It’s safe to tell the truth about former employees

January 3, 2011
Let’s say you have fired someone for breaking company rules, conduct so severe that the police get involved. What should you tell people who call later, looking for references on the former employee? The truth!
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Understanding Minnesota’s personnel record requirements gives you a leg up during litigation

January 3, 2011
Minnesota’s personnel record rules can cause problems for employers that don’t operate primarily in the state. For example, employers that aren’t used to the rules may not realize that employees can challenge the truthfulness of information in personnel records and then sue for defamation.
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Document all discipline, every complaint

January 3, 2011

Some employees may manufacture complaints when they think they’re in trouble at work. That’s why it’s so important to maintain good records of all work problems, discipline and complaints. Employers that can prove they were raising concerns about performance before the employee complained about discrimination or harassment effectively cut the causal link between the complaint and the alleged retaliation.

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Update job descriptions to include new duties

January 3, 2011

If you don’t have accurate and up-to-date job descriptions, you’re probably courting trouble—especially if an employee develops a disability and wants a reasonable accommodation. That’s because what an employee considers a job’s essential functions may not jibe with your assessment.

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Credibility plays part in handling harassment

January 3, 2011

When you have to fire a protected-class employee for sexual harassment, there’s always the fear that he will turn around and sue for discrimination. But remember: Credibility plays a part in deciding what happened in cases of alleged harassment. If a respected and trusted employee made the harassment accusation, the fired worker will have a hard time winning a lawsuit.

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When employee disobeys, document insubordination

January 2, 2011
You can and should discipline employees who refuse to follow directions. Just make sure you document the insubordination.
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Planning for productivity: What time of day are workers at their best?

September 15, 2010

If you plan important meetings for 3 p.m. or host brainstorming sessions after lunch, it’s time to reconsider those strategies. Late afternoon is the most common time for workers to hit the productivity wall, a new study says.

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Interviews: The legal way to ask 5 risky questions

August 4, 2009
Job discrimination claims are running at record-high levels in the past two years. Way too many problems start when hiring managers ask the wrong questions during job interviews. Here’s how to ask five key questions without risking a hiring discrimination charge. (Plus 16 questions no one should ever ask.)
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Onboarding: 15 questions to ask employees in their first 60 days

May 22, 2007

With the economy on the rise, employees are finding it easier to leave jobs in which they’re not completely comfortable. That’s putting more pressure on HR and managers to improve the onboarding process for new hires.

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25 off-limits interview questions

April 27, 2007
Job interviews present a minefield of legal problems. One wrong question could spark a discrimination lawsuit. That’s why you should never “wing it” during interviews. Instead, create a list of interview questions and make sure every question asks for job-related information that will help in the selection process. To avoid the appearance of discrimination during interviews, do not ask the following 25 questions:
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