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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.

A Cautionary Tale on What Happens When You Botch a Litigation Hold

April 1, 2013
As soon as you reasonably anticipate litigation, you have an absolute duty to implement a written litigation hold that both instructs employees to preserve paper and electronic records relevant to the case, and suspends any automated processes that otherwise might result in the destruction of such records.
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How Not to Respond to a Harassment Complaint

March 21, 2013
If you are not the person in your organization trained to address and investigate sexual harassment claims, immediately refer the matter to the person who is. If no one is, hire a consultant or attorney who specializes in these issues to do the investigation for you.
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Accommodating Disabled Job Applicants is No Game

March 20, 2013
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
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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Take a Pregnant Pause Before Firing That Pregnant Worker

March 13, 2013
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
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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