Employee failed to tell us about the unsafe condition that led to her injury--can we discipline?

Q: “I have an employee who told me on Monday that she was hurt on the prior Thursday. While we will certainly take care of the injury and report it and offer care, we would like to write up a disciplinary notice for her not immediately reporting both the unsafe condition that caused the injury as well as the injury itself. May we do this?” – Kary, Maryland

When an investigation is inevitable

At some point the question becomes not whether you need to dig deep into a case of workplace misconduct, but who you're going to get for the task. Here are some guidelines.

Workplace detective: 10 investigation mistakes to avoid

How you look into misconduct can have huge legal implications for your company. Get the process right the first time.

Investigating workplace misconduct: How to use your poker face & steady hand

A workplace investigation is no country for amateurs. Attorney Ann Kotlarski has laid out what a reasonable one looks like and reveals why you'd better put the very best people on cases holding even a germ of trouble.

Workers ask to talk to HR about their boss: What now?

You are probably accustomed to meeting with individual employees who have problems with a manager. But what do you do when a handful of employees request a meeting with HR? Don’t be flustered, intimidated or decline to meet. Use the following plan to handle the situation.

Last-chance agreement can salvage employee

If immediate termination isn’t wanted or warranted, use a last-chance agreement to retain a marginal worker who shows some promise. It will show a court that you acted in good faith before ultimately pulling the termination trigger.

Employee of Philly nonprofit confesses to killing boss

A co-worker has confessed to shooting and killing the executive director of a Philadelphia nonprofit while she waited for her morning bus.

Better late than never--if you have a good excuse

Getting to work on time can be hard enough without the added obstacles imposed by bathroom mishaps, gas station stick-ups and, of course, bands of roving deer. The pollsters at CareerBuilder recently asked more than 2,100 hiring and HR managers for the most ridiculous excuses for tardiness they have heard.

Even if criminal charges don't hold up, it's OK to discipline government worker


When a government employee is arrested and charged with a crime related to her job, most public employers take some form of action—typically suspending the employee pending trial. If they are found guilty, they usually are terminated. Then the employee is entitled to “some sort of a hearing,” according to Supreme Court precedent. But what if criminal charges wind up being dropped?

Don't let internal complaint derail discipline

When faced with negative reviews and worried about losing their jobs, some employees file internal discrimination complaints in an effort to avoid discipline. Don’t play that game!

Start progressive discipline if there's been no cooperation


Some employees resent it when their employer requests work that falls outside their usual job duties. They may resist training and generally become uncooperative to the point of insubordination. That’s when it’s time to implement your progressive discipline system.

Defend discipline with detailed records


You discipline an employee for a serious rule violation, perhaps by firing the employee. Because you had good reasons for discharging the employee, you may think that you can’t be sued for discrimination. That’s not necessarily true.

Even unwritten rules must be enforced fairly and consistently

It’s not enough to impartially and equitably uphold your formal rules. As this new case shows, even unwritten rules require fair and evenhanded enforcement.

Sexual Harassment: Overview


HR Law 101: Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Courts are increasingly taking a dim view of employers that don't take decisive action to prevent sexual harassment ...

Sex Discrimination


HR Law 101: Sex discrimination and sexual harassment are illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The law requires that employers treat male and female workers equally in all terms and conditions of employment ...

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