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The Practical Employer

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Helping employers navigate the complicated and ever-changing world of employment and labor laws, rules, and regulations, rationally and pragmatically.

Accommodating Disabled Job Applicants is No Game

March 20, 2013
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If a job applicant needs an accommodation to complete the interview process, and it does not impose an undue burden, provide it. If it turns out that someone cannot perform the essential functions of the job even with an accommodation, you are within your rights to deny employment. You cannot make that determination, however, unless you consider them for the job first.
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Paying Employees for Accrued Vacation Upon Termination—Yay or Nay?

March 18, 2013
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According to the court, the employee handbook clearly stated that accrued vacation is forfeited to an employee upon termination. To me, however, such as policy is draconian and overbearing. Instead, consider limiting vacation and other paid time off forfeitures to “for cause” terminations.
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Do Employees Have Any Privacy Rights in Personal Emails Sent From Corporate Accounts?

March 14, 2013
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According to a recent court case, employees enjoy no expectation of privacy when sending personal emails from corporate accounts, provided that you have the right language in your email policy.
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Take a Pregnant Pause Before Firing That Pregnant Worker

March 13, 2013
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Firing a pregnant employee is a risky proposition.You not only have to worry about Title VII, but also potential liability under the Family and Medical Leave Act (if you are large enough to be covered), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (if the employee suffers from a pregnancy-related medical condition).
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What Do You Do If You Doubt an Employee's Disability?

March 12, 2013
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I hope that I don't have to lecture any of my readers about what is wrong about denying accommodations and firing disabled employees. What rights do you have, however, if you doubt the legitimacy of an employee's claimed disability?
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Are Employers Really Asking for Social Media Logins and Passwords?

March 11, 2013
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You would think that if the practice of employers requiring applicants and employees to disclose login and password information has reached epidemic proportions, I would have heard of or encountered at least one employer engaging in this practice. I haven't.
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Fight or Flight? When an Employee Sues You, Should You Litigate or Settle?

March 7, 2013
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The reality is that there is no easy answer to the question of how your company should respond to a lawsuit by an employee.
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Who's the 'Knucklehead'? Employee Loses Retaliation Claim After Slurring Co-Worker

March 6, 2013
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Exercising control to dole out legitimate discipline is not retaliation or discrimination. It's sound management of your people. Provided the punishment fits the crime, and provided the punishment is consistent with your past practices, you can discipline without fear of retribution.
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Beware Saying too Much When Engaging in Pre-Suit Settlement Negotiations

March 5, 2013
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If you have to discuss the merits of the case with the employee's lawyer, either do so over the phone or only put in writing what you live with a judge or jury considering.
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Is an Employer Obligated to Provide Light Duty to an Employee Returning From FMLA Leave?

March 4, 2013
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Before denying light duty to an employee returning from FMLA leave, you must consider whether the ADA requires the light duty as a reasonable accommodation. If you have light duty available, and do not have to create a light duty position to accommodate the employee, the ADA will likely require the consideration of temporary light duty as a reasonable accommodation.
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