NLRB: You can't gag talk about investigations

For years, attorneys have urged employers conducting workplace investigations to make the employees they interview swear to keep the conversation confidential. But that conventional wisdom is in danger.

Is it time to require arbitration of employee claims?

Increasingly, mandatory arbitration clauses are surfacing in employment contracts and employee handbooks. What are the pros and cons?

Telework takes off in last 10 years

Telecommuting has tripled since 2004, as more than one-fifth of employers now report that at least 10% of their employees work remotely.

Should have foreseen psychic reading trouble at the VA

Following an investigation by the Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general, two high-ranking managers at the VA’s troubled pension management center in Germantown have been suspended for getting too friendly with some employees.

Justice has execs looking over their shoulders

Attorney General Loretta Lynch appears to be placing her imprint on Justice Department prosecution strategy—by making it a matter of policy to go after not just companies that break the law, but the individual executives and CEOs who tolerate or encourage misdeeds.

Build flexibility into your disciplinary process

When two employees break the same workplace rule, the surest way to avoid a potential lawsuit is to punish both exactly the same. However, that’s not always practical or appropriate.

3 out of 4 workers agree: We're working with adolescents!

It’s not a jungle out there in the workplace anymore—certain behaviors are making it more like middle school.

Details make the difference when defending discipline

We’ve said it before: Document every disciplinary action and be specific. The employer in this case won because it had excellent contemporaneous records to explain its disciplinary action.

Deal with workers who've 'mentally retired'

An older employee isn’t untouchable. You can demand the same level of productivity from all employees and discipline them accordingly. Just be prepared to take special steps to stay away from age-bias claims. Here’s how to handle employees who are nearing retirement but who have already “mentally retired”:

How to write performance goals: 10 sample phrases

Well-written performance goals help energize employees and point them in right direction. But some managers and HR pros have trouble finding the right words. Here are 10 phrases to adapt, from 2600 Phrases for Setting Effective Performance Goals by Paul Falcone.

Back to school: 4 teacher tactics to use with your staff


Teachers are some of the first “managers” that people ever encounter. Teachers organize each day to get maximum results from their charges, and they must deal with a wide variety of skills levels, motivation levels and communication challenges along the way. Here are four ideas worth borrowing from teachers to bring to the workplace.

You can tell your employees where they're headed--can't you?

A recent survey revealed many people would be more engaged in their work if only their bosses could paint a picture of their future.

Disability isn't 'get out of jail free' card--it must be revealed before discipline


Some workers who learn they’re about to be disciplined or even fired for poor behavior may try to use an alleged disability as an excuse. But if they never revealed before that they have a disability, it’s too late to try that tactic on the eve of being punushed.

Anticipate lawsuit by offering second chance, fresh supervisor to struggling employee

If a marginal employee is having a hard time getting along with his boss, think about giving him a second chance with a new supervisor. It may help—and it won’t hurt if you still end up firing the employee.

Disciplinary cases require detailed records


You know the mantra: To win lawsuits, you must document, document, document! When it comes to employees who sue you for discrimination after they have been disciplined, documentation means making careful, contemporaneous notes about alleged rule-breaking or other wrongdoing. It means and saving records for every disciplinary action. You can’t just zealously document misdeeds by the employee you think will sue. You have to do it for everyone.

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