• The HR Specialist - Print Newsletter
  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
  • The HR LAW Weekly
  • The HR Weekly


Don’t pull punches; fire when necessary

The Cook County, Ill., Sheriff’s Department fired Harriet Rizzo when it discovered that she didn’t have a high school diploma as required, and she had lied about it on her job …

Notify staff how you count FMLA year

Managers at America West warned Penny Bachelder that her attendance was a problem. She had taken lots of time off in the previous two years under the Family and Medical Leave …

Doc’s opinion alone isn’t enough

Larry Jackson’s doctor cleared him to return to work without restrictions following his triple bypass surgery. His employer, DBM Technologies, initially assigned him …

Close ties with arbitrator can unbind decision

Prudential fired Alex Montez four months into his job as a senior vice president after it found he had misrepresented something on his job application. But one issue prevented a clean …

Heterosexuals also protected.

A secretary for the Metropolitan Opera’s stage director filed a discrimination suit, saying her boss subjected her to a hostile environment and fired her because she isn’t a homosexual. The New …

Raise Doesn’t Prove Employee Was Succeeding


Q. About three months ago, we gave a marginal employee who is pregnant a pay raise in hopes that it would improve her job performance by boosting her morale. Unfortunately, her performance has gone from bad to worse. If we fire her for poor performance, can she successfully argue that the recent raise indicates that she was performing well and that our reason for terminating her was discriminatory? —H.K., Illinois

Put ‘unwritten rules’ in writing

Interstate Brands Corp. had an unwritten policy that required a doctor’s note to confirm all absences caused by a work-related injury. When Cynthia Bausman didn’t produce …

Once you accommodate disabled, proving ‘hardship’ gets tougher

When Larry Skerski began working as a cable technician, about half his job involved climbing ladders, poles and towers. But a decade into his job, he developed a panic disorder when …

Small, but vital, function of a job may make it ‘essential’ under ADA

Job descriptions at Northern States Power Co. make it an “essential function” for customer service reps to handle emergency calls like gas leaks and downed power lines. Loretta Emerson handled …

Simple accommodation efforts can avoid major headaches

Cathy Collings wanted to fire one of her employees, a state social worker, because he refused to license homosexuals as foster parents. The worker said that his religious beliefs prevented it. …