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Tread Carefully With Drug Test, Psychiatric Help


Q. Can we suggest psychiatric help for an employee who we suspect may be having trouble with substance abuse? And can we require a random drug test? —H.J., Texas

Employ workers outside America? Two rulings boost your legal risks

1. EU harassment rule. Employers in Europe will need to do a better job of preventing sexual harassment. Reason: A newly approved European Union (EU) directive, which takes effect in 2005, …

Mean-spirited office pranks carry heavy price

When a manager at an auto body shop went to the restroom, two fellow employees picked the lock, entered and took a photograph of him while urinating. They distributed the picture …

Employees have no privacy claim to company-supplied home PC

For 12 years, a senior insurance executive used two company- provided computers, one at the office and one at his home. He had signed his company’s computer policy, agreeing to use …

Quality checks of phone calls don’t give you license to eavesdrop

An administrative sales assistant at an insurance agency quit after learning that her personal phone calls were being monitored and recorded by her company through a hidden tape recorder. …

HIPAA health care privacy rules: They do apply to you

It’s a common misconception: Employers have been lulled into thinking that the strict privacy provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) apply only to health care providers …

Personnel files: What to keep, and where


Q. What should we keep in personnel files? —G.T., Missouri

Don’t invite EEOC to fish through your files

When dealing with the federal government, sometimes too much compliance can get you in trouble. What happened? When the Equal Employment Oppor-tunity Commission (EEOC) got a complaint about racial discrimination …

Evacuation plan? New guide helps you avoid ADA complaints

If you’re revamping your workplace evacuation plans in the wake of Sept. 11, check out new guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The problem: In determining who …

Filing suit to protect trade secrets won’t kill your arbitration rights

MicroStrategy put the head of its HR department, Betty Lauricia, on paid leave soon after she filed a discrimination claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Lauricia had an arbitration …