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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.

Requests for Unpaid Medical Leaves Should Be Stamped, 'Handle With Care'

January 22, 2013
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If you are granting a leave to an employee as an accommodation, your best defense to a potential Americans with Disabilities Act claim is to have an open dialogue with the employee about a return date, and prepare to be flexible (to a point). Then, when the employee asks for “one more extension” to his or her leave of absence, no one will fault you as an unreasonable ogre if you decline.
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Say It Ain't So: Court Holds an Employer Does Not Have to Accommodate a Pregnant Employee

January 17, 2013
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Handling accommodation requests by pregnant employees is a thorny area of the law. My recommendation is instead of trying to sort through these issues for yourself, you contact your employment counsel before denying an accommodation request made a pregnant employee.
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Putting the Human Back in Human Resources, Redux

January 16, 2013
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Employers, what do you think costs more? Accommodating a few days of unpaid time off or defending this lawsuit?
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Can You Hear Me Now? Employer Cannot Reject Disabled Employee Without Individualized Inquiry of the Ability to Do the Job

January 15, 2013
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If your failing to engage in this individualized inquiry, it will look like you are making the employment decision based on stereotypes and generalizations, which the Americans with Disabilities Act is supposed to rid from the workplace. That perception will not bode well for your defense of an ADA lawsuit.
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Be Careful What You Bring Upon Yourself When Suing an Ex-Employee

January 14, 2013
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If you are going to sue an employee, current or former, make sure you do your diligence of your own potential liabilities. If you uncover something that can come back and bite you, make sure it is a claim with which you can live.
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Internet-Use Disorder: The Newest Disability?

January 11, 2013
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If Internet addiction is a psychiatric disorder, then employees who suffer from it may be protected by the ADA. This development has potentially significant implications for your workplace.
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Firing of 'Irresistible' Employee Does Not Equal Sex Discrimination?

January 10, 2013
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If the sex discrimination laws do not protect an employee like Nelson, then I fear we are taking a huge civil rights step backward.
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What Isn't a Reasonable Accommodation?

January 9, 2013
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Just because a disabled employee asks for an accommodation does not mean that you have to grant the request.
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Lactation-Rights Case Teaches Valuable Lesson on Responding to Employee Complaints

January 3, 2013
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Next time an employee communicates an issue with you, think about whether it is worth the risk to let the concern go unaddressed.
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Your New Year's Resolution: Draft a Social Media Policy

January 2, 2013
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If you want to hold your employees accountable for what they say and do online, both at work and outside of work, establish expectations.
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