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Court can enforce flextime, ‘quiet time’ as accommodations

A file clerk who suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder, a recognized disability, was easily distracted and had trouble completing her work. As an accommodation, she asked for permission to do some …

‘Past-tense’ pregnancy isn’t enough

A federal district court tossed out a case brought by an office manager who claimed she was harassed during her pregnancy and fired eight months after she returned to work. Reason: …

Workers’ Comp Fraud Is Legitimate Reason to Fire


Q. While on unpaid leave, one of our staffers applied for and was granted workers’ compensation. This person has not expressed any interest in returning to work. She may even be working for someone else. Can we terminate her? —A.L., New York

Don’t use nepotism policy as smoke screen for bias

Paul Yancey Sr. began working for the railroad in the 1960s and rose to the position of general maintenance foreman. In 1993, his son, Paul Jr., started working there, too. But …

You don’t have to accommodate bogus religious beliefs

David Cruz claimed that his religious belief as a Seventh-day Adventist prohibited him from joining a union. He complained to his employer about union practices and was fired at the union’s …

Assume that hostile work environment claims under ADEA will fly

A collector for a financing firm, who was over 40, complained about age-related remarks made by her manager. Nothing was done and the collector was fired, even though she had received …

Gross misconduct gets tougher to prove

After a Philadelphia school district fired a high-school math teacher for misusing money from the extracurricular activity account, the teacher sued. He claimed, among other things, that the school district refused …

Chronic illness isn’t always a qualifying disability

A video services company fired Kent Furnish for poor job performance due to problems ranging from weak communication skills to frequent breakdowns of the systems he installed. Furnish claimed the company …

Sidestep liability when releasing information on ex-employees

Wal-Mart fired truck driver Joseph Tracz after he tested positive for drugs. When he applied for another job, Tracz signed an authorization form allowing Wal-Mart to release his past drug tests. …

React quickly to employee threats; don’t be wedded to discipline policy

The Illinois toll authority settled Robert Merheb’s discrimination charge by giving him a new job. The agreement also said that if Merheb committed any infraction, the employer would follow its progressive …