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Discipline / Investigations

Keeping the work environment safe


Q. What proactive strategies can employers implement to promote a safe workplace? …

Whistle-Blowers held to letter of the law


The Ohio whistle-blower law protects employees who report wrongdoing from retaliation. But that doesn’t mean employees can add a whistle-blowing claim every time they sue after being discharged …

Same rule, different punishment OK if you can justify

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Court tells employer to tell customers: We’re sexual harassers


In a startling court order, a judge has required a company to tell its customers about a sexual-harassment verdict that cost it more than $2.3 million …

Personