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HR Management

Take all steps needed for accurate time records


Q. About a year ago, our company replaced manual time clocks and punch cards with a computerized system, so each employee would punch in and out on the computer. The information is downloaded directly to the payroll department. Despite numerous reminders, from stickers to manager meetings, we still have a chronic problem of employees failing to clock in or out of work. Any suggestions? —M.M., Minnesota

Maternity leave repayment may be discriminatory


Q. Our maternity leave policy offers paid leave for female employees who plan to return to work after the birth of the child. If the employee quits before returning to work, she’s required to reimburse the company for the paid leave. Is this lawful? —A.C., Maryland

Employees must know company disclosure limits


Q. During a recent Internet chat room exchange, an individual self-identified as an employee came to our company’s defense over a recent drop in stock price. The employee came dangerously close to disclosing information about earnings that were not yet public. What should we do? —C.F., New Jersey

Protect disabled staff from harassment

Starting today, plan to revise your anti-harassment policies and instruct your staff that harassment based on a worker’s disability is against the law. Reason: In a pair of landmark rulings, two …

Employee’s religious belief doesn’t let her dictate your business

Sandra Bruff was a counselor for an employee assistance program (EAP), but she balked at helping employees deal with their homosexual or extramarital relationships. That kind of advice violated her religious …

Get separate signature to enforce arbitration agreements

When Lupe Romo filed suit after being fired, her employer argued that she had to take her complaint to arbitration. Reason: An agreement to arbitrate was part of the employee handbook, …

Don’t withhold promised severance when a former employee files suit

When Shawn Bernstein lost his job in a company merger, he sued under just about every discrimination law imaginable. The court threw out those claims, saying the company had legitimate reasons …

Don’t let policies rot on a shelf; educate staff or lose your defense

Sprint wasn’t ignorant of sexual harassment. The company had distributed a human resources policy guide to all employees in 1990 and posted it in all offices. Its code of ethics urges …

Informal vacation policy can cost you.

Don’t leave any doubt about when workers are on vacation. Michael Pelletier’s employer fired him after 20 years on the job, claiming he failed to show up for three days …

Be clear which company is the employer.

Tri-Me Transportation was the company that paid Geri Heinemeier and the one she listed as her employer. When Heinemeier sued the company for sexual harassment, the judge ordered Tri-Me to …