My Current State: 

Alabama Hostile Work Environment

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Both employers and employees in Alabama, and elsewhere in the U.S., have some serious misunderstandings about what constitutes the creation of a “hostile work environment.”

Sometimes a mean, emotionally volatile or incompetent boss is inaccurately accused of creating a hostile work environment.

However, that is ... continue reading

Colorado Hostile Work Environment

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Two employers recently had to pay out $1 million for each aggrieved employee after it was found that they each allowed a “hostile work environment” to continue.

These two examples show why it is so critical that Colorado employers and employees understand just what a “hostile work ... continue reading

Hawaii Hostile Work Environment

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Kiki’s boss in a Hawaii company micro-manages. He yells, screams, throws things, and constantly criticizes employees of every race, ethnicity, religion, and age, and both sexes.  

Is he guilty of creating a hostile work environment?   

The answer is “no.” He may be a ... continue reading

Missouri Hostile Work Environment

Thursday, April 15th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Sexual harassment and the creation of a hostile work environment are both serious matters that employers in Missouri are obliged to stop when incidents of either are brought to their attention.

Failure to halt either kind of behavior is not only bad management, but could result in ... continue reading

Alaska Hostile Work Environment

Thursday, April 8th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
What is a “hostile work environment” and what is “sexual harassment”?

The phrase “sexual harassment” seems obvious but it is often used interchangeably with “hostile work environment,” even though the two phrases are distinct.

Sexual harassment occurs when unwanted sexual attentions or advances are involved. ... continue reading

Hawaii Hostile Work Environment

Thursday, April 1st, 2010
Posted by Tamara
The terms “hostile work environment” and sexual harassment are two entirely different phrases with two completely different meanings.

This needs to be emphasized because many people confuse them and use the terms interchangeably. TV sitcoms like The Office and even the advice column Dear Abby have made ... continue reading

Hostile Work Environment

Thursday, March 25th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Employers who fail to intervene when a hostile work environment exists could end up paying dramatically large damages to the aggrieved workers under federal law.

In a recent case, for example, a dozen former and current female employees of a new car dealership chain were awarded $12 ... continue reading

Iowa Hostile Work Environment

Thursday, March 18th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
If an employee in Iowa is targeted for negative or insulting behavior because of race, sex, color, national ancestry, religion, pregnancy, age, or disability, that employee is dealing with a hostile work environment. The guilty party could be a supervisor, but it could just as easily be a coworker. ... continue reading

Illinois Meal Break

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
There are nineteen states in the US including California, Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky and Connecticut that have enacted laws at the state level requiring meal breaks for employees.

Illinois requires a meal break for employees who work a shift of 7.5 hours of more. Normally this meal break ... continue reading

Kentucky Hostile Work Environment

Thursday, January 14th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Just what is a “hostile work environment”?

Many workers and employers in Kentucky misunderstand the concept of the “hostile work environment.” It is, in fact, the most misunderstood idea in the Human Resources field.

It does not matter how rude, insulting or obnoxious a supervisor ... continue reading

Colorado Hostile Work Environment

Thursday, January 7th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
What is an example of a “hostile work environment”? What can an employee do to combat the problem?

These are just two among the many questions about the concept of the hostile work environment that arise among Colorado employees. Questions come up because the concept is one ... continue reading

Delaware Hostile Work Environment

Thursday, December 31st, 2009
Posted by Tamara
The term “hostile work environment” is frequently heard but seldom understood, thanks to its misuse on sitcoms like The Office .

In Delaware, for example, many employees have questions about just what constitutes a hostile work environment. Does it refer to any rude or bullying boss, or ... continue reading

Federal Religious Discrimination

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Federal law demands it: many employers throughout the U.S. must allow their employees of the Islamic faith to take prayer breaks.

Muslims, in turn, are required by their religion to pray, facing east, five specific times during the day.

Many employers have answered this spiritual ... continue reading

Disciplinary Notices in Florida

Monday, November 16th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Most companies have instituted policies regulating written warnings for employees. Such policies have, in fact, become standard operating procedure for many firms.

No Florida or other state or federal law covers procedures for written disciplinary notices. The process has been established simply because it is the best ... continue reading

Religious Discrimination in New York

Friday, November 13th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Some employees take smoking breaks. Others take breaks to enjoy a coffee and doughnut.

