against Chicago firm

December 19, 2011
Employers know to be wary of drug tests because they sometimes falsely show that someone has been using illegal drugs. Now Chicago-based United Insurance has learned of another danger: Drug tests can t­rigger disability discrimination lawsuits.
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Defend against hidden bias: Follow policies

December 19, 2011
HR can and should serve as a check on overzealous supervisors who want to mete out discipline to those they don’t like while ignoring problems with those they favor. Insist that no final termination or disciplinary actions go through without clear documentation that supervisors followed all the rules.
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The dozen leave laws California employers must know

December 16, 2011

Dealing with the multitude of federal and state laws governing leaves of absence in California can leave employers feeling lost and dis­­oriented—and expose even the most well-intentioned employer to liability. The best prevention is education.

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San Francisco janitors reach accord to end bias suit

December 16, 2011

The EEOC recently entered into a consent decree resolving a race discrimination lawsuit with ABM Industries. The federal agency sued the company in 2009, claiming it discriminated against Hispanic janitors who worked in San Francisco office buildings.

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Harassment among the orchids yields settlement in Oxnard

December 16, 2011
One of the largest orchid farms in the United States—Cyma Orchids in Oxnard—will pay $240,000 after the EEOC moved to root out an infestation of sexual harassment.
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Simply failing to find work doesn’t prove defamation

December 16, 2011
When employees are fired, they may have a hard time getting another job. Sometimes, they suspect their former employer is providing a bad reference. And often, a defamation lawsuit will follow.
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Employees must apply before suing for failure to promote

December 16, 2011
Supervisors don’t have crystal balls that help them tell the future or read employees’ minds. Unless an em­­ployee expresses an interest in being promoted, they don’t have to consider him for open positions.
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