• The HR Specialist - Print Newsletter
  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
  • The HR Weekly

Policies / Handbooks

Access to Personnel Files: 50 State Laws

No federal law grants employees the right to inspect their personnel files. However, many states do give employees that right and spell out the terms under which employees are allowed to inspect their files. Here’s a state-by-state list of laws governing access to personnel files.

Can you rein in political speech at work?

Most employers would prefer employees focus on work and not the state of the world when they are on the clock. So how can you quell political arguments in the workplace? You must balance employees’ interest in speaking freely with your interest in maintaining order and productivity:

A DEI smackdown: Good intentions vs. the law

In the blue corner, from the Big D, the former owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team and serial entrepreneur Mark Cuban. And in the red corner, hailing from our nation’s capital, EEOC Commissioner Andrea Lucas.

Committed to DEI? Here’s how to make it work

While diversity, equity and inclusion programs have recently come under fire, the Littler Mendelson law firm’s just-released Inclusion, Equity and Diversity C-Suite Survey Report found that most employers remain committed to DEI initiatives. Here are several ways you can leverage DEI to improve organizational performance.

Docking pay for snow-day absences: When is it legal?

The snow’s coming down pretty good and an exempt employee calls to say she can’t make it in today because her car is stuck. Can you deduct a full day’s pay from her salary for that missed day? What if she’s non-exempt? What if you close work because of bad weather? Here’s guidance—and a handy flowchart—to help you make the call.

Get written acknowledgment for every missed shift

Employers that have clear rules and apply them fairly seldom lose termination lawsuits—if they can prove their employees understood the rules. One of the best ways to demonstrate that is by consistently having workers acknowledge that they broke a rule. Do this at the time you discipline the worker, pointing out what rule they broke. A brief written disciplinary notice with a space for the employee’s signature should to the trick.

Know the limits on banning weapons at work

Employers are required to keep their employees safe at work. To that end, many ban weapons of any kind on company premises. But depending on your location, that may or may not be permissible.

As Valentine’s Day approaches, review policies addressing sexual harassment

With February comes Valentine’s Day, as good an excuse as any to review your company communications policies so employees understand there are limits on how, where and when they can embrace the spirit of romance at work.

Prepare to comply: Pregnant Workers Fairness Act regulations due soon

The EEOC is gearing up to begin enforcement of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. The law, enacted in December 2022, requires employers to reasonably accommodate a worker’s limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, unless the accommodation will cause the employer an undue hardship.

Majority of workers already use generative AI, but company policies lag

More than half of U.S. employees are already using generative artificial intelligence tools, at least occasionally, to accomplish work-related tasks. Yet some three-quarters of companies still lack an established, clearly communicated organizational AI policy.