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INSIGHT

Employment Law Update for HR Managers

By Mike O’Brien  bio
This is my periodic update prepared for interested HR professionals trying to deal with the complex American employment laws…


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COMPLIANCE

Five dangers in dealing with harassment complaints

As with firing, the rules are well known, yet employers still fall into the common violations that spawn claims of sexual harassment, says management consultant Joseph Godwin of F&H Solutions Group in…


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MANAGING THE OFFICE

Caitlyn Jenner raises awareness, questions about transgender people

Olympic gold medalist and reality television personality Bruce Jenner has become Caitlyn Jenner.
Jenner’s transition has been well documented by the media, culminating in a photo of Caitlyn on the cover of Vanity Fair.
Although her journey has been more public than most, Jenner’s story is not unique. It is estimated that 700,000 people in the United States are transgender, and that estimate is regarded by some experts as conservative.
As a law office manager, you should become familiar with gender identity, as it could affect your interaction with a…

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COMPLIANCE

5 HR issues you need to review and keep on your radar

A law office manager has a wide range of responsibilities, which can make it difficult to keep every potential staff-related issue top of mind. Nevertheless, there are five human resources issues about which you should remain vigilant.
1 Discrimination
Here are various types of discrimination, as identified and defined by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Note: The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of

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TERMINATION

Three errors that can cause wrongful termination problems

Though every employer knows – or should know – the rules for safe firing, mistakes still happen when it comes to showing an employee the door, says Peter Golden, a business and employment law attorney with The Golden Law Firm in Atlanta.
In his own practice, he finds that employers most often fall down on three points: missed documentation, unfair employee comparisons, and skipping steps in progressive discipline.
1. Anything in writing helps
Lack of documentation heads the list.
It comes up over and over again. Despite all the warnings…

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COMPLIANCE

Model Tool: Three policies to accommodate medical marijuana

Why you need this tool:

These three tools allow you to alter your zero tolerance policy to accommodate medical marijuana.

. . . download here

COMPLIANCE

How to protect your practice against costly FLSA and EEOC claims

Do an HR audit at the start of each year
Today’s protection against tomorrow’s employment law claims is a human resources audit.
An audit is essential to keep the firm’s employment processes accurate and current – and also followed, says Joseph Godwin, human resources consultant for F&H Solutions Group in Ashville, NC.
The audit needs to be done every year, because with time, things get overlooked. Or bad habits crop up and people take easier routes such as signing off on incomplete I-9 Forms. Or new managers come in with their own HR methods and…

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MANAGING STAFF

Model Policy: Progressive discipline and employee termination

Why you need this policy:

There’s no point in having any policies, procedures, and standards unless you’re prepared to discipline employees who disobey them. The problem is that discipline is not only unpleasant but likely to result in some form of legal grievance, especially if the employee belongs to a union. That means you’ll end up having to defend your action before an arbitrator or court.

. . . download here

COMPLIANCE

Model Policy: Nondiscrimination and diversity

Why you need this policy:

The diversity of the 21st century work force has made offering equality of opportunity to individuals regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, or other personal characteristics not related to their professional abilities is not just a legal mandate but an economic imperative.

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COMPLIANCE

Model Policy: Copyright compliance

Why you need this policy:

Copyright infringement has become a serious liability risk for law firms:
   * In 1991, a mid-sized Washington, DC, law firm was sued for $14 million by a publisher. The case was eventually settled but not until after the firm incurred over $1 million in legal fees;
   * In 1999, a large Wall Street firm settled a copyright infringement case for an undisclosed amount believed to be $115,000 per year to the Copyright Clearance Center;
   * In 2003, a major financial service firm was ordered to pay $20 million for copyright infringement.

. . . download here


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