Category: HR Hero Line

HR best practices, employment law tips, news and analysis, Q&As, and lessons learned from the courtroom.

HR Audit: A Measure of Success

Not unlike an annual employee performance evaluation, an HR or employment law audit provides an objective means to measure the effectiveness of HR functions with respect to productivity, efficiency, and morale, among others. As a risk-management tool, an audit can identify obsolete or ineffective practices and flag compliance issues. In fact, employment practices liability insurance […]

It’s the Cover-up, Once Again

by Larry Bumgardner “It’s the cover-up, not the crime.” You’ve probably heard that adage hundreds of times. The phrase dates back at least to Watergate days of the 1970s. After the 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee offices at the Watergate complex in Washington, investigative reporters started looking for ties to the Nixon White […]

Disaster Preparedness Checklist for Employers: Part 2

The 2007 hurricane season started June 1, and experts at the National Weather Service’s Hurricane Center predict it’s going to be a busy year. Last week, we examined what employers need to do before disaster strikes. This week, we’ll look at what you need to do during and after a disaster strikes. Even if you […]

Bilingual Job Requirement OK’ed by Court

Here’s an interesting twist on a question we get all the time. We’re often asked, “Can I have an English-only rule in the workplace?” The answer is generally no, unless there are very strong business reasons dictating it. In this case, the question was, “Can I require a bilingual workforce?” The court said the answer […]

Disaster Preparedness Checklist for Employers: Part 1

As the 2007 hurricane season starts today (June 1), it’s time for employers to review and update their disaster preparedness and response plans. And it’s time to review our updated checklist, originally prepared following our own and others’ experiences from the 2005 hurricane season, including Hurricane Katrina. The time is right for all employers to […]

The Ins and Outs of the Interview

by Amy M. McLaughlin The Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently determined that a job applicant presented enough disputed information for his age discrimination case to be submitted to a jury, rather than dismissed. The applicant claimed that the individuals who interviewed him had an age bias against him and preferred the younger applicants. […]

Can Employers Apply USERRA Differently for Workers Who Volunteer for Service?

Q: Our Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) policy is administered differently for employees ordered into military service or leave and those who volunteer for military leave. The policy states that for ordered military leave shorter than 31 days, the company will pay the employee’s normal rate of pay. For voluntary military leaves, […]

Imus in the Mourning

by Mark I. Schickman I’ve received lots of e-mails recently about the major conflict still waging over the recent firing of eight U.S. attorneys. You wrote that the U.S. government, as an employer, should be able to fire any employee, so what was wrong if the Attorney General or the President had them fired? That […]

Employer Has Close Call in Discimination Case

by Tara Eberline The full Tenth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned an earlier ruling by a three-member panel of the same court by ruling that an employee didn’t have enough evidence of national origin discrimination to submit his claims to a jury. The case, which has received national attention, arose after the employer […]

Family Responsibility Discrimination

Consider the following two scenarios: A male employee requests extended leave to provide at-home care to a sick child. Instead of evaluating the request based on his eligibility for leave, the employer questions why the child’s mother can’t care for her. A qualified female employee with two preschool children is considered a “poor fit” for […]