Surveillance Videotapes

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    Q If an employee is on some kind of medicine for his back and we notice he has mood swings and can be hostile toward his manager, what rights do we have as the employer? May we require him to bring in a doctor's note? This could be a long-term issue with him. A Obviously, hostility toward a manager is a disciplinary issue, so begin there. From...
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    In response to an inquiry from a U.S. senator, the California attorney general (AG) released an opinion in February on the lawfulness of an employer's practice of videotaping its truck driving employees, allowing the videotapes to be inspected by a third party, and using the videotapes as grounds for imposing employee discipline and for training...
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    If an insurance plan denies benefits to a plan participant, she can appeal that decision in court. If the plan language gives the administrator enough discretion over the ultimate decision, the court is required to uphold the insurance plan's decision. But if the plan language doesn't give the administrator discretion, the court gets to look at...
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    You suspect that one of your employees is stealing from the company. Your suspicions have focused on a relatively new employee because you didn't have missing inventory or petty cash before you hired this fellow. How do you handle the situation—or any situation involving employee theft—without making a bad situation worse? First steps...
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    "I know we had an e-mail/videotape/memo about that, but I can't find it." You might be surprised to learn that lawyers are often told there's a key piece of evidence that would help in the defense of an employment claim, but the client just can't seem to track it down. Let's look at some common mistakes employers make when preserving evidence....
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    Q Our company isn't doing well financially. To save money, we want to require all employees (salaried and hourly) to take a day off without pay for the next three pay periods. Are we allowed to do that? A For hourly employees, yes. However, for salaried employees, the answer is generally no. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not prohibit...
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    As an employer, do you have free speech rights? Can you put up posters in your workplace celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month or expressly supporting or opposing same- sex marriage? If an employee tears down your political posters, can you fire him? Those intriguing issues were recently considered by a California...
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    We reported on this case last year after the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to Wisconsin employers) reinstated a jury's award of $3.5 million in punitive damages for hostile work environment claims against Chrysler and $300K in compensatory damages. Despite repeated incidents involving racist, homophobic, and xenophobic...
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    Recently, the 6th Circuit upheld the dismissal of a race discrimination claim, reiterating the importance of having a reasonable basis on which to conclude an employee engaged in alleged misconduct. Facts Holly Handlon worked for Rite Aid as a pharmacy cashier in Port Huron. She has two biracial children. In August 2009, store employees...
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    Recently, the 6th Circuit upheld the dismissal of a race discrimination claim, reiterating the importance of having a reasonable basis on which to conclude an employee engaged in alleged misconduct. Facts Holly Handlon worked for Rite Aid as a pharmacy cashier. She has two biracial children. In August 2009, store employees reported that...
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