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HR Management

Poorly drafted policies grant unintended rights

Dr. Tina Thomas, an optometrist with Pearle Vision Inc., requested maternity leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). After all, a summary of employee benefits said “all employees with …

Splitting hairs: When is a no-beard policy illegal?

Two recent court cases help draw the boundaries on how far you can go with a razor. Federal Express recently settled a lawsuit involving its no-beard policy and a Muslim …

Simple hearsay about harassment doesn’t create hostile environment

When Diane Leibovitz heard that two employees of the New York City Transit Authority had been harassed, she claimed that made her a victim of a hostile environment and filed …

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