Solving for the unknown: No duty to accommodate disability that employee never revealed

October 31, 2011
Some disabled employees never tell employers about their con­­ditions—even if their disability could affect performance. And of course you know you shouldn’t treat employees as disabled unless they claim a disability. But what if you fire someone for poor performance?
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Aggressive defense makes short work of litigation

October 31, 2011
Never ignore an employee lawsuit, even if you think it is frivolous. In­­stead, prepare to defend yourself as soon as possible. That way, you can push for a quick dismissal if it’s clear the employee has no case.
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The art of giving negative feedback: A 7-step approach

October 28, 2011
Giving feedback is an important management task but certainly not an easy one—especially when the feedback isn’t all sunshine. Fortunately, it’s a skill that can be learned. Follow this seven-step method whenever giving negative feedback:
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Personality clash or hostile work environment? It depends on hypothetical ‘reasonable person’

October 17, 2011

Overly sensitive employees can interpret anything negative as hostile. But often what is subjectively hostile is just unpleasant from an objective standpoint, the result of an apparent personality conflict. It all depends on how a hypothetical “reasonable person” who finds himself in the same situation would view the matter.

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Sometimes it’s OK to fire before parental leave

October 17, 2011
Many employees believe that the FMLA and its state counterpart, the Minnesota Parental Leave Act (MPLA), absolutely prevent an employer from terminating someone who asks for or takes parental leave. That’s not the case.
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HR detective: How to solve the classic ‘he said/she said’ mystery

October 11, 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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Handle criminal inquiry with care, sensitivity

October 10, 2011

No one likes being accused of a criminal offense if they are innocent. Be careful about making such accusations publicly—you could end up being sued for defamation or intentional infliction of emotional distress. But that doesn’t mean you can’t investigate apparently missing funds and similar, possibly criminal cases.

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Holiday sampler: 4 treats to make HR’s season bright

October 8, 2011
The holidays are special, but they’re also an HR headache. Our early gift to you: Advice on everything from planning seasonal celebrations to handling end-of-year scheduling hassles.
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DOL: Company president pumped assets out of fund

October 3, 2011
The Employee Benefits Secu­r­ity Administration (EBSA) is suing Keith Davis, owner of Elmhurst-based A.B.D. Tank & Pump Co., claiming he drained his employees’ retirement fund of $1.9 million.
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Feds sue Northbrook union fund for improper lending

October 3, 2011
The Dol has sued the United Employee Benefit Fund in Northbrook and its trustees, following an investigation by the Employee Benefits Security Admin­istration that found the defendants violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by making improper loans.
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