DISCIPLINE / INVESTIGATIONS

Court issues restraining order against employee? That's good enough to support discipline

02/17/2017
What should happen if a physical altercation in the workplace ends with one employee securing a restraining order against the other? Can you fire the apparent instigator for breaking workplace rules against fighting? Will that expose you to liability?

Is drama about dress really worth a lawsuit?

01/19/2017
If you fire someone because the way she dresses causes drama in the workplace, you may face a sex discrimination and harassment claim.

Jury backs worker on progressive discipline

01/17/2017
A case we covered last month—see “Consistently apply progressive discipline” in the January 2017 issue of Texas Employment Law—has now gone to trial.

Is that protected activity or an argument? OK to discipline forbidden behavior

01/02/2017
Employers have to let workers raise concerns about safety and other workplace problems. However, they don’t have to put up with incessant arguing in the workplace.

Documentation key if you must discipline employee who took protected leave

12/13/2016
Document it carefully if, while an employee is out on protected leave, you discover that she has broken a workplace rule that warrants discipline.

Consistently apply progressive discipline

12/08/2016
Progressive discipline may end up becoming a trap for employers that don’t scrupulously honor the underlying purpose of the rule being implemented.

OK to discipline for bullying online posts

12/01/2016
If you have solid policy guidance on proper workplace behavior, you shouldn’t worry too much about punishing abusive or offensive online behavior that crosses the line into bullying or worse.

Absolute proof not required, just good faith

12/01/2016
As long as you conduct a fair and impartial investigation aimed at getting to the truth, courts don’t demand that you get every fact right.

Treat cases independently when employee being disciplined files complaint of her own

11/29/2016
Sometimes, an employee facing discipline will fight back with allegations of her own. Handle those allegations separately from any pending disciplinary action, and be sure to carefully document each step of both processes.

Every time, be ready to justify why you disciplined

11/17/2016
Generally, you should enforce workplace rules as equally as possible.

Beware hasty decisions, investigate all the angles

11/10/2016
After investigating a workplace incident but before making a final decision, consider hiring a neutral investigator to assess what really happened.

Apply this fair and firm 5-step progressive discipline policy

10/25/2016
A progressive discipline system is the most reliable way to protect your organization from wrongful termination charges.

Harassment investigations: What to ask

10/14/2016
When investigating an employee’s complaint of harassment—sexual or otherwise—tailor your inquiries to the facts of that case.

Patience key to lawsuit-proof firing decisions

09/26/2016
When a fired employee sues you, winning often depends on careful documentation that demonstrates how her performance did not meet your standards.

Compare planned discipline with previous incidents

09/16/2016
When it comes to discipline, the key is equitable enforcement. Otherwise, someone might sue.
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