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Mental Disabilities: New Conflicting Decisions About Loophole In California Law; More Claims Coming?

Dealing with employees who have emotional or psychological problems can be challenging both personally and legally. And now, handling these issues is trickier than ever in light of two recent conflicting cases on the definition of mental disability. Court Finds Loophole In the first case, brought against Bowersmith Inc. based in the Tulare County town […]

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Termination Agreements: Recent Case Says Commonly Used Language Exposes Employers To New Risks

When you ask an employee to sign an employment termination agreement in exchange for severance benefits or other payments, you probably include language making clear that the agreement supersedes any prior understandings there may have been between you and the employee. But a new case suggests this commonly used provision has some significant hidden risks—and […]

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Same-Sex Harassment: High Court Rules Same-Sex Harassment Is Illegal And Clarifies Standards For All Claims

Some employers pay little attention to dirty jokes, horseplay and locker room antics among male co-workers. But a new U.S. Supreme Court ruling makes it more important than ever to take a closer look at this kind of behavior. The court found that alleged sexual abuse of a male oil rig worker by his male […]

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Discharging Employees: NLRB Orders Non-Union Employer To Reinstate Worker Who Complained; Self-Defense Tips

An employee has been griping about your business practices almost from his first day of work. He shares his concerns with co-workers and then threatens to tell one of your clients about the problems. Before letting that happen, you decide to terminate him. Were you within your rights? According to a new ruling, the answer […]

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Sexual Harassment: Court Broadens Your Responsibility For Supervisor’s Misconduct—Even If You Didn’t

You think you’ve done everything by the book. Someone complains that she has been sexually harassed, you immediately conduct aprompt and thorough investigation, and you decide to terminate the accused harasser, a low-level supervisor. But you’re sued for sexual harassment nevertheless, and the court rules against you. Why? Because you can be liable for harassment […]

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Employee Misconduct: High Court Says Public Employers Can Punish Workers Who Lie In Investigations; How New Ruling Could Affect You

When employees are accused of misconduct, their first instinct may be to say they didn’t do it. But under a new U.S. Supreme Court ruling, public employer scan impose additional punishment on workers who deny an accusationthat later proves to be true. This seemingly straightforward decisioncould have some unexpected consequences, however, as employers may find […]

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Alternatives To Litigation: Employee Peer Review—How Does It Work? Is It Right For You?

An employee is accused of violating a company rule, and after investigating you decidetermination is appropriate. The worker continues to claim innocence and accuses you of unfair treatment. Typically their next step would be to call a lawyer or complain to a government agency.But some employees now have another option: peer review by a committee […]

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Preventing Sexual Harassment: A Self-Audit Checklist

The possibility of facing a sexual harassment claim can make any employer nervous. And investigating a workplace harassment charge is frequently uncomfortable for all parties involved. To make matters worse, the line between illegal harassment and offensive but harmless office banter can be fuzzy at best.

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Administering Family Leave: Court Looks At When You Can Get A Second Medical Opinion; A Step-By-Step Guide

An employee who requests family leave for a serious illness can be asked to submit medical verification of the need for the leave. But what if you don’t believe the person is medically entitled to the leave? Can youseek a second opinion? A new ruling from a federal appeals courtconfirms that you have the right […]

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