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Employment Law

Telemedicine OK to certify need to grant FMLA leave

The Department of Labor now considers a telemedicine consultation with a health care provider sufficient to determine someone has a serious health condition that warrants FMLA leave.

Search EEOC’s new database of EEO-1 info

The EEOC has just released a searchable database of the EEO-1 data it collects each year from large employers. It’s called EEOC Explore, and it can be a valuable resource for HR pros interested in benchmarking diversity initiatives and auditing hiring practices for possible bias.

#MeToo era: Say goodbye to token settlements

Once upon a time, employers could make many sex discrimination and harassment complaints go away with a discreet, relatively small settlement. That’s a fairy tale now.

Beware NLRB lawsuits that allege worker retaliation

The EEOC isn’t the only enforcement agency that can file a retaliation lawsuit. The National Labor Relations Board can, too. Even employers with nonunion workforces may find themselves in the NLRB’s crosshairs if they bar discussing working conditions.

Ignore harassment complaints, plan on lawsuit

Some managers mistakenly assume that if they ignore harassment complaints long enough, victims will quit and the problem will disappear. That’s wishful thinking.

Disability is no excuse for breaking work rules

Workplace discrimination laws don’t give a free pass to employees who violate legitimate work rules. Don’t let fear of being sued stop you from disciplining workers who deserve it.

Identify pay disparities, correct them now

Here’s a reminder that employers should proactively revise their pay practices with an eye toward ending pay disparities. The fact is, agencies such as the EEOC are going all out to make sure women are paid as much as men, even if the differences are small or don’t last long.

Automated interviews raise bias concerns

By automating part of the hiring process, there’s less scheduling hassle and more opportunity to quickly screen out clearly unqualified and unsuitable applicants while identifying the most promising candidates. But there are also disadvantages.

Stamp out supervisors’ racist behavior, racist slurs

Make sure every supervisor understands that you do not tolerate any form of racism on the job, including use of racial slurs. Employers often pay dearly when bigotry rears its ugly head at work.

It’s up to HR to foster workplace civility

American society is as polarized as it has been in decades. We have just completed a bitterly divisive election. Public discourse and even private conversations are angry. That same coarseness can permeate the workplace unless employers intervene. But employers must be careful not to chill protected speech when they try to enforce civility.