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Employment Law

Warn bosses: They may be held personally liable for hostile environment harassment

Warn supervisors: If they insult and abuse employees based on protected characteristics, they’re not just putting the company at risk. That kind of misbehavior may mean punitive damages against them personally.

Feel free to set tougher rules against harassment than the law requires

Employers can create rules to prohibit and prevent sexual harassment that go beyond the standards laid out in Title VII, state or local laws.

Warn supervisors: No vulgar name-calling

Here’s a reminder for HR professionals in charge of training programs for managers and supervisors: Warn bosses to refrain from name-calling that could be perceived as sexist or hostile.

FMLA covers some school-related absences

For years, employers have been told the FMLA doesn’t cover leave that employees take for their children’s school-related meetings and visits. But an eye-opening new U.S. Department of Labor opinion letter adds an important new exception to that rule.

ADA covers temporary disabilities, too

The ADA was enacted 18 years ago, but it’s still one of the most misunderstood employment laws. The hard part isn’t necessarily determining how to accommodate disabled employees. It’s figuring out which employees are disabled.

Track every disciplinary action in detail

Document all the details when you discipline or terminate. That way, you can review past discipline and compare it with currently proposed action. Similar conduct should result in similar punishment.

Overtime rule forwarded to White House for final review

The Department of Labor sent its long-awaited white-collar overtime rule to the White House for a final review on Aug. 12. If enacted, the rule would raise the minimum overtime salary threshold by 50% from the current $23,660.

Choose best method to set FMLA calendar

Employers can calculate the 12-week unpaid-leave entitlement by choosing one of four methods. Not choosing a method can prove dangerous, as a recent case shows.

Axed Goldman Sachs exec sues for anti-gay bias

A former executive at Goldman Sachs has sued the investment banking giant, claiming he was fired in retaliation for reporting anti-gay discrimination.

Isolated comments don’t make hostile environment—yet

A federal court has dismissed a hostile work environment lawsuit that was based on just a few isolated co-worker comments.