Employment Law

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Never tie performance woes to disability

April 14, 2015
Warn bosses that they should never link an employee’s performance deficiencies to a supposed disability. The focus should be strictly on what the worker has or hasn’t accomplished and how that compares to your standards—not on underlying reasons for success or failure.
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Regularly check your bulletin board and other spots for offensive material

April 14, 2015
When was the last time you walked around the workplace with an eye for potentially offensive materials on walls, bulletin boards or cubicles? Making it a routine practice can help prevent a hostile environment lawsuit.
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Distracted driving: A reminder of the risks

April 14, 2015
Managers should be aware of the risks of contacting employees who are driving vehicles.
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Lessons from the courts: Nooses, dinosaurs and repeat offenders

April 6, 2015
Here’s what managers need to take away from recent lawsuits in the news.
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Are Skyped meetings compensable?

March 19, 2015
Q: Department managers conduct monthly meetings in person and via Skype for employees who are off, so they don’t have to come in and attend the meetings. Must we pay a minimum amount of hours?
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In some cases, a lateral transfer could be seen as retaliation

March 12, 2015

Employees who complain about alleged discrimination, either to their employer or to an agency such as the EEOC, are protected from retaliation. However, the retaliation has to be something that would persuade a reasonable employee not to complain in the first place. Ordinarily, that requires a so-called adverse employment action like discharge or demotion. Lesser actions, such as a lateral transfer, don’t count. That is, unless that transfer carries with it serious consequences—such as a dramatically longer commute.

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Worker won’t sign disciplinary memo? You can fire for insubordination

March 12, 2015

Some employees don’t take discipline well. What may have started as a reprimand over a rule violation or poor work can quickly escalate for one of these workers. Don’t be afraid to increase the disciplinary consequences if the employee won’t cooperate or accept correction.

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Never threaten deductions from exempts’ pay

March 11, 2015
A supervisor’s single threat leading to a salary deduction could cost your company millions.
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Can I force a worker to change his shift?

February 26, 2015
Q. I need to move an employee to the night shift and no one is volunteering. Can I just force the move?  — Tom, Rhode Island
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Feel free to discipline disabled worker who disrupts and threatens co-workers

February 11, 2015
As the following case shows, disciplining an employee shortly after he’s requested accommodations is fine as long as you can show the disciplinary reason is legitimate.
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