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Background Checks: Complying With The New Federal Rules

  Congress recently changed the Fair Credit Reporting Act to require employers who obtain background reports on applicants and employees to follow detailed new authorization and disclosure rules. In an earlier article we described how these rules apply to credit reports. In this follow-up story, we’ll explain what the new law means for employers who […]

Investigating Employee Complaints: New Case Raises Important Questions About When You Should—And Shouldn’t—Bring In Your Lawyer

An employee comes to you and complains of discrimination and harassment. You’re worried the charges may blow up into something big so you want to keep the matter confidential. Your first instinct may be to call in your lawyer to get to the bottom of things, but that isn’t always the wisest course. An employer […]

Retaliating Against Whistleblowers: Employer To Pay $4.5 Million To Fired Controller Who Reported Tax Violations

Unhappy employees who complain about how you do business can try a manager’s patience fast. It can be tempting to simply reject a disgruntled worker’s accusations-and even to discipline or terminate an employee who seems bent on charging your company with wrongdoing. But when an employee objects to one of your business practices, it’s a […]

News Notes: New Free Information for Employers on Discrimination Laws

A new fact sheet summarizing federal employment-related laws is available from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It’s geared toward smaller businesses, but contains a helpful overview of legal obligations that could be of interest to all employers. It covers subjects such as which employers are subject to federal employment laws, how employees are counted for […]

News Notes: “Serial” Harasser Costs Employer $1 Million

Three employees were awarded more than $1 million in damages after claiming that their employer failed to stop a co-worker who was harassing company employees for nearly two decades. The employees, who worked as customer service representatives for Ameritech Corp., alleged the co-worker had harassed 18 women over a 19-year period before finally being fired […]

News Notes: New Overtime Rules Coming January 1: Are You Ready?

As of January 1, 1998, most private-sector, non-union employees will be entitled to overtime only after 40 hours in a week rather than eight hours in a day. The industries affected are manufacturing; public housekeeping; professional, technical and clerical; mercantile; and transportation. If you’re covered, you need to be prepared. First, if you haven’t yet […]

Family And Medical Leave: How Much Notice Must Employees Give You? New Cases Shed Light On Two Common Problems

When the family leave laws were enacted, the issue of how much notice your employees must give before taking a leave seemed relatively simple. But it hasn’t turned out that way. Say, for example, your employee wants to change the dates of her family leave after you already made arrangements based on her earlier notice. […]