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Legal Clinic

Latest Columns:

An HR Legal Primer
The top five employment-law issues that every HR professional should speak about with front-line managers are outlined in this month's column.
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Heading Off Employee Dissatisfaction
Whether dealing with a former employee who had expected to receive a bonus or attempting to head off problems by including a legal disclaimer in job descriptions, HR leaders need to keep in mind that state laws vary tremendously.
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Discretionary Pay
This month's questions include whether employers must pay exempt employees when operations close for a day as well as whether employers may compensate exempt workers when they are required to put in overtime hours.
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Guidelines for the New Year
Dealing with shortened workweeks and devising best practices for preventing workplace discrimination -- policies, enforcement and performance management -- are the topics addressed this month.
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Puzzling Out Pay Issues
The thorny issue of correctly compensating employees receives more analysis as questions answered include those involving unpaid employee job orientations and a nursing supervisor who filled in for hourly workers when necessary.
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Say What?
Transmitting information in reference and criminal-history screenings -- in both the giving and receiving of the data -- offers a multitude of issues for HR leaders to consider.
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Taking Time Off
The complications involved in setting up a paid-time-off program as well as whether unused sick pay must be paid at the conclusion of employment are discussed this month.
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Ceremonial Obligations
This month's Jewish holidays, as well as the 9/11 observances, bring forth questions of legal obligations regarding requests for time off and practices in background investigations.
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The Forfeits of Job Abandonment
How an employer should deal with compensating someone who abandons a job mid-day and the amount of information a company is required to divulge to an outside source are the issues addressed this month.
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Holiday Pay Can Be Problematic
The July 4th holiday is recently behind us, and in these lazy days of summer it appears that a fair number of people are focused on pay issues related to holidays. "Not all employees are treated equally" is the recurring mantra. And as explained in response to the questions below, in the context of paid leave or other benefits, differentiation may be entirely lawful.
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