Good faith–not perfection–is standard for deciding if wrongdoing calls for discipline

January 7, 2011
Do you worry that you need absolute proof of wrongdoing before disciplining an employee? You don’t. Employers have to be fair, not absolutely right.
Read the full article →

DOL teams up with ABA–expect more FMLA, FLSA suits

January 7, 2011
Since Dec. 13, employees with unresolved FMLA or Fair Labor Standards Act complaints with the DOL have been told of another option: a toll-free phone number that can link them to an ABA-approved attorney in their area who could handle their lawsuit.
Read the full article →

Proceed with care during union negotiations

January 7, 2011

Here’s a warning to employers facing a union for the first time. Get an attorney right away and rely on his or her advice to guide your actions. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has just issued a tough decision requiring an employer to rehire employees it terminated during a strike.

Read the full article →

Call lawyer about worker’s perceived disability

January 7, 2011

It may seem like the obvious move: If an employee has a medical condition that makes it impossible to do her job safely, then it makes sense to terminate her. Not so fast! Consult your attorney before you fire her.

Read the full article →

Emotional distress suits: Court says employers can access medical records going back 2 years

January 7, 2011
Employers have a right to defend themselves if an employee sues them for discriminating in a way that inflicts emotional distress. Now a court has agreed that employers are entitled to see medical records dating back two years from the time of the alleged discrimination that the employee says triggered the emotional distress.
Read the full article →

Stop lawsuits cold: Launch immediate investigation when bias accusations fly

January 7, 2011

Some managers worry needlessly that they will be sued for discrimination if they fire an employee—especially one who acts as though she has a chip on her shoulder. But as long as an internal investigation finds that the employee hasn’t been discriminated against because of a protected characteristic, you likely have little to worry about.

Read the full article →

When harassment case is on the line, be ready to prove you did everything you could to stop it

January 7, 2011
Employers have an obligation to try to prevent harassment when it erupts. But courts often give an “A” for effort. They won’t measure your efforts solely by whether your prevention strategy worked.
Read the full article →

Worker always complaining? Investigate anyway

January 7, 2011

Some employees gripe all the time. You know them: They’re the ones who regularly appear in your doorway, ready to file yet another complaint with HR about supposed unfair treatment and discrimination. No matter how groundless, look into their claims.

Read the full article →

Three’s a crowd: Can an employee bring someone else along to his performance appraisal?

January 7, 2011
Q. An employee has asked to have his wife present during his performance evaluation. Does he have the right to bring a representative?
Read the full article →

Sick leave and FMLA: Should you call off your call-in policy?

January 7, 2011
Does your call-in policy demand that employees contact their supervisors daily when they’re out sick? If so, can you still require that of employees who are out on FMLA leave? Here’s what a ruling last week said …
Read the full article →