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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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Severance Agreements: Older Worker Who Signs Release Can Still Sue You; Supreme Court Rules

Once a terminated employeehas signed a release promising not to sue and has cashed theirseverance check, you probably think you are free from their legalclaims against you. In most cases, you’d be right. But you couldbe in for an expensive surprise if the employee is 40 years orolder and your paperwork isn’t perfect. That’s because […]

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News Notes: Commercial Driver Random Alcohol Testing Rules Revised

Under federal Department of Transportation rules, if you employone or more commercial drivers who operate certain types of vehicles, you must comply with detailed drug and alcohol testing, training and record keeping regulations. As of January 1, 1998, the percentage of drivers you’re obligated to randomly test for alcohol use has been lowered from 25% […]

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