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9th Circuit will rehear massive Wal-Mart class-action sex discrimination case


The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to reconsider whether an enormous sex discrimination lawsuit filed against Wal-Mart will proceed as a class-action case.

Crack down on association discrimination—especially if there are threats of violence


Employers, beware: More employees are suing over so-called association discrimination, claiming their friendships or other relationships with black employees have resulted in discrimination against them, in addition to their acquaintances. Recently, the 6th Circuit came up with guidelines for when employees can sue based on their relationships with black employees.

Can I demand reimbursement of training costs?


Q. I am a small employer. I invested a lot of money and time training a certain employee who just quit less than a year after I hired him. In the future, I would like to have all my employees sign an agreement stating that if they quit within a year, they will repay me at a rate of, say, $200 a month for the money I spent training them. Would this be OK?

10 tips on setting goals for others


Ask employees to focus on razor-thin, challenging targets, and they might fail or do something unethical. Managers can avoid those unintended consequences by using this 10-point checklist when setting goals for others.

Unions at your doorstep: The ABCs of EFCA … and how to respond


Let the battle begin. On March 10, The Employee Free Choice Act, commonly referred to as the “card check” bill, was introduced in Congress. It’s the top legislative priority of labor unions. If passed, EFCA would streamline the process of union organizing, tilting it substantially in favor of workplace unionization. Union-free employers should consider acting now to keep their operations union-free. Here are the action steps to take today …

Preventing workplace violence in 5 steps


There’s never been a better time to implement a violence prevention plan. Tough economic times sometimes cause people to snap—and they might do so at work. You need a prevention program that starts with employee screening and ends with publicizing your tough anti-violence policy.

J.C. Penney to pay $50,000 to end race discrimination case


J.C. Penney has agreed to settle a racial discrimination suit filed by Reinell Singh, an African-American employee at a Staten Island store. Singh alleged her supervisor used racially offensive names when referring to her and ultimately fired her because of her race.

Stacks of résumés are no excuse for sloppy hiring practices


Despite the daily economic lamentations, some employers are still hiring. Those employers may think they are in the catbird seat because they may have hundreds of applicants for each position. But a bonanza of applicants is no excuse for shoddy hiring practices. You must make sure they comply with state and federal laws.

Poor worker training cited in case involving heat death


In 2004, two men were fixing a pump at a plant when one of them complained of being hot and not feeling well. The other man took him to his car and returned to work on the pump. When he checked on the ill man 45 minutes later, he found him slumped over the wheel. He had died.

20 tips for motivating your employees


In addition to setting goals and tracking progress, it’s the manager’s job to help motivate their workers toward excellent performance. Here are 20 simple motivational tools to keep in your bag.