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Discipline / Investigations

Probation office head could face jail time for theft

01/05/2018

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

01/02/2018

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

12/28/2017

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

12/28/2017

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

12/22/2017

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

12/22/2017

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.

Congratulations on winning that lawsuit! Don’t count on collecting attorneys’ fees

12/22/2017

If employers lose an employment discrimination case, they end up paying the worker’s legal bills in addition to back pay and other monetary awards. But what happens if the employer wins? Don’t count on the losing side paying up.

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.

Former Shakopee, Minn. school chief charged with embezzlement

11/27/2017

The former superintendent of the Shakopee Public Schools in Minnesota faces felony charges that he paid for more than $73,600 in personal expenses using the school district’s credit card.

Make sure records show consistent discipline

11/27/2017

If an employee breaks your work rules, you should absolutely discipline him. However, make sure that discipline matches punishment you have dished out to other employees for similar infractions—and that you have records to back up your defense.