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Employee Relations

Working miracles isn’t part of accommodation process

Louis Cosme applied for a promotion at the Postal Service even though he knew it would require him to work on some Saturdays, the day that he observed the Sabbath through …

Need incentive to brush up anti-discrimination policy? Here it is

In April, six female employees of a grocery chain won a record $30.6 million from a California jury in a sexual harassment lawsuit, far larger than any previous verdict in an …

You can provide benefit plan documents electronically

New Labor Department rules say employers can use electronic means to give employees benefits information, like summary plan descriptions, individual benefit statements and COBRA notices. The rules even allow more options, …

Avoid Liability for ‘Porn Spam’


Q. Some of our employees have been getting a lot of spam e-mail that advertises porn sites. I’m concerned that an employee will consider this junk as creating a hostile work environment. What can we do to protect ourselves? —M.C., Minnesota

React fast, firmly to harassment; courts will reward your judgment

A political cover-up usually gets people in bigger trouble than the crime itself. The same is true in the workplace. Trying to sweep employee misbehavior under the rug will only dig …

Driving while dialing: Set policy to limit car-phone liability

Many companies have policies regarding telephone calls at work. But these policies often fall short of including the use of phones and other wireless devices for business while driving. Don’t let …

FMLA Won’t Cover Tardiness


Q. Some of our employees routinely ask to use FMLA when they are five, 10 or 15 minutes late. It creates a scheduling nightmare and hurts morale. Does FMLA cover employees who are consistently tardy for work? —M.P., Florida

Notification error doesn’t extend FMLA rights

Your company no longer has to worry about giving extra leave to an employee if you fail to designate the employee’s leave as counting toward her Family and Medical Leave Act …

COBRA notification requires only a ‘good faith’ effort

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling that an employer who sent a COBRA continuation insurance notice to a former employee at his last known address via certified mail …

Sept. 11 attacks affecting attitudes, rulings of juries

Companies facing jury trials in the near future need to understand that jury attitudes have shifted since the Sept. 11 attacks, says a report by the American Bar Association. …