Why, then, should a New York employee not be allowed to use the break time to practice his or her religious belief?

That is one useful approach employees could take when ... continue reading

Missouri Religious Discrimination

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Employers in Missouri as well as the rest of the U.S. are legally required to make what are called “reasonable accommodations” for a worker’s “sincerely held” religious beliefs.

Since 9/11, religious discrimination against Muslims in the workplace has led to several court cases.

Dress code ... continue reading

Michigan Hostile Work Environment

Saturday, October 31st, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Many employees in Michigan have questions about hostile work environments.

The hostile work environment is one of the most misunderstood concepts in Human Resources. This is partly because it is regularly misused in the popular media, including sitcoms like The Offi ce, starring comedian Steve Carell.

... continue reading

New Hampshire 401k

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
The majority of the health and pension plans established by private industry are covered under ERISA (Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974). This law applies to employees in New Hampshire and across the country. ERISA was enacted to set minimum standards for health and pension plans, including 401k ... continue reading

West Virginia Confidential Files

Monday, October 26th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Several federal laws and court cases mandate that an employee’s personal data be kept confidential. This data includes age, race, gender, country of origin, religion, color, medical condition and disability status. Federal law requires employers to keep disability information separate from the employee personnel files, and to keep it ... continue reading

Nebraska Confidential Files

Monday, October 12th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Nebraska employees wonder exactly what type of information is considered confidential, and how their “two-lock” system of maintaining confidentiality works.

There are several federal laws that require certain types of employee data to be kept confidential, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the ... continue reading

Disciplinary Warnings in Connecticut

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Terminating an employee is a process fraught with potential complications.

That is why employers are advised by the best Human Resources professionals to institute a formal disciplinary policy that includes written warnings.

No federal law and no Connecticut or other state law addresses written warnings ... continue reading

Kansas Swine Flu Warnings

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Employers should take steps to protect their employees, and their business, against a major Swine Flu outbreak this winter. This includes encouraging employees to stay at home when they are ill.

While there is no need for panic, Swine Flu poses a deadly threat to seniors, small ... continue reading

Written Warnings in New Mexico

Friday, September 4th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Written warnings   are a useful tool for employers dealing with intransigent workers. Many employees wonder if they have to sign the written warning. The answer is “no” – but refusing to sign the warning does not make it invalid.

They are not covered by federal or ... continue reading

Missouri Swine Flu Warnings

Friday, September 4th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Employers in Missouri are urged by OSHA to have a plan in place in the event of an influenza epidemic or pandemic.

Plans should include keeping contact between employees themselves, or between employees and customers, down to a minimum.

The emergency plans might involve allowing ... continue reading

Utah ADA

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009
Posted by Tamara
The workplace has become considerably more accessible to the differently-abled Utah employee in the last 20 years.

It was only in 1990 that the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, was passed. Until then, employers were not legally required to make any accommodations for disabled workers. Public ... continue reading

Written Warnings in Tennessee

Thursday, August 27th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Many Tennessee employees have asked, “Do I have to sign a written warning?” The answer is no – but refusal to sign really does not change anything. The warning still “counts” and the employee can still be terminated, even if the employee refuses to sign the written warning.

... continue reading

Illinois Minimum Wage for Training

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Employees in Illinois receiving minimum wage receive some of the best rates in the country at $8.00 per hour starting July 1, 2009.

On that date, the Illinois minimum wage went to $8.00 an hour, putting it on a par with California, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. It joined ... continue reading

Mississippi Travel Time and FLSA

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Paid travel time is a popular topic among Mississippi employees. For instance, if an employee drives from job site to job site everyday, is that travel time considered paid time?

The answer lies in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA). This federal law established minimum ... continue reading

Wisconsin Swine Flu Warnings

Monday, June 22nd, 2009
Posted by Tamara
Many employees have questions about a potential Wisconsin Swine Flu outbreak. An influenza pandemic (a global epidemic) hasn’t occurred for over a century. In 1918, the Spanish Flu afflicted 50% of the world’s population, killing around 50 million people more than all the lives lost in World War I. ... continue reading

Texas Discrimination

Friday, June 12th, 2009
Posted by Tamara
In 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill (ENDA) which would outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. The Senate, however, failed to pass the law in that legislative session.

In order for discrimination based on sexual orientation to become illegal in the U.S., ENDA or ... continue reading