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Site Map - The Workplace

Who’s Really Stealing Company Assets?

- Looking at whose hands are really in the corporate cookie jar. ------------------------------------------------------------------------

Legal Report

- Courts rule on hostile work environments. A federal appeals court upholds the fraud conviction of a former En­ron executive, while states introduce bills on defamatory information online and handguns in the workplace.

Discrimination

- An employee who was fired for harassing a fellow employee may not sue her employer for discrimination. The employee claimed it was her religious duty as a Christian to constantly tell a gay coworker that she “was going to hell” and “had no right to live on this earth.” After the employee was fired, she filed a lawsuit claiming that she was discriminated against because of her religion. The federal appeals court ruled that the employee was fired for harassing her coworker, not because of her religion.

Hostile Work Environment

- A federal appeals court has ruled that an employee may not sue his employer for creating a hostile work environment because the employer took immediate action to correct the problem, and the employee failed to report subsequent incidents. 

Behind the Numbers

- Forrester Research examines why employees are using unauthorized software at work.

Defamation

- Those who publicly report expunged conviction records are not liable for defamation if the information disclosed is true, according to the New Jersey Supreme Court. In the case, a political campaign publicized the expunged drug conviction of an opponent’s aide in a flyer.

Retaliation

- An employee who was fired shortly after complaining of sexual harassment may pursue his retaliation claim against his employer, according to a federal appeals court (.pdf). The employee may pursue his lawsuit because he was fired two days after making a claim. The timing alone, ruled the court, serves as circumstantial evidence of retaliation.

Discrimination

- An employer is liable for discrimination against an employee who was also a member of the U.S. Army Reserves, according to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court ruled that even though the person who fired the reservist had no discriminatory motives, she relied on information from those who did.

The Matrix Quandary

- Companies get into trouble when the rules they develop for their hiring-decision matrix are not well-conceived or legally defensible.

Investigating Abroad

- To get the most useful information possible, companies must know how to find the best vendor for the job.

Elsewhere in the Courts: Employment

- A federal appeals court has ruled that an employee who was terminated for taking seven weeks of unapproved leave may not sue her employer under the Family and Medical Leave Act. The court ruled that the employee’s spiritual healing trip was not protected under the statute because it was actually a vacation.

State Legislation: Washington: Bullying

- Lawmakers in Washington are considering a bill (H.B. 1928) that would make it illegal for companies to subject employees to an “abusive work environment,” defined as a workplace where abuse is so severe as to cause physical or psychological harm to an employee. The bill provides a defense for employers. It states that a company must prove that it took reasonable care to correct the abusive conduct and that the employee failed to take advantage of the corrective measures offered by the company. Companies also have a defense if the bullying allegation is based on a legitimate, negative employment decision, such as a demotion or termination, or if the allegation is in response to a company’s investigation of potentially illegal or unethical activity.

State Legislation: Kansas: Discrimination

- A new bill (S.B. 53) introduced in Kansas would expand state discrimination laws to prohibit discrimination by employers based on sexual orientation. Currently, employees are only protected from discrimination based on race, religion, gender, and disability.
 




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