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Employment Law

Splitting hairs: When is a no-beard policy illegal?

Two recent court cases help draw the boundaries on how far you can go with a razor. Federal Express recently settled a lawsuit involving its no-beard policy and a Muslim …

Employees in ‘unique’ jobs can use broad comparisons to show pay bias

Nancy Kroh successfully sued for gender discrimination, claiming her male colleagues were treated more favorably. But on appeal, the court tossed the award out. The com-pany convinced the appeals court that …

Simple hearsay about harassment doesn’t create hostile environment

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 …

Cost-sharing can cost you in arbitration agreements

To get a job as an airport security agent, Damiana Perez had to agree to arbitrate all employment disputes. The agreement required her and the company to split the costs of …

Disabled worker isn’t entitled to work-at-home accommodation

Lynn Heaser blamed the air quality in her office at Toro for her health problems, which were diagnosed as everything from allergies to chemical sensitivities. She asked to work from …

Don’t ignore minority-on-minority harassment

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

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 …

Push for contraceptive coverage gets shove from federal court

If you’re not already covering prescription contraceptives with your health plan, there’s new pressure to do so. For the first time, a federal court has ruled that excluding …

Supreme Court to tackle cases on FMLA notice, ADA ‘direct threat’

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider two more controversial HR issues in its term which begins in October 2001. FMLA: The court will hear a challenge to …

Brush up religious-bias policy; workplace getting more diverse

More than a third of HR professionals say their work force includes more religions than just five years ago, according to a new survey from the Society for Human Resource …