• The HR Specialist - Print Newsletter
  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
  • The HR Weekly

Discipline / Investigations

Pursue harassment claims, even if complaining worker backs off

You know to investigate harassment complaints when they land on your desk. But what if the complaining employee shows a lack of interest in her initial complaint, …

Pursue claims, even if complaining worker backs off

Issue: Courts place the burden on employers to complete investigations of sexual harassment complaints, even in the face of reluctant complainants.
Risk: Failing to pursue complaints actively will come back …

Investigating workplace harassment: 10 steps to success

Issue: Responding to employee harassment complaints is a high-stakes venture.
Risk: A botched investigation can damage employee moral and spark a lawsuit.
Action: Make sure you (or any manager …

Don’t dock exempt worker for partial-Day absence


Q. If an exempt employee has no more paid leave left, can he take a couple hours off without pay? We’d just manually adjust his salary to reflect this. —A.D., Pennsylvania

Managers can refuse bias-tainted orders, court says

Issue: Courts won’t consider a manager “insubordinate” for ignoring a boss’s order if the manager believes the order is discriminatory. Risk: Increases danger of retaliation …

Don’t let abusive staff use disability as excuse; you can fire for behavior

Don’t allow employees to use their disabilities as justification for poor behavior, especially if it clearly threatens your workplace. Even if an employee is …

Employee handbooks: Craft with care to secure ‘at-will’ policy

THE LAW. While law doesn’t directly regulate employee handbooks, they are extremely important legal tools. A handbook documents your policies, builds trust …

One ‘come-on’ can equal sexual harassment

Don’t hesitate to discipline first-time sexual-harassment violators. Even one outrageous comment or act, if severe enough, can make your company liable for fostering …

‘Possibility’ of serious illness wins coverage

The rule has been drummed into your brain: An employee can take job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) if he suffers from a …

Heads up: Workers can sue over ‘potty parity.’

A manufacturing firm’s new plant had only one restroom, which was designed for men. Female workers were told they had to use that restroom during work hours, …