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Employee Relations

Investigate complaints, pronto

09/01/2001
The male workers at an Azteca restaurant constantly mocked Antonio Sanchez for his effeminate ways. They swore at him and referred to the waiter as “she” and “her.” Sanchez finally …

Get Certification Before Granting FMLA Leave

09/01/2001

Q. An employee told her supervisor that she needed surgery. We approved time off under the FMLA with the understanding that she would provide certification after the leave began. We later discovered that this “necessary” procedure was liposuction. Can we revoke approval of medical leave under FMLA and convert sick hours used to vacation hours instead? Can we fire her based on inappropriate use of the FMLA? —T.S., Florida

Privacy Laws Protect Most Phone Conversations

08/01/2001

Q. I’m considering instituting a policy at my company that would permit me to record my employees’ phone conversations. Can I record employee phone calls without their consent? —P.C., Michigan

Simple hearsay about harassment doesn’t create hostile environment

08/01/2001
When Diane Leibovitz heard that two employees of the New York City Transit Authority had been harassed, she claimed that made her a victim of a hostile environment and filed …

Don’t ignore minority-on-minority harassment

08/01/2001
Steven Bell worked at a state prison with a co-worker who often hurled racial epithets at him, calling him “cracker” and “white boy.” Bell is Filipino and his harasser is …

Partial-week suspensions can strip workers’ exempt status

08/01/2001
Los Angeles and its Department of Water and Power occasionally suspended salaried employees without pay, and now it may have to pony up overtime for groups of employees. The …

Supreme Court lets stand ruling that limits employee’s FMLA rights

07/01/2001
The U.S. Supreme Court has let stand a lower-court ruling that minimizes the impact when an employer fails to notify a worker promptly that he is ineligible for time off under …

Don’t drag feet on accommodation; delay can equal discrimination

07/01/2001
Part of Rose Selenke’s job as a radiology technician involved developing mammography films. She suffered from sinus problems and frequently complained about fumes in the darkroom. The first time her …

Requests for accommodation must be reasonable

06/01/2001
After an argument between Manuella Reed and a co-worker, her plant manager told Reed she should walk away from altercations and contact a supervisor. Months later, Reed got into a heated …

Supreme Court: One crude remark doesn’t equal hostile environment

06/01/2001
A supervisor reviewing reports on job applicants with two other employees noted that one candidate had told a co-worker, “I hear that making love to you is like making love to …