Legal Issues

Salty language but no complaints: Is that considered harassment?

July 16, 2014
Q. Can vulgar language and jokes, etc., be considered harassment in the workplace if nobody actually files a complaint? — M.N., Maryland

Don’t push retirement on older workers

July 11, 2014
An 80-year-old woman who worked for a Catholic Diocese school as a secretary claims she was fired after months of what she says was harassment aimed at driving her out of her job.

Illegal: Racist talk to no one in particular

July 8, 2014
A black employee sued, claiming her boss created a racially hostile environment with his comments. The company said even if the boss’s conduct was unacceptable, it wasn’t directed at the woman…

Can we stop employees from wearing T-shirts with strong messages?

July 4, 2014
Q. One of our workers often wears T-shirts with slogans that have a strong political bent to them. Some employees have complained. Is it a violation of employees’ free speech rights to ban such clothing? — Liz, New York

‘That’s how guys are’ is no excuse

July 3, 2014
Carol quit her job at a candy factory and sued, alleging she endured several years of intense sexual harassment. She claims three men turned a job she loved into “a living hell.”

Summer heat: 7 tips to keep workers safe

May 14, 2014
As the summer months heat up, keep these seven safety tips from OSHA in mind to help prevent heat stroke or other heat-related illnesses.

Workplace tiff doesn’t mean workplace was necessarily a hostile environment

May 12, 2014
Some employees seem to think that any uncomfortable situation at work can become the basis for a lawsuit. Fortunately, they are wrong. Co-workers don’t always get along, but that’s hardly grounds for a hostile work environment charge.

Warn bosses against publicizing FMLA leave

April 30, 2014
It’s up to employees to decide how much they want to divulge to co-workers about their FMLA leave. Warn bosses never to discuss an FMLA request with those who don’t need to know about it.

Document that employee requested transfer

April 14, 2014
If an employee requests a transfer, be sure to document that he did so.

Set one standard for tardiness, stick with it

March 31, 2014
Make sure you set one standard for determining how late “tardy“ is and how it’s measured. The best bet: Use a time clock.