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Discipline / Investigations

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Investigating harassment in the #MeToo era

12/07/2017

Tales of sexual harassment from Hollywood to Washington have HR departments everywhere pondering the worst-case scenario: What if someone has been harassing co-workers for years? That ticking time bomb could go off at any time.

Court says appeal would be act of bad faith

11/22/2017

Appeals can be time consuming and expensive, adding huge costs to defending against what might seem, on their face, to be frivolous allegations. One federal court has now said enough is enough.

Respond as soon as employee complains about hostile environment

11/22/2017

When an employer responds to a complaint with an investigation and almost immediately fixes the problem, the lawsuit probably won’t go far.

Tired of serial complainer’s constant gripes? Investigate every allegation anyway

11/22/2017

It can be annoying to have to deal with constant unfounded complaints from an employee who seems to take offense at everything. That doesn’t mean you can ignore him.

Press for as much detail as possible when employee files harassment complaint

11/22/2017

For most complaints, you receive enough background to launch an investigation. But what should you do if the employee reporting the harassment doesn’t want to provide details or even basic information like who the alleged harasser is?

Former Nittany Mills exec pleads guilty to wire fraud

11/13/2017

A former vice-president of operations at Nittany Paper Mills in Lewistown, Pa., has pleaded guilty to a wire fraud charge after the company discovered a two-year trail of improper transactions.

Disability doesn’t provide immunity from discipline or termination

11/08/2017

Some workers wrongly believe a disability immunizes them. If they are disciplined or terminated, they often sue. Those lawsuits will be dismissed early in the legal process if the employer takes the litigation seriously and explains exactly why the worker was disciplined or fired.

Being rude isn’t a protected ethnic trait

10/18/2017

Here’s a reminder to stick with solid explanations when documenting discipline. If you have facts to back up your decision, an employee’s spurious claim of some sort of discrimination likely will be dismissed.

Make sure your good records are dated, too

10/12/2017
When it comes to litigation, employers that keep meticulous performance records and can pinpoint exactly when they made important employment decisions typically fare better than those who keep sloppy records.

Carefully document sudden performance slide

10/11/2017
Sometimes an excellent employee who has received great reviews and consistent raises exhibits a sudden performance decline. When that happens, be sure to carefully document the changes in his or her work.
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