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Union blog’s sexist comments about manager constitutionally protected, not discriminatory, says court

by Nicole Singh Canadian tribunals have consistently ruled that communications by employees on social media can be viewed as an extension of the workplace. Improper communication on such platforms can therefore be considered a form of workplace discrimination under Canadian human rights laws. Discipline or termination can sometimes be appropriate. However, in the decision Taylor-Baptiste […]

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Paid leave among priorities in DOL budget proposal

A $2 billion paid leave initiative as well as millions for enforcement of laws on equal opportunity, wage and hour issues, safety, whistleblowing, and retirement security are among the priorities outlined in President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2016 budget for the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). On February 2, the DOL announced that the budget […]

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Massachusetts set for highest minimum wage in U.S.

by Susan G. Fentin Massachusetts is set to soon have the highest minimum wage in the country. On June 26, Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill that will raise the state’s minimum wage from $8 per hour to $11 an hour by 2017, the highest statewide minimum wage in the country and a full 50 […]

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Employers Must Consider Transferring Employees Who Require Specialized Medical Care

Employers must consider transferring employees with disabilities so they can be close to medical care, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Sanchez v. Vilsack (No. 11-2118 (10th Cir. Sept. 19, 2012)). Clarice Sanchez worked as a secretarial employee for the U.S. Forest Service. When she fell at work, she sustained brain damage […]

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South Dakota Voters Just Say No to Medical Marijuana

By Jane Pfeifle Though a similar measure was narrowly defeated in 2006, this year South Dakota resoundingly rejected Initiative 13, which called for the legalization of medical marijuana. As a result employers can breathe a sigh of relief because the measure raised numerous questions about how they might be called on to respond to employees […]

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Legal issues associated with dating in the workplace

by Kylie Crawford TenBrook According to a 2012 Stanford University sociology study, 10 percent of people meet their spouses at work. Coworker dating is common. Unfortunately, not all relationships end well, and when they don’t, employers can face harassment and retaliation claims. Although most businesses have no rules about office relationships, now may be the […]

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Federal sector employers have right to dismiss without cause, too

by Bonny Mak Waterfall There’s good news for Canadian employers in the federal sector—those engaged in federal works and undertakings such as airlines, airports, railways, banking, interprovincial transportation, and telecommunications. For many years, employers in Canada’s federal sector understood that they did not have the right to dismiss employees without cause unless such termination was […]

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Here we go again: dealing with political discussions in the workplace

by T. Harold Pinkley As election season heats up, we thought it would be worthwhile to remind you about important issues to consider when you’re dealing with discussions about politics in the workplace. We hope our readers will relate to the experiences of Gertrude, the fictional HR director featured in this article. The phone call […]

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North Dakota employers need to be ready for new smoking law

by Lisa Edison-Smith North Dakota employers need to take steps to comply with a new antismoking law that will take effect on December 6, 2012. On November 6, voters approved Measure 4 by a 2-1 margin. The law “prohibit[s] smoking, including the use of electronic smoking devices, in public places and most places of employment […]

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