DISCIPLINE / INVESTIGATIONS

Past discipline record beats retaliation claim

05/17/2017
Here’s another good reason to consistently document all disciplinary actions: If an employee with a history of problems such as rules violations later engages in protected activity, it will be hard for him to show that the discipline was retaliation for engaging in that protected activity.

Purged disciplinary record doesn't mean it can't be considered in future litigation

05/16/2017
Acourt considering whether an employee suffered an adverse employment action has rejected the notion that reinstating an employee and expunging his record somehow makes his earlier discharge irrelevant.

After complaint is filed, be sure to justify all discipline

04/25/2017
If an employee complains about discrimination, make sure any subsequent discipline is well justified. Sudden discipline against a worker whose record was previously clean can be viewed as retaliation.

Document circumstances before discipline, as well as punishment that you imposed

04/25/2017
Generally, if an employer operates in a fair and equitable fashion, there’s very little room for an employee to file and win a discrimination lawsuit. But how can HR know whether supervisors are imposing balanced discipline without regard to race, sex, religion or other protected characteristics?

Court: Indefinite suspension same as firing

04/12/2017
Don’t think that simply suspending someone without pay while you investigate alleged wrongdoing will fly. If the suspension drags on without some sort of resolution, the employee can sue, alleging he or she was actually fired.

Document all details of disciplinary process

04/12/2017
If HR begins receiving multiple complaints about a supervisor, it may be time to demote or even fire him even if he remains convinced that verbal abuse is appropriate.

St. Paul business executive cops plea for felony theft

03/29/2017
Former St. Jude Medical executive Bryan C. Szweda will pay $117,090 in restitution to the St. Paul medical devices company following a plea deal in which he admitted to stealing $35,000.

Use last-chance agreements to show you're fair about making termination decisions

03/29/2017
Sometimes, it makes sense to use a last-chance agreement in which an employee agrees that one more violation of a company rule will mean immediate termination.

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.
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