Keeping a Discrimination Claim from Spinning Out of Control

A recent unanimous Supreme Court ruling rejected an employer's effort to beat back an EEOC discrimination charge, while also admonishing the government agency. This ruling spotlights a process (known as conciliation) which is intended to keep employers and employees from going to court over discrimination charges. Here's how conciliation works and what the Supreme Court concluded.


Pre-Employment Personality Tests May Be Helpful but Exercise Caution

Personality testing services are booming. They are promising employers a powerful supplemental lens to view job candidates, and thereby help you to screen out those that would not be a good fit for your organization. However, if you take advantage of this tool, you'll need to do so carefully. Otherwise you could run afoul of the EEOC, or at the very least, waste money. Here are the details.


Tax Court: Retired Cop's Cash for Unused Leave Wasn't Excludible

When a retiring employee receives payment for unused sick and vacation leave, the tax treatment of those payments may be straightforward. But it gets more complicated when some of those benefits accrue while the employee is on temporary disability leave. Read what happened when one police detective contended that part of his retirement payout was not taxable and how the court unraveled this complex case.


Preliminary EEOC Guidance on Avoiding Wellness Discrimination

Employers are increasingly incorporating financial incentives into their wellness programs, and using screenings to give employees a clearer picture of their own health challenges. This sounds positive, but in some cases, it has led to claims of discrimination from employees. Last year, for example, one corporation faced claims that its wellness incentives violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Is Your Company's Health Plan HIPAA Compliant?

As an employer, you must ensure the privacy of the personal information you handle on behalf of your employees. Health care reform also requires that your plan comply with HIPAA transaction standards, though the deadline for doing that may be changing. With the uncertainty, it may be advisable to develop an action plan so you can be ready to respond when the final regulations are announced.


Should Your Business Use GPS to Track Employees?

Tracking the location of your employees might be helpful for many reasons. Just as an onsite supervisor watches to see if people clock in and out on time and actually work while they are being paid, a global positioning system (GPS) in a phone or car can provide an employer with an assurance of the same when employees work offsite. But can you track your employees' locations without violating their privacy?


How Long Do You Have to Retain Payroll Records?

If you've been in business long, you know paperwork stacks up fast. Payroll records alone can fill your file cabinets. But do you dare throw anything out and risk running afoul of the law? Do you really need payroll records that go all the way back to the 1990s? Here are some guidelines from two government agencies to set your mind at ease and free up some space.


Setting a Dress Code Without Creating More Problems than You Solve

Just as visitors to a foreign country can reasonably be expected to conform to local standards, so too can employees when they set foot in your workplace. When it comes to a dress code, knowing when and where to draw the line can be tricky. It requires a careful balancing of the needs of the business and employees' expectations not to be micromanaged on matters of personal taste. Here are some guidelines.


What Are the Implications of Paying Employee Medicare Premiums?

What are the implications of offering Medicare-eligible employees a choice between employer-provided health coverage and the employer's reimbursement of their Medicare Part B premiums? Could it result in a claim of discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act? The EEOC answered that question in an informal letter to one company.


 

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