Incident may be ‘creepy’ but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s harassment

December 9, 2015
Here’s some good news: Just because a supervisor says or does something stupid or tasteless doesn’t mean the employer will suffer. Take an isolated incident that might be characterized as odd or creepy. While perhaps uncomfortable for the employees involved, most of the time it won’t result in a successful lawsuit.
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Petty annoyances aren’t reason enough to sue

December 1, 2015
Some employees seem to believe they are owed a perfect workplace, free of all stress. They’re wrong.
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FMLA leave for sibling care? It’s possible

December 1, 2015
A DOL ruling last year that clarified the definition of “son or daughter” under the FMLA opens up the potential for employees to take leave to care for siblings or other family and nonfamily members. If the employee is serving in the parental role for a sick child, he or she may be eligible.
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Résumé reveals disability? How to respond

November 16, 2015
Don’t allow hiring managers to quickly sort résumés from disabled applicants into the “No” pile. It’s an increasingly popular practice, a new study shows, but decidedly unlawful.
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A common FMLA question: Intermittent leave for a spouse’s care?

November 15, 2015
Q: “An employee has requested intermittent leave so she can call out to stay with her husband if he has an asthma attack. Do we have to grant it?” – Vernon, Alabama
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Dishonesty at any level? You can fire

November 13, 2015
Employees terminated for dishonesty aren’t entitled to unemployment compensation benefits. And being dishonest can involve breaking company rules to gain an advantage even if there’s no direct theft involved. Just be sure that before you terminate the worker for breaking the rule, you document the incident and can explain why you believe she acted dishonestly.
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Software subtracts ‘idle time’? Beware

November 13, 2015
If you use an automated system to track how much time your employees are “working” at their computers, be forewarned. Subtracting those minutes from the workday may violate both the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provisions and the Minnesota Payment of Wages Act (MPWA). Employees paid on an hourly basis must be paid for all time worked, and subtracting for so-called idle time without some way for employees to correct their pay may mean litigation.
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Give worker job back after 3 years in Army?

November 12, 2015
Q. We have an employee who has been on active duty with the U.S. Army for the past three years. We long ago filled his position. The employee has now advised us that he has completed his military service, and wants to return to work. While we value his service, we have no work available. What are our legal obligations? 
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Same person sends hundreds of applications? Don’t fall into discrimination lawsuit trap

November 12, 2015

Sometimes an eager candidate will apply for several jobs with the same employer. If you are sure he or she isn’t qualified, you don’t have to agree to an interview for each open position. Be aware that if you do interview him for one of the positions and choose someone else outside his protected class, he may sue and argue he was much better qualified than whoever you did choose.

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Skipping disciplinary meeting is insubordination

October 29, 2015
An employee who refuses to attend a disciplinary meeting and is terminated as a result probably isn’t eligible for unemployment benefits. It amounts to insubordination and willful misconduct.
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