HR Esq Posts


It is no surprise that many people spend more time at work than engaged in any other activity. It’s no wonder that workplace romances sprout—often bringing grief to HR Managers. In an attempt to curb potential sexual harassment claims, workplace r...
HR as a Knowledge Center
Published: 2013-01-08
Knowledge and information is HR’s commodity. With one of HR’s responsibilities being compliance with the myriad U.S. employment laws that apply to your company, knowledge of those laws, and the actions your company needs to take to...
Sick Leave Gone Haywire
Published: 2012-11-29
I know we’re all busy, but HR managers really need to train their managers on human resources basics. Take this sick-leave situation which demonstrates the type of scenarios I’ve had to deal with regularly—a real comedy of erro...
Many companies unnecessarily use employment contracts with all their employees. Instead of these documents providing specific legal protections for the company (the very reason to utilize a contract), many documents I see in my practice are oft...
"Management training" is a hot topic among human resources professionals. They know it should be done—must be done—but convincing key executives is sometimes a challenge. Here is a scenario based on a real situation (names changed, o...
Most HR Managers know that employers are obligated to provide reasonable accommodations for an employee’s religious practices—but do your managers actually go through the necessary conversations the law obligates you to have? Let’s walk through a...
In an unprecedented move, the SEC (yes, that would be the Securities and Exchange Commission) has shown interest in investigating the hiring practices of a U.S. food chain—the Chipotl...
The position recently taken by the U.S. EEOC ("Equal Employment Opportunity Commission") regarding employers’ use of criminal convictions in the hiring process is not new. The EEOC has recognized for years that arrest and conviction rate...
Telecommuting could seem like a win-win situation for employers and employees, especially with the price of gasoline. However, there are a few pitfalls HR managers should watch out for when company managers suggest (or employees request) teleco...
The Social Media Password Debate
Published: 2012-04-12
Apparently, in response to the legal cases reprimanding employers for improperly obtaining access to their e...
In late 2011, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) aimed at efforts to halt what they termed "the business practice of misclassifying employees in order to avoi...
Although you may not realize it, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which is usually thought of as protecting the rights of union workers in the U.S., also has the ability to reach into non-unionized employee relations....
When the economy begins to improve (or when a business puts attention on its own improvement), adding sales people is a frequent focus. Unfortunately, there are a number of hidden employment law issues that businesses are often unaware of. Whe...
In my practice, I am often frustrated by lawsuits that could have been avoided. Managers take improper actions and make mistakes that they do not know they are making. The company loses money and becomes embroiled in preventable lawsuits becau...
How to Fire the Pregnant Lady
Published: 2011-11-28
Few clients who call me because they want to fire a pregnant lady seek to do so BECAUSE of the pregnancy. None of these situations was like the employer on the TV show "Harry’s Law" who had a "one child only" policy and fired the pregnant...
Most HR managers know that non-exempt employees in the U.S. who work over 40 hours in one workweek must be paid time-and-one-half their regular hourly rate for all hours worked over 40. That’s the familiar overtime pay formula
9 Tips to Keep Your Legal Bills Down
Published: 2011-09-09
I know some businesses see employment lawyers as necessary evils. They are "forced" to hire them when employees bring what they believe are bogus employee claims. They moan about the time on the phone; the time spent gathering documents; and t...
When Your Employee Won't Sign
Published: 2011-08-18
What should you do when an employee won’t sign certain documents you present? What an employer likely should do in that situation, and what legal impact the refusal to sign may have, if any, depends on the document the employee re...
HR partners need to ensure that managers don’t treat their employees the way that some emergency rooms treat patients. When the evening gets late, some ER staff get frazzled and an annoying patient becomes a GOMER (which stands for "Get Out of My...
No one wants their former employees’ harassment or discrimination claim to move forward to litigation. When it does, chances are your managers are not prepared. I don’t mean that they won’t be prepared for their depositions. I’m sure that your com...
Most businesses know that they should check applicants’ references by speaking with their prior employers. After all, failing to do so could open a company up to a negligent hiring claim, should the new employee turn out to be violent, ha...
As if HR managers didn’t have enough to worry about, the EEOC (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that enforces the Federal Non-Discrimination Laws) recently held a hearing aimed at determining whether companies...
I recently asked a client HR Manager if his line managers were performance managing the employees we were discussing. It seemed as if the inmates were running the asylum so to speak. His response was "no, we don’t do performance reviews."...
Delay/Ignore at Your Peril
Published: 2011-01-19
I often see two extremes with my clients—they either want to (1) jump the gun and not take just one more step that would protect their business, or (...
Job Descriptions: Help or Hindrance?
Published: 2010-12-06
In my practice, I would like to be able to rely on job descriptions for my clients in a lot of legal cases. "Would like to"—because often the documents my...

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