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Discipline / Investigations

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.

Disciplining disabled worker for absenteeism? Make sure she knows your rules

05/17/2018
It is essential to grant FMLA leave when eligible employees need it. At the same time, it is perfectly legal to require employees to follow specific procedures for using leave. Just make sure employees understand those rules.

Bookkeeper accused of embezzling to place online bets

04/25/2018
The bookkeeper for Farm Mercantile in Fairfax, Minn., faces five charges of filing false tax returns because she failed to report $266,333 in embezzled income. In all, she allegedly pocketed $535,000 from the hardware and farm supply store from 1998 to 2016.

Don’t let employee’s whistleblower status dissuade you from legitimate discipline

04/25/2018
To win a retaliation case, the worker would have to prove that the discipline was motivated by a desire to punish him or her for making the report. That’s unlikely to succeed if 1) the discipline began before the safety problem was reported or 2) it is clear that any other worker would have been disciplined for the same rule violation.

Bring together sparring co-workers

04/18/2018
If you have two great employees who don’t like each other, follow these tips.