Legal Issues

Racial code words; service members’ rights

October 1, 2006
What happens when harassers wield not traditional racial slurs but code words? … USERRA protects the jobs of National Guard members and reservists when they’re called to duty.

E-mail: still getting people in trouble

September 1, 2006
To be honest, we thought people had figured this out by now: E-mail is not private. Indeed, it’s about the least private form of communication most of us use.

‘River’ washes away unions?; Bias charges on Wall Street

September 1, 2006
A possible ruling may change the role of skilled workers in union shops … Merrill Lynch faces a possible class-action suit alleging bias against African Americans.

Pregnancy on the job; keeping accurate time records

August 1, 2006
Are employers required to provide light-duty work for pregnant women? … Wal-Mart sued for forcing employees to work “off the clock.”

Trendspotter: Identity theft and the workplace

August 1, 2006
If somebody gave out awards for such things, identity theft would surely be 2006’s “crime of the year.” With tens of millions of Americans’ personal information stolen or gone missing, and with a new high-profile security breach reported seemingly every week, privacy practices and data security have become center-stage issues for employees and managers.

Legal Matters

July 1, 2006
The U.S. Supreme Court in April heard argu­ments in a class-action suit against Mohawk Industries … Meanwhile, the California Supreme Court has dismissed a harassment suit brought by a writ­er’s assistant on the TV hit Friends.

That can’t happen here? Don’t be so sure

July 1, 2006
Some time back, I looked up from my desk and saw on TV a middle-aged woman on one of the cable news channels, with the on-screen text screaming “Spanked at Work!”

Rethinking retaliation

June 1, 2006
The U.S. Supreme Court has now heard argu­ments in a case we noted back in February, involving a railroad yard worker who was transferred to a more difficult, lower-status position after filing a sexual harassment com­plaint …

Immigration: The Employer Perspective

June 1, 2006
The U.S. Congress is still deadlocked on reforming an immigration system that nearly everyone agrees is broken. It’s a topic of very heated controversy and much debate—and employers and managers are right in the middle of it.

What to do when you suspect employee theft

June 1, 2006
When you suspect an employee of stealing, you have a potentially explo­sive situation on your hands.