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Employee Relations

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

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. …

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 …

Study: Race colors perceptions of workplace discrimination

A new national survey of 1,000 workers portrays sharply different views of how minorities are treated at work, and should serve as a wake-up call to employers. One key …

Reject accommodation requests that harm business relationships

Elizabeth Anderson, an office worker for a shipping firm, regularly ended her conversations and written communications with customers with the words, “Have a blessed day.” After her employer got a …

Enforcing Sales Quotas


Q. As a large retail business, we employ several “demo staffers” who present products to shoppers in the hope they’ll buy them. Recently, given economic pressures, we’ve had to put increasing pressure on our demo staff to increase sales up to 200 percent. If a demo staffer doesn’t meet the new goal, can we terminate her? Do these workers have legal recourse should they be fired? —T.P., California

Employees must ‘fess up about their need for leave

Linda Collins’ attendance record at work was spotty at best. Her employer warned her more than a dozen times, including four formal warnings. But when she again called in sick two …

Educate employees on new benefit-law changes

Few workers seem aware that last year’s new tax law lets them save more in their 401(k) plans this year, perhaps because most companies haven’t told them. Only 30 percent …

States up the ante in harassment liability

Two pivotal Supreme Court decisions in 1998 gave employers a powerful new weapon to defend themselves when sued because of harassment by a supervisor. But recent rulings in a handful of …