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Discipline / Investigations

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Skipping disciplinary step? Document why

07/19/2018
If you have a progressive discipline system that gives poor performers or rule breakers a chance to reform, be sure your policy includes an escape hatch that lets you skip steps when necessary.

Justify discipline by documenting the reasons at the time you decided to act

06/22/2018
Courts hate to second-guess employers’ disciplinary decisions. If you are sued for discrimination, give judges every reason to believe that your organization isn’t biased. The best way is to detail the surrounding circumstances that gave rise to discipline.

Key to progressive discipline: Implement steps consistently, keep solid documentation

06/19/2018
If you have a progressive disciplinary policy that gives employees a chance to improve when they make mistakes, make sure you use it consistently. It will pay off if you follow your policy, fire an employee and the employee later decides to sue.

How to prep for flood of #MeToo complaints

06/14/2018
In a recent NPR radio interview, Society for Human Resource Management CEO Johnny Taylor reported that #MeToo has created an “HR level of activity like nothing we’ve ever seen.”

Greater experience is a legitimate reason to punish one employee more harshly than another

06/06/2018
Employees who have worked for their employer for a long time can be expected to know the rules and abide by them, while a new employee may not be as aware. That’s a legitimate reason to punish one employee more harshly than another. Just be sure you document the reason for differing punishments.

Explain different discipline for same offense

06/06/2018
If an employee can show that a worker who received more favorable treatment didn’t belong to the same protected classification, he has a potentially viable lawsuit. This is where details matter.

In #MeToo era, accused harassers may seek injunctions to stop internal investigations

06/05/2018
Sexual harassment claims are on the rise, in the wake of the #MeToo social media movement. Some alleged harassers are fighting back, arguing that the accusations do irreparable harm to their reputations. And they’re not just threatening to file lawsuits.

Don’t let dumb comments derail discipline

05/31/2018
Supervisors sometimes say things they shouldn’t. Don’t let those minor screw-ups derail discipline that’s clearly deserved.

6-year sentence for woman who embezzled $4.3 million

05/17/2018
A New Freedom, Pa. woman says gambling addiction is why she embezzled $4.3 million while working at the Susquehanna Valley Surgical Center in Harrisburg.

If discipline must differ, be sure to note extenuating circumstances that required it

05/17/2018
Generally, employers should be careful to discipline workers in a consistent manner. Employees who break the same rule should earn the same punishment. However, employers can sometimes justify differences in discipline if they can offer detailed explanations why.
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