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Articles by Matthew Heller

Quicken Verdict Gives Employers Hope on Overtime

June 10, 2011
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In a case that began in 2004, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Detroit dashed the hopes of 359 former loan officers by finding that Quicken did not misclassify them as “administrative” employees exempt from overtime compensation.
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Legal Static Over Issuing Smart Phones to Workers

September 9, 2010
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A lawsuit against the Chicago Police Department is an example of a clear warning to employers to put a smart-phone usage policy in place before they end up in potentially costly litigation, lawyers say.
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Employers Find Legal Support for Surveillance to Fight FMLA Abuse

October 14, 2008
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A recent court decision offers confirmation on the practice of spying on employees as a valuable—and legal—tool for fighting FMLA fraud.
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In California, Flexible Schedules Are Tightly Regulated

July 31, 2008
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Employers find that setting up compressed work schedules can be a bureaucratic minefield. While in theory the state’s law promised ‘workplace flexibility,’ in practice it imposes rigid procedural requirements on employers, who could be exposed to an employee claim for unpaid overtime if they make just one false step.
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Special Report Background Checking--Digging Deeper

March 6, 2008
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Many employers are going well beyond the typical criminal record check in screening job candidates—looking into civil records like lawsuits and even divorce filings. But experts say the information needs to be handled with extreme care.
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Opinion Divided on Workers' Comp Checks

March 6, 2008
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The value of workers' compensation claim records in background checking is disputed within the screening industry.
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Handed Down

December 13, 2007
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A review of the 10 legal decisions of 2007 that will have the greatest impact on the workplace in the coming year and beyond
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Protections for Transgender Workers on Rise

March 16, 2007
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Although federal law does not explicitly prohibit organizations from firing transgender workers, that doesn’t mean companies won’t be sued for such terminations. Nine states and almost 100 local jurisdictions, from Key West, Florida, to Tacoma, Washington, have passed laws protecting transgender employees in the workplace.
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High Court Ruling May Erode Whistle-Blower Protections

July 1, 2006
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While employees of private companies have no protection for workplace speech under the Constitution, they do enjoy various "extraconstitutional" protections. The Supreme Court's recent decision could have the effect of narrowing some of those safeguards, legal experts say.
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More Employers Broadening Nondiscrimination Policies to Include Transgender Workers

July 1, 2006
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The business case for fostering an inclusive work environment, rather than the threat of litigation, largely drives the decision to extend protections.
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