No money changed hands? Legal settlement still stands

Have you ever considered settling an employment dispute by having an employee promise to quit or retire, without any monetary payment? Don’t worry that such an agreement will later fall apart.

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?

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.

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.

Refusal to sign discipline memo? What to do

Every HR professional knows the importance of disciplinary documentation. But what happens if an employee refuses to sign a disciplinary memo?

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.

Co-workers are complaining: How should we deal with employee's body odor?

Q. We have an employee with a strong and unpleasant personal odor. We have gotten several complaints from other employees regarding this issue. What can we do about this, and how do we address it with the employee?

Use Deflategate's lessons to get a grip on investigations

The issues raised by this NFL controversy provide great lessons for those tasked with conducting an investigation in the workplace.

Progressive discipline can help win bias suits


Discharged employees often sue, counting on their protected status—based on race, sex, national origin and so on—to create the impression that they were fired for discriminatory reasons. That’s why it’s important to use a progressive discipline system. It lets you counter discrimination allegations with solid, documented performance or behavior problems that warranted discharge.

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