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You won’t work Sundays?! EEOC guide explains religious accommodations


Title VII prohibits employers from discriminating against employees and applicants based on their religion. The EEOC recently published guidance to help employers deal with employees’ religion-based questions regarding time off, free speech, religious clothing and more …

5 Steps for Communicating Benefits Changes


As your organization shifts more responsibility to employees to manage their own health and retirement expenses, you risk alienating your work force. But it doesn’t have to be that way …

Warn managers: Zero tolerance for any kind of age-related harassment

Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, it is unlawful for an employer to harass an employee based on the employee’s age. And employers are strictly liable for workplace harassment if the harasser is a supervisor. As a practical matter, that means HR must make sure no supervisor or manager makes any kind of comment that suggests any kind of age bias …

Tell managers: No discrimination for in vitro fertilization

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) prohibits discrimination “because of or on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.” Until now, it was an open question whether that law covered fertility treatments. Now the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that employers can’t punish female employees for undergoing in vitro fertilization …

3 Keys to Creating ‘Employee Lifetime Value’

Savvy business people have long focused on customer lifetime value—the gains to had from cultivating lifelong relationships with customers eager to patronize them again and again. Here are three keys to nurturing those same kinds of relationships with employees—and reaping the same kinds of rewards.

Act fast to investigate, correct hostile work environment signs

It’s not unusual to read about racially motivated incidents that occur at work. Slurs, graffiti and other acts of intimidation can lead to hostile environment lawsuits. By the time the graffiti shows up or the slurs are uttered, some of the damage has already been done. However, smart employers react immediately and try to limit the damage …

EMC grooms leaders in-house as part of development strategy

Technology company EMC saves money on recruiting by sending its high-potential employees to school—at an in-house university. More than half of the Hopkinton, Mass., organization’s corporate-level director positions are filled from within …

What is the ‘Lifetime value’ of your employees?

Businesses have always understood the value of cultivating lifelong relationships with customers eager to patronize them again and again as their lifestyles change and they need new products or services. Nurturing those same kinds of relationships with employees has just as much value …

Legally speaking, sheriff and deputies aren’t county employees

Gary Edwards, Deputy Deborah Nelson and Deputy Anthony Smith arrived on the scene to find Billy Ray Cook crawling on his stomach in the street. Upon spotting the officers, Cook began yelling, “Please don’t let them shoot me.” Cook strenuously resisted being cuffed and shackled, so the officers shocked him with their Tasers. Unfortunately, this—combined with a massive quantity of cocaine in Cook’s system—killed him …

Recoup training costs, but beware doing so with last paycheck

Employers can and should get applicants and employees to agree to pay back training costs if they depart before the company gets fair value. But collecting the money can be tricky. You can’t, for example, withhold the money out of a final paycheck if that move takes the employee’s hourly wage below the minimum allowed by law …