Cincinnati union leader faces jail time, fines for fraud

September 23, 2011
Former Cincinnati city employees’ union president Diana Frey has pleaded guilty to federal charges of embezzling more than $750,000 from the Cincinnati Organized and Dedicated Employees (CODE) union.
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Exhibit A: Avoid the 3 most common documentation mistakes

September 23, 2011

“Document, Document, Document.” Employment attorneys say it all the time. The quality of your documentation relating to performance management and discipline goes to the heart of your credibility as a manager or HR professional. Anything less and your documentation becomes Exhibit A for the plaintiff.

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Detroit firms pay employees to move to downtown homes

September 21, 2011

Five Detroit companies are offering employees cash incentives to live down­­town. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michi­­gan, Compuware Corp., DTE Energy, Quicken Loans and Strategic Staffing Solutions will give employees more than $4 million over five years if they move into any of six downtown neighborhoods.

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Virginia bank creates family atmosphere

September 13, 2011
Employees of Monarch Bank work at cubicles so huge that they call them “Taj Ma-cubes.” Every President’s Day, they celebrate “Monarch Day” with training sessions and an awards ceremony. And last year, their bonus checks were 30% bigger than the year before. Result: Employees stay.
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Cydcor sales offices donate 400 volunteer hours

September 12, 2011

The home office of Cydcor, a provider of outsourced, face-to-face sales teams, is sending a little something extra to its 200 independent sales offices—and asking them to pass it along. Through the Neighborhood Leader Program, the offices are encouraged to donate their time and talent to nonprofit, charitable organizations in their communities.

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Be prepared to defend retaliation lawsuit if fired worker had ever complained to HR

September 9, 2011

Fired employees seeking money (or revenge) often wrack their brains to recall incidents that might justify a sexual harassment or discrimination lawsuit. Suddenly, that casual complaint to HR starts to look like a pretext for their discharge—at least in their minds and their attorneys’. That’s why you should assume that every complaint will become the basis for a lawsuit.

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Investigations: How to solve the classic ‘he said/she said’ impasse

September 7, 2011
It’s a mistake that’s all too common: An employer investigating harassment claims or other workplace infraction fails to act when the inquiry bumps up against a “he said/she said” wall. There are four factors critical to assessing witness credibility: demeanor, consistency, chronology, and past history and motivations.
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Remind supervisors: Constructive criticism is expected–not an excuse for employees to sue

September 2, 2011

Some employees are overly sensitive. They may perceive punishment or discrimination in something the boss considers merely constructive criticism. Tell supervisors: Don’t shrink from offering criticism, even in the case of a high performer who otherwise has earned a good evaluation.

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Are there perils in giving a pay raise in hopes of boosting employee performance?

September 2, 2011
Q. About four months ago, we gave a pay raise to a marginal employee who is pregnant, in hopes that it would improve her job performance by boosting her morale. Unfortunately, her performance has gone from bad to worse. If we fire her for poor performance, can she successfully argue that the recent raise indicates that she was performing well and that our reason for terminating her was discriminatory?
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Note to thin-skinned employees: Constructive criticism doesn’t qualify you for unemployment

September 2, 2011

Employees who work under genu­­inely intolerable conditions can quit their jobs and still collect un­­em­­ployment compensation. But those situations are rare—and don’t provide cover for overly sensitive workers. Supervisors routinely criticize employees and offer suggestions for improvement. That’s normal and doesn’t constitute harassment.

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