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Discipline / Investigations

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Dig into harassment case to learn what really happened


There’s aren’t many ways for an employer to defend against allegations that a supervisor sexually harassed a subordinate. But a careful investigation may uncover evidence that the relationship was wholly consensual, which may help.

Impartial discipline: The best defense against bias claims


Treat all employees impartially and you’ll rarely end up on the losing end of a discrimination lawsuit.

No slack for employees who take FMLA, then get caught breaking your rules


Employees who take FMLA leave are not immune to discipline discovered while they are out on FMLA leave or after they return to work.

Beware discipline after employee talks to EEOC


It’s unlawful to punish employees for cooperating with the EEOC. If anyone who has been in contact with the EEOC is suddenly fired, reassigned or otherwise subjected to some negative action, you’re courting a retaliation lawsuit.

Probation office head could face jail time for theft


The former head of the Perry County, Pennsylvania Probation Office faces two third-degree felony theft charges after he gave himself an advance for work to be performed.

Your good disciplinary records will almost always beat employee’s retaliation claim


If you are certain you can justify your action, don’t be afraid to discipline a worker who has filed a discrimination charge or otherwise opposed alleged discriminatory actions. Generally, courts give employers leeway to discipline as long as they believe they acted in good faith.

$1 million to Rochester, Minn. cop who spoke her mind online


Citing rules against discussing personnel matters, Rochester, Minn. city officials are remaining silent concerning a $1 million payout to a 25-year veteran of the city’s police force who was disciplined after making controversial online comments about current events.

Factor disciplinary history into punishment


An employee with a prior disciplinary history may deserve more severe punishment for rule-breaking than a co-worker with a clean record. However, you must document that history and the role it played in your decision-making.

Employee admits sexual harassment? Be sure documentation reflects that


When investigating sexual harass­­­ment, make sure you document every interview, including any with the alleged harasser. That way, if you end up discharging the alleged harasser, you minimize the chances that he might win a defamation lawsuit against your organization.

Lawsuit based on lies? Employer may win fees


Courts don’t want to dissuade employees from filing lawsuits by ordering workers to pay the employer’s legal fees. However, that’s not the case when an employee obviously lies.

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