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Policies / Handbooks

Cost of misguided English-only rule: $50,000

07/06/2017
Most “English-only” policies violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. They are not strictly unlawful, but courts and the EEOC have regularly ruled that employers must be able to demonstrate a legitimate business reason for having such a policy.

Just because handbook doesn’t address issue doesn’t mean employees can’t sue

07/03/2017
The fact that a handbook doesn’t address a particular subject does not mean that employees who believe there are pertinent unwritten rules can’t get class certification to sue over an allegedly informal policy.

The law is enough: Handbook doesn’t create extraordinary right to sue for retaliation

06/28/2017
Many state and federal statutes make it unlawful for employers to retaliate against employees who file internal discrimination complaints or otherwise claim that some wrongdoing has occurred. These laws have specific, and limited, remedies.

Is what we wear to work up to [dress] code?

06/27/2017
Casual dress codes cause confusion for many workers, new research from staffing firm OfficeTeam shows.

Document that you held anti-harassment training

06/19/2017
It’s easier to defeat sexual harassment lawsuits if you have a robust anti-harassment policy and let employees know exactly how to use it. The key is to prove that the worker knew about the policy but failed to use it.

Never fire to avoid paying expensive benefits

06/19/2017
Here’s advice if you’re ever tempted to fire an at-will employee because she is about to start racking up expensive claims using your employer-provided benefits: Don’t do it!

English-only rule must have legit business purpose

06/15/2017
Two cashiers at a Forever 21 retail store in California were allegedly forbidden to speak Spanish at work and then threatened with termination for filing a discrimination complaint.

Make sure employees know you’re monitoring

06/15/2017
Few HR pros relish the thought of playing Big Brother. However, safeguarding sensitive data relies on being able to monitor employees’ use of your computer systems. In turn, you have an obligation to notify employees that you are watching what they read, write, download and upload.

Secret formula for firing can be challenged in court

06/13/2017
Public employees may have constitutionally protected property interests in their jobs and the right to due process before losing their jobs. A federal court has now ruled that using a secret algorithm to determine whether a public employee will lose her job may violate that right to due process.

Employee drug use hits 12-year high: How you should respond

06/12/2017
Illicit drug use by American workers is climbing fast, leading to a 12-year high in positive workplace drug tests. If you don’t have an employee policy on the use and abuse of illegal drugs, establish one and promote it.