DISCIPLINE / INVESTIGATIONS

Can we discipline an employee for his girlfriend's actions?

04/18/2014

Q. We have an employee whose girlfriend has come in and wandered through the production floor without permission. We have escorted her out of the building twice in the last month. What are our options if she comes in again? Should we call the police? Is there any way we can discipline the employee because his girlfriend keeps calling in several times a day wanting to talk with him?

Medication affecting performance: What to do?

04/04/2014
Q. A long-term employee has been working part time for a year due to double knee replacement surgery. She takes painkillers, but not during work hours. Recently, she’s displayed poor judgment, doesn’t concentrate well and sometimes shakes all over. We’re concerned she may be addicted to the painkillers. We reassigned her to a job that carries less risk. What can we legally do to address this?

Cash is king for light-fingered workers

04/01/2014
Almost two-thirds of small businesses have been victims of employee theft, and 40% of the time, the employee took money, according to University of Cincinnati criminal justice researcher Jay Kennedy.

Does Minnesota require allowing time off for employees to attend school activities?

03/25/2014
Q. One of our employees came in two hours late today, without an advance call. When he got here, he told his supervisor that he needed “school leave” for the morning. Can we discipline him for being late?

No matter how complicated the firing, have a rational explanation for decision

03/25/2014
A messy termination doesn’t have to mean losing a subsequent lawsuit. Just be proactive, figure out what happened and document the underlying discharge reasons. They’re probably in plain sight, despite the drama.

When discipline is called for, keep personal hostility from tainting process

03/24/2014
Here’s a reminder for supervisors who participate in disciplinary decisions: Tell them to keep their personal feelings about the employee to themselves and resist the urge to bring in stereotypes. No one, for example, should comment on the employee’s nationality, national origin or other protected characteristics.

Never hesitate to make legit rule changes

03/17/2014
Have you found that some of your disciplinary rules are too lenient? Don’t hold back on stiffening your rules just because you fear the first employees subject to harsher penalties might sue you.

North Carolina SBI plans probe of Scotland County Sheriff

03/13/2014
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) has announced plans to investigate the Scotland County Sheriff’s office, but it’s been mum about the investigation’s focus. At least one news report has linked the probe to the office’s practice of requiring deputies to moonlight for a local warfare training company.

Bill would target nurses who dodge drug diversion

02/27/2014
Following reports of numerous Minnesota nurses continuing to practice despite failing to abide by the state’s substance abuse diversion requirements, State Rep. Tina Liebling has introduced legislation to require regulators to suspend noncompliant nurses.

Managers commit 60% of all workplace misconduct

02/18/2014
In a poll of 6,400 U.S. workers, 41% said they have observed misconduct on the job. Then they named the culprits.

When is it OK to punish by docking pay?

02/13/2014
Q. May I dock an employee’s pay as a penalty for disciplinary infractions?

Smell alcohol on employee's breath? What to do now

02/07/2014
When you smell alcohol on an employee, or receive reports that an employee smells of alcohol, you need to act fast to protect everyone’s safety—but not so fast that you mishandle the situation. Follow these guidelines.

When porn is 'research,' First Amendment may apply

02/07/2014
Some professions in the public sector may benefit from constitutional protections more than other employees.

Sexual Harassment: Overview

02/03/2014

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 ...

Alternative Dispute Resolution

02/01/2014

HR Law 101: In recent years, various forms of alternative dispute resolution have gained popularity. Mandatory arbitration in particular is attractive to employers because employees who sign arbitration agreements forfeit their right to sue in federal or state court ...

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