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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.

Are Employers Screwing Up the FLSA's Lactation Mandate? Probably Not.

January 30, 2013
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A little more than a year ago I pointed out that the Labor Department had only cited 23 companies, or 0.023 percent of all companies with 100 or more employees, with inadequate lactation accommodation. Now, with an additional six months of data, the number of citations has jumped by 13, from 23 to 36.
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But He Looked Black … Court Rebukes EEOC's Use of “Race Rating” in Systemic Lawsuit

January 29, 2013
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In other words, the agency charged with ending racial stereotypes in the workplace based its entire case on stereotypical ways in which different races “look.”
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Employees, If You Don't Want Us to Get Your Social Media Info in Discovery, Don't Post!

January 28, 2013
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Employees, if you do not want your social media posts to be reviewed in a lawsuit you file, stop posting. Stop writing about your post-termination state of mind. Stop communicating with former co-workers. Stop writing about your lawsuit.
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Damn You Auto-Correct! (Train Your Employees to Proofread)

January 24, 2013
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When you hold your annual harassment training you might want to consider mentioning the evils of auto-correct.
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How Do You Spell Civil Rights? ENDA

January 23, 2013
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It's appalling that 13 years into the twenty-first century, it is still legal in the United States of America to treat people different solely because of their inclusion in a marginalized group. Get on the bandwagon now, and send a signal to all of your employees that you are a business of inclusion, not one of bigotry and exclusion.
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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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