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HR Management

Don’t require returning workers to be ‘100 percent healed’

After recuperating from a back injury, Dana Henderson received clearance from her doctor to return to work at Ardco, with limitations. She wasn’t allowed to stoop or bend, …

You can limit domestic partner benefits to same-sex couples

If you’re thinking about extending benefits to employees’ domestic partners, be prepared to defend any limits. When the Chicago school board decided to extend spousal health benefits to domestic partners …

Tell employee the complete reason for firing.

Rodney Smith was told he was being fired from his probation officer’s job because he violated the employer’s drug and alcohol policy. In court, the county claimed Smith was fired for …

Make sure your accommodations are on par with Casey Martin ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that the PGA Tour must allow disabled golfer Casey Martin to ride in a cart during tournaments isn’t based on employment law, but that doesn’t mean …

Which companies must make their facilities accessible to disabled customers?

Under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a dozen categories of businesses must make their public places accessible to customers and clients. These places must make reasonable accommodations in …

Playing doctor: What’s a ‘serious’ condition under FMLA?

Since 1993, employees have been able to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for their own “serious health condition” or to tend to a child, spouse or …

Urge Staff to Visit Doctor During Off-Duty Hours


Q. We don’t usually require employees to provide documentation when they take time off for doctors’ appointments, but one worker has a pattern of scheduling these “appointments” on the Friday before holiday weekends. Can we request verification from the doctor’s office on a case-by-case basis? —J.B., Washington

Limit Employees’ Use of Phone While Driving


Q. The animal care officers who work for us spend 80 percent of their time driving and responding to rescue calls via cell phone. Requiring them to pull off the road while talking on their phones wouldn’t work. Is there another way to limit our liability? —D.R., Florida

Employee documents: When to store, when to shred

There’s no sense in becoming a pack rat if you don’t need to. While the legal requirements to retain records are complex, you’re probably safe in dumping those 1984 vacation-day requests. …

Vacation policy could jeopardize at-Will rights


Q. Under our written company policy, an employee who fails to give 20 working days’ notice before resigning forfeits any earned vacation days. Is this policy lawful? —C.R., Wisconsin