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Employment Law

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The ADA at 25
It's now been a quarter century since the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law. Experts discuss the impact the ADA has had in its first 25 years, and how the Act figures to affect employers in the years ahead.
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What's Your Disability Equality Index Score?
Approximately one in five people in the United States has some form of disability. Now, a new tool can help employers improve the effectiveness of their disability-inclusion practices.
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Adjusting to the DOL's New Overtime Rules
Experts debate whether the proposed new overtime rules from the Department of Labor will help or hurt the very employees the agency seeks to protect.
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HR and the Same-Sex Marriage Ruling
After last Friday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that made marriage a fundamental right for same-sex couples, HR and employment-law experts weigh in about how HR may benefit from administrative improvements as well as face new challenges.
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King v. Burwell: Now the Work Must Continue
The Supreme Court has handed down one of its most momentous decisions affecting employers in years, forcing many companies to move from a "wait-and-see" approach to a "hurry-up" mode when it comes to Affordable Care Act compliance.
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Spreading Eastward?
A controversial new measure in San Francisco will impose new regulatory burdens on retailers there. But its supporters say it -- and similar measures being debated elsewhere -- are good for employees and for business.
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Increasing HR's DOL-Audit Awareness
When it comes to audits of organizations' employee-benefit plans, a recent federal report shows there's much more work to be done, and experts say HR leaders can play a vital role in defending against threats to workers' nest eggs.
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Ending Probationary Periods
Some labor attorneys are encouraging companies to eliminate probationary periods for employees because they can jeopardize their at-will employment status and may cause other serious legal ramifications for an organization.
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Revisiting FCRA Requirements
A recent spate of class-action suits should remind employers and HR of the steep cost of FCRA violations. Experts say the time is right for employers to reassess their background-checking processes -- and the role staffing and consumer reporting agencies play in those processes.
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Wellness-Incentive Guidance on the Way
By Mark McGraw
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently proposed a rule designed to provide guidance on the legal use of financial incentives to encourage participation in wellness programs. Experts say employers largely welcome the direction, but must be aware of the changes the new regulations may bring.
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On Guard Against Ageism
Experts say HR needs to ensure older workers are not overlooked when resources become scarce, as recent studies reveal that younger employees are favored over older ones when budgets get tight.
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Equal vs. Special Treatment in Pregnancy
A new study finds pregnant employees are more concerned about job status and perceptions of their pregnancy than what accommodations are in store for them. Some say this counters Young v. UPS' underlying assumptions, while others disagree with that conclusion.
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Navigating Pregnancy-Discrimination Issues
While the Supreme Court decided not to rely on an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's 2014 guidance in rendering its recent Young v. UPS case, it still provides crucial insight on how the agency looks at issues related to pregnancy and how HR can properly train managers supervising pregnant workers.
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Tipping the Scales
Experts say the outcomes of three gender-bias lawsuits filed in Silicon Valley could affect HR organizations across the country.
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Cracking Down on Confidentiality Agreements
With other "enforcement actions" expected to follow the Securities and Exchange Commission's charge against KBR last week, experts suggest employers might be well-served to revisit their internal-investigation agreements -- along with a whole host of others -- to ensure they won't raise any red flags.
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New Leave Laws for New Dads
Beginning in April, Massachusetts employers will be required to provide unpaid paternity leave to male employees. The question now, experts say, is not whether more states will follow suit, but whether employers and HR will eventually be obliged to offer paid leave to new fathers.
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On the Alert for Accommodation
Employers don't always need to dig for employee-accommodation information, and HR can play a proactive role in the process.
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Don't Tell Me No!
The NLRB has recently cracked down on employers' social-media and behavior policies. Where is the new line on prohibiting employee bad behavior and limiting social-media rants?
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Legal Clinic Column

Question: We are in the process of reviewing our company's handbook to make sure it contains the necessary policies required by law -- or at least the policies that are best practice to have. Can you let us know (1) what policies are required by law to have in a handbook and (2) what policies are just best practices for an employer to include in a handbook?
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