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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.

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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New FMLA Forms and Posters Coming Next Week

February 28, 2013
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The U.S. Department of Labor recently issued new FMLA regulations. The substance of these new regulations, which go into place March 8, relate to the FMLA's military leave provisions and airline flight crew personnel.
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How Long Is Too Long for an Unpaid Medical Leave of Absence? Not Two Weeks and a Day

February 27, 2013
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Think long and hard before you deny a request for unpaid time off for an employee's medical issue, and, when in doubt, call your employment counsel for a sanity check.
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Does Social Media Change the Meaning of Solicitation?

February 25, 2013
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By defining “solicitation” to include passive social media connections and activities, you are at least putting yourself into a position to have a court consider shutting down an ex-employee for maintaining online relationships.
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