What are the rules on setting a late policy?

October 3, 2011
Q, We would like to institute a rule subjecting em­­ployees to discipline for clocking in late. Are we permitted to do this even though we round our employees’ time to the nearest quarter-hour?
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Have a progressive discipline system? Beware giving more leeway to younger employees

October 3, 2011

It might make sense to give newer employees a bit more leeway when it comes to discipline for poor job performance. After all, sometimes it takes time to learn a job well. But if the newer employees happen to be younger than another, older employee who doesn’t get the same benefit of the doubt, you may spark an age discrimination lawsuit.

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Is it a personality conflict or discrimination? Let investigation guide your response

October 3, 2011
There are times when a supervisor and a subordinate simply can’t get along. It’s important for HR to distinguish between a personality conflict and discrimination. The former is cause for concern because it is disruptive and counterproductive. But the latter must be dealt with immediately and firmly—because it’s illegal.
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Can fired poor performer receive unemployment benefits?

October 3, 2011
Q. One of our employee’s job performance no longer meets our standards. While she used to be a good worker, she’s now making a lot of errors, coming in late from time to time and not getting along with her co-workers … If we fire her for poor performance—which we would consider termination for cause—will she be eligible to collect unemployment compensation?
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More than crullers & coffee at Rockaway Dunkin’ Donuts

October 3, 2011
An employee at a Rockaway Dunkin’ Donuts faces prostitution charges after local police caught her supplementing her income by providing additional services. Police had re­­ceived an anonymous tip that the woman was making late-night trips to Dunkin’ Donuts a little sweeter for some patrons.
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Know union rules on probationary employees

October 3, 2011
You won’t find many employers extolling the upsides of having a unionized workforce, but there is one advantage. If your union contract provides for a probationary period before an employee becomes a permanent part of your workforce, you may have more discretion in how you discipline the new em­­ployee.
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How to avoid the top 5 employment law mistakes employers make

October 3, 2011
Failing to effectively communicate with your employees isn’t just bad for business. It also can create legal trouble. Here are five of the most common errors that land employers in court. As you’ll see, communication lies at the heart of all of them.
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Poor performer has complained? Read this before firing!

September 28, 2011

Employers usually don’t have a problem terminating an em­­ployee for poor performance if the employee has never raised any kind of discrimination claim. But somehow, as soon as an employee goes to the EEOC (or even just HR) with a complaint, the same employer doesn’t know what to do. Should you terminate the em­­ployee and face a potential retaliation suit?

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Remind managers to track verbal discipline, too

September 23, 2011
Employees don’t go from good to terrible instantly. There is usually a slow and steady decline. Be sure that the process is carefully documented, right from the very first verbal warning.
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Don’t let fear prevent firing of whistle-blower: Your complete records will back you up

September 23, 2011
Some whistle-blowing employees think they can’t be disciplined if they report alleged wrongdoing to authorities or upper management. That’s not true. Employers can always discipline employees who break rules or perform poorly. The key is fairness and equal treatment.
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