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Model Policy: Sexual harassment

Why you need this policy:

Personnel issues are among the most difficult problems faced by law office managers. And few personnel issues are any more difficult than sexual harassment.

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Better productivity and a happier staff happen as ergonomics steps in

Ergonomics is good economics.
When the work areas are in sync with the people spending their days in them, there’s no time lost to sick days and no money lost to low productivity, says Hayley Kaye, a certified professional ergonomist with HLK Consulting in New York City.
Achieving that calls for attention to the desks, the telephones, and the chairs. But it also calls for teaching people how to set them up correctly. It’s of zero value to have thousands of dollars of ergonomically correct furniture that nobody has adjusted.
The elbow-wrenching desktop
A good place to start is with the hands and…

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Malpractice claims are on the rise, and here’s why

The threat of malpractice looms larger now than when the country’s financial picture was less gloomy.
The poor economy is bringing more and different types of suits, says one malpractice insurance carrier.
It’s due to several reasons, starting with the fact that attorneys are accepting work today that in better times they would have turned down.
Swimming in unknown waters
Taking on work outside the firm’s experience and legal competence is a tremendous claim cause, says Vernon Barclay, founder of the Thaxton Barclay Group, a Tampa professional liability insurance provider.
Yet with business slow and competition high, attorneys are doing exactly…

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Beware Lilly Ledbetter; it extends the time limit for unfair pay claims

A relatively new law that all but eliminates the statute of limitations on equal pay lawsuits for women brings yet more employment law concerns administrators need to be aware of.
It’s the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
Employers can expect an upswing in claims that their female employees are underpaid, says Denise Murphy, an employment law attorney with Rubin and Rudman in Boston.
And not always without good reason, she notes. Recent statistics show that women make from 73 cents to 77 cents on the dollar compared to what men make, even when they have the same…
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Retaliation gets broader and more expensive and is hitting all offices

What’s the single greatest employment law risk employers are facing?
Retaliation. The EEOC reports that retaliation claims have been on the upswing for 10 years and now sit at the top of the list of employment law matters. Heightening the issue is the fact that an employee can cry retaliation – and the firm can have to pay out a lot of money – even if the complaint supposedly causing the retaliation is found to be groundless.
Almost all offices are at risk. While some types of retaliation claims are limited to employers with a certain number of employers, others apply to all employers, regardless of size, cautions attorneys and…

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