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HR Management

Lack of company policy turns TV into $100,000 issue

Are prizes employees win on company time the property of the company or the employee? That issue erupted when Kenneth Byrne, a manager at a used car dealership, won a raffle …

Can you give inferior benefits to disabled retirees? Courts split

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin) recently ruled that a company doesn’t violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it provides less generous retirement benefits …

Prepare for new injury, illness recordkeeping rules in 2002

Get familiar now with new rules for tracking workplace injuries and illnesses that take effect Jan. 1, 2002. The new Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations add and subtract …

Beware legal traps of hiring online reference checkers

Since Sept. 11, security fears have sent companies scurrying to do criminal background checks on job applicants. Many companies are outsourcing this function to Web-based reference checkers. But beware: Some …

The countersuit: How to fire back at frivolous lawsuits

When a disgruntled employee files a meritless lawsuit against your company, don’t just defend yourself. Call his bluff by filing a …

Build a firewall against Internet, e-mail liabilities

Whether you have a work force of three or 3,000, any time you let a worker use your e-mail or Internet service, you’re putting your company at risk for lawsuits and …

When threats loom, follow officials’ advice


Q. In light of the recent anthrax attacks, we are concerned about the potential health risks to our employees from handling incoming mail—and the potential legal risks to us. What should we be doing to protect them and ourselves? —V.B., Ohio

Don’t hamstring defense by detailing termination


Q. We recently terminated an employee. He claims that he is legally entitled to a letter outlining the reasons for his discharge. Is he correct? —E.T., Maryland

Off-Duty Parties Sometimes Carry Liability


Q. A recent sexual harassment complaint reported the conduct of management employees at a private party. The party was outside the normal workday and wasn’t sponsored by the company. What is the company’s liability? —W.S., Wisconsin

‘Paid time off’ bank
avoids sick-leave policing

Q Our policy grants workers five sick days per year. Should we make sure employees aren’t using these days for other purposes? —T.W., Maryland