Skipping disciplinary meeting is insubordination

An employee who refuses to attend a disciplinary meeting and is terminated as a result probably isn’t eligible for unemployment benefits. It amounts to insubordination and willful misconduct.

Document carefully when disciplining for injury

Sometimes, employees who carelessly injure themselves deserve discipline. That’s fine, as long as you carefully document the carelessness.

Suit: State didn't accommodate disability--alcoholism

A former Assistant Director of the State Lottery has filed suit against the Minnesota State Lottery, the Department of Management and Budget and her former boss, Ed Van Petten. She was fired after being charged with drunken driving in 2012 after injuring an elderly man in a traffic accident. She is yet to stand trial on those charges.

Fired county official denies harassment charges

The former head of the Dakota County Community Development Agency denied the charges that led to his firing in a meeting with the County Board.

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.

Can we discipline for bad behavior at party?

Q. At our company holiday party, which was not at the workplace or during work hours, an employee told some inappropriate jokes and put an arm around a co-worker who did not appreciate it and complained. The company is aware that the employee took a leave of absence for treatment of chemical dependency and is concerned that the employee might have been drinking at the party. Can the company discipline the employee? The company would like the employee to get additional help for chemical dependency.

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.

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