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Heed the Legal Risks of Employee Weight-Loss Programs


Forcing your well-meaning health-improvement plan could backfire. Discrimination and privacy issues could derail your goal. Immunize your program against potential legal ills using these five tips …

Can you search employee lockers, purses, desks?


Q. Can we open an employee’s personal things, like her locker, purse or desk drawer, if we suspect her of stealing? —A.G., Connecticut

Monitoring Internet usage? You’re not alone


Three quarters of employers responding to a new American Management Association survey said they monitor how employees spend their time online at work …

Solving the Case of the ‘Stinky Staffer’


Q. We have a “stinky employee” problem. How do I go about telling this person that she has a horrible smell and it’s now affecting some of my other staff? —S.H., Washington

How to cope with seriously ill employees

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Don’t require staff to give emergency contact info


Q. We’re cleaning up our personnel files and updating emergency contact information. Some employees don’t want to provide their contact information. Is it legal for us to require them to give it to us? —S.S., California

Set a clear policy on confidential talks with employees


Should you guarantee employees confidentiality when they voice complaints to you or to supervisors? Blanket promises of confidentiality could blow up in your face; some laws require you to report illegal or unethical conduct …

Asking for Test Results Is OK if a ‘Business Necessity’


The ADA prohibits you from seeking medical information simply to find out if the person has a disability. You can, however, seek such details to discover whether a person is medically fit to perform the job duties. Don’t shy away from every medical inquiry; just make sure it’s based on a legitimate business necessity …

Do you need a blog policy? Ask yourself 3 questions


Employment policies often must adapt to changes in culture and technology, and the explosion of blogs is one such example. Disgruntled employees often use their blogs to attacks employers, spread gossip about co-workers or even publish suggestive pictures of themselves. Ask yourself the following questions to see if you need a blog policy …

What to include in a camera-Phone policy


Q. I’m looking to create a company policy regarding cell phones with photographic capabilities. Any suggestions? —L.B., California