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Employment Law

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Investigation Dos and Don'ts
It's an event that no human resource professional looks forward to: While balancing performance evaluations, open enrollment, and other daily tasks, you check your email and learn that the secretary to a key executive is complaining she is being sexually harassed by her boss. Now, you need to investigate.
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Risky Recruiting Business
A SHRM survey finds many companies that rely on social networking sites for recruiting eschew policies on social media use for this purpose. Experts say using social media in the recruiting process can be risky in and of itself, but failing to implement a formal policy puts the organization on even shakier ground.
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The Path to Paid Sick-Leave Laws
The Healthy Families Act is back on the Congressional table, with support for paid sick-leave laws growing. The bill's passage, while uncertain in 2013, could eventually expand on FMLA in ways HR should make note of, experts say.
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Legalized Marijuana: An HR Challenge
Given the growing public acceptance of medical marijuana--18 states now have laws on the books regarding its use--HR leaders should be working with legal counsel to craft a company-specific, individualized approach to the divisive drug.
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Pushing Back on Right to Know
The U.S. Department of Labor's request for comment on a survey that lays the groundwork for its controversial Right to Know proposed rulemaking is creating quite a stir among employers.
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Dangerous Intersection For Employers
With a growing number of ADA lawsuits connected to FMLA leave policies, employers must remain flexible and pay attention when setting their own internal strategies.
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Dealing with the New I-9 Form
The I-9 form may be the most complex and misunderstood one-page form ever issued by the federal government. But organizations must grapple with the latest iteration of the form, which becomes mandatory on May 8, or else suffer the consequences.
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Playing Political Chess with the NLRB
The National Labor Relations Board has historically been used by presidents as a pawn in a game of political chess, but that game could soon come to an end. Labor lawyers, however, advise employers to keep playing, and to keep following the rules.
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HR Implications of a Perez Confirmation
While the battle over the appointment of Thomas Perez as the next Secretary of Labor may be shaping up along traditional political lines, experts agree the civil-rights lawyer's confirmation may have a significant impact on HR.
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Defending Against Worker Retaliation
Employment attorneys are advising clients to revisit their systems and practices, following early signs that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is beginning to make good on its promise to crack down on employers taking retaliatory actions.
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Same-Sex Harassment Not Always Straightforward
An appeals court recently ruled that a heterosexual employee can suffer same-sex harassment at the hands of another heterosexual employee. Experts say the case underscores the need for HR to look at same-sex harassment policies in broad terms, and train employees accordingly.
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Casting a Wider Net
Legal experts weigh in on the best ways for contractors to get through compliance audits without sparking an investigation, following the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs' move to revise its guidance for compensation discrimination.
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EEOC Recoveries on the Rise
A new strategic plan and increased funding for EEOC enforcement efforts mean employers need to either pay closer attention, or pay the high price of litigation.
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Dealing with Workers' Panic Attacks
A Los Angeles jury awarded $21.7 million to a worker who claimed she was fired because of her panic attacks. Experts say organizations will need to accommodate a growing number of employees with anxiety disorders or else risk a similar verdict.
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A Tough Balancing Act for Employers
Failure to recognize and effectively deal with the reality of social networking can spell a recipe for disaster for any organization. The trick is to prepare and implement a policy in a legally compliant way that fits the employer's business and culture.
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Social-Media Sleuths
National Labor Relations Board rulings and advisories have said that employees may critically discuss work conditions freely on social media. Now, employers are finding they can use social media to help prove employee deception and fraud, and to defend themselves against workplace lawsuits.
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The 'Path' to Filling Empty Jobs
The phrase "comprehensive immigration reform" will be heard more often as President Obama continues to address the issue in speeches and meetings with corporate executives. But will reform really benefit organizations and strengthen the U.S. economy?
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After the Canning v. NLRB Decision
In its recent decision in the case of Noel Canning v. the National Labor Relations Board, a panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated the recess appointments of three members of the National Labor Relations Board, because the Court found the U.S. Senate was not in recess at the time President Obama made the appointments. We asked labor and employment attorney Joel S. Barras of Reed Smith to weigh in on how the decision may ripple outward toward employers.
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Legal Clinic Column

Question: I am putting together a high-level presentation for my HR team on the top legal developments in 2013 that will impact how we practically manage employee relations in workplace in 2014. Can you please identify and provide a brief synopsis of the most important employment-related legal developments in 2013 -- something like a Top 10? I want to make sure I know about all the "biggies."
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