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October 2013 Archives

Professor says school retaliated for his report of harassment

A professor at a law school has filed a suit against his former employer after what he says was a string of retaliatory actions that took place when he reported seeing some questionable behavior at an event. Specifically the professor witnessed the dean of the law school touch the back of a female assistant dean, an act which both the professor and his wife described as “creepy” and “unnerving”. There was one other report of the same dean making comments that made a female staff member uncomfortable as well.

When should you tell your boss about a pregnancy?

Telling an employer that you or your spouse is expecting a baby can be a nerve-wracking experience. It can be hard to know how a boss will react and whether it will impact your career. As a result, many people take different approaches to disclosing a pregnancy and starting the discussion on maternity or paternity leave, but there are a few things that employees can do to make the process easier.

Potential whistleblowers face tough decision

For the average reader who has never had a serious ethical concern about their employer’s activities, it probably seems clear-cut that it is right to report something that is unethical or illegal. However, when faced with a real-life decision the issues can become fuzzier as employees try to balance doing what they think is right with keeping their jobs, providing for their families, and maintaining a good reputation.

Home improvement chain accused of discrimination

National home improvement retailer Home Depot has been accused of discriminating against gay employees during a round of layoffs that began in 2008 when the store cut staff because of the recession. In a lawsuit brought by a former employee who was fired recently claims that the store used misguided and false stereotypes to justify discriminating against gay employees, believing that they were more expensive to keep on the payroll because of their potential insurance needs and concerns about covering benefits for same-sex partners of employees. 

Tax case puts spotlight on severance pay

The United States Supreme Court will hear a highly influential case having to do with severance payments for employees. Specifically, the case deals with the tax status of these payments and whether or not they are considered "wages" for purposes of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax. FICA taxes fund Social Security and Medicaire.

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