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March 17, 2019

Labor Department proposes expanding overtime pay rule

Employers might be reading about the new proposed rule for salaried employees and start to panic like many did when the Obama administration introduced similar rules in 2016. Earlier this month, the Labor Department announced a proposal that it said would make more than a million more American workers eligible for time-and-a-half pay for all […]

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March 10, 2019

Coworker bullying should not be tolerated

Most people consider bullying to be an issue by managers toward employees. However, that is not always the case. Frequently, co-workers are bullied by other co-workers of equal or even lesser rank. Co-worker bullying occurs when a peer targets one or more colleagues by engaging in verbal abuse, humiliation, intimidation, disrespectful communications and even work […]

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March 2, 2019

Despite possible hoaxes, conducting a complete and thorough investigation is critical

The alleged hate crime hoax involving “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett has left employers questioning if this could happen in the workplace. Smollett, who is black and gay, claimed to be a victim of a hate crime committed by men who threw liquid in his face, yelled racist, anti-gay slurs and looped a noose around his […]

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February 25, 2019

Companies need to plan and continuously evaluate situations to avoid workplace violence

The recent horrific workplace shooting at a suburban Chicago manufacturing warehouse is a stark reminder of the potential perils of workplace violence. The 45-year-old employee killed five coworkers and injured five police officers after being told he was being terminated, according to reports. Three of his victims were reportedly in the room with him during […]

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February 18, 2019

Co-workers should avoid talking politics at work

As we celebrate President’s Day this week, employers and employees need to be reminded about the risk of talking politics at work. I was at lunch the other day with girlfriends where we all were of like minds and discussed the same political viewpoints. Behind us sat a candidate for office, who shared a different […]

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February 9, 2019

Racist conduct must not be tolerated in the workplace; employees need to be held accountable for their behaviors

The celebration of Black History Month in Virginia is off to a rough start. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring have come under fire for racist photos and/or behaviors occurring more than 30 years ago when the governor was in medical school and the attorney general in college. While we can reasonably […]

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February 4, 2019

In today’s social media frenzy, here are five lessons for employers to follow

Students from the all-boys Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky traveled to Washington last month for the March for Life rally. Controversy arose after someone posted to Twitter a 10-second videotaped encounter at the Lincoln Memorial showing one male student, who was wearing a hat embroidered with the “Make America Great Again” slogan, characterized as […]

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January 28, 2019

Making accommodations for an employee’s religious belief or it could cost you

A Miami federal jury awarded a hotel dishwasher more than $21 million earlier this month, finding that her employer failed to accommodate her request not to work on Sundays due to her religion. The employee alleged that she reported to her employer her need to honor the Sabbath on Sundays due to her sincerely held […]

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January 22, 2019

Employers cannot use genetic information to make employment decisions

A health care center in Phoenix recently addressed the question of whether it could legally obtain DNA from its male employees. The facility needed to determine whether any of its workers was responsible for impregnating a woman who had been living at the facility in a vegetative state for 10 years following a drowning. The […]

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January 14, 2019

Sexual harassment does not require sexual desire to be unlawful

When people think of sexual harassment, they typically envision sexual misconduct between different genders or between same genders. This mindset creates a misconception about sexual harassment. Actionable sexual harassment does not necessarily require that there be a sexual desire to be actionable. The law only requires a showing that the conduct was because of the […]

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