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  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
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State requests worker aid, passes stimulus bills


Gov. Jon Corzine joined the governors of Connecticut and New York to request a $48 million grant for displaced financial workers from U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao.

Business is booming lately—at state unemployment offices


The financial meltdown has spelled job creation for one office: The Pennsylvania unemployment hotline recently hired 132 additional staffers.

RIF or no RIF: 8 alternatives to consider before laying off staff


If your organization isn’t already planning or implementing measures to cut labor costs, it may soon have to. News that the United States has been in a recession since December 2007 suggests that HR professionals should prepare to reduce the labor burden—if only as a contingency plan.

Coffee pot: $32. Keeping your job: priceless


Under pressure to meet a shrinking budget, The Van Buren Public School District recently notified teachers that it would charge a fee for keeping small appliances in their classrooms. Teachers will have to pay $13 for a microwave, $32 for a coffee pot and $182 for a mini-fridge.

Half-staff calls for time-and-a-half?


Forced to cut some 180 employees to make budget, the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) sent an e-mail requesting remaining employees to work overtime to manage its caseload. The union that represents DCFS staff called the idea “nonsensical” and refused the request.

Judge halts prison closure after union files suit


The union representing employees at the Pontiac Correctional Center has stalled closure of the maximum-security prison, at least temporarily. Livingston County Judge R. Michael Travers issued an injunction in November barring layoffs at the prison pending arbitration of grievances filed …

Must we offer severance payments?


Q. It looks like it will be necessary for our company to lay off several employees. Can you tell me whether we are required to pay severance? If so, how much?

Lawsuit: Lehman bankruptcy stiffed riffed NYC workers


Miron Berenshteyn, a former computer programmer for Lehman Brothers in Jersey City, has filed a $5 million lawsuit alleging the company violated the federal and New Jersey WARN acts when it laid off more than 100 workers in September.

Union members who lose seniority must sue fast


Employees who work in a union setting often cannot take temporary assignments into management without losing the benefits of their union membership. One such benefit is often seniority. Employees must sue right away if they lose seniority.

Help managers understand the Age Discrimination in Employment Act


At first glance, the federal ADEA appears rather straightforward: It protects people age 40 and older from employment discrimination based on their age. But the law can affect just about anything managers do, from asking questions in job interviews to assigning job duties …