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  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
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Protecting trade secrets: Loose lips sink your legal defense

THE LAW. Today’s definition of trade secrets encompasses any information, technical or nontechnical, that your organization has reasonably protected and is valuable enough to give you an actual or potential …

Pay attention to rising complaints of ‘same-race’ bias

Issue: Courts are seeing a spike in discrimination claims involving people of the same race.
Risk: Some supervisors wrongly ignore same-race complaints, believing, for example, that “blacks can’t discriminate against …

Surprise! Off-duty horseplay can qualify as ‘work time’

Issue: Your broad liability for workers’ comp injuries. Risk: If supervisors exert control over employees outside the workplace, your organization could be liable for resulting injuries. Action: Alert supervisors …

What’s the cost of a chair? A lot less than a lawsuit

Issue: Minor squabbles between employees and supervisors escalating into illegal “discipline.” Risk: If left unchecked, they can escalate, resulting in discrimination or retaliation claims. Action: Use the following case …

Stereotype about motherhood, by itself, can count as bias

Remind managers never to base employment decisions on how they believe employees would act based on their gender, race, religion or disability. Make sure managers focus solely on the performance itself, …

Here’s more reason to police supervisors’ compliance

Issue: How much oversight should your organization exert on supervisors who handle potentially violent situations? Risk: Letting one misguided supervisor call the shots …

Don’t wait for a complaint to punish misbehaving staff

Issue: Some supervisors believe in a “No complaints, no problem” motto. Risk: By ignoring blatant harassment or discrimination, supervisors open the organization to “negligent supervision” lawsuits. Action: Educate supervisors …

Requiring training won’t constitute retaliation, court says

Don’t worry about assigning an employee to a job in which she’ll need to upgrade her skills, even if that employee previously filed a lawsuit against your organization. Reason: As long …

Anti-bias and sex-harassment training: a 5-point checklist

Issue: Failing to train employees on discrimination and harassment can prove a costly mistake, but so is training them the wrong way. Benefit: Effective and ongoing training signals your “good-faith” …

Cut training costs by gauging the ROI

Issue: Prove that dollars spent on training employees represent money well spent. Risk: Going out on a limb without convincing proof. Action: Use free online tools to help you …