Hostile Work Environment Definition
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How To Request Job Accommodations From Your Boss By Using the ADA

By Mary, The Undercover HR Director ("OnYourSide" in the Forums) The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees with disabilities. For all the kicking and screaming by employers about making accommodations, you’d think accommodations cost them millions of dollars – but it’s not true! Accommodations for people with disabilities are usually extremely low or even no cost. The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) conducted a study recently that showed as many as 56 percent of workplace accommodations cost NOTHING. Of those accommodations that did have a cost, the average one-time cost was $600. What other kind of investment could an employer make in their employees that would buy them so much goodwill? What … [Read more...]

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New Work Laws Protecting You in 2009

With a new year come new laws that can protect you. At the Federal level, new laws went into effect on January 1, 2009 which expand the definiation of "disability" under the ADA, and extend and expand FMLA protection for people who have had a loved one serving in the military.  The Federal minimum wage will also go up on July 24, 2009 to $7.25 per hour. (Until then the Federal minimum wage is $6.55 per hour). At the state level, a bevy of new laws come into effect.  In California, for instance, new laws address meal and rest periods, pay for computer professionals, work comp reporting, and (during your commute) ban text messaging while driving. New laws in Illinois also expands the reach of both the FMLA and ADA as applied in that state, by making eating disorders qualify under … [Read more...]

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“I Went On Med Leave and Now This…?!” Employee Unfriendly H.R.

Of the many questions I receive and respond to each week, I thought this one was particularly interesting because it shows how short-sighted and employee-unfriendly H.R. departments can be. A gentleman used medical leave for the first time in his twelve year career. He had to work with his doctor to adjust some medications; then he was set to return to work and continue in his twelfth year with the company without a single bad appraisal. "CAN I SCREAM DISCRIMINATION..." Suddenly and without warning he receives a letter from the Human Resources Department that states: "....if you will need accommodation(s) when you return, please contact the Office of Workplace Diversity before your return. They will assist you with that process......" The letter doesn't sound mean, but what … [Read more...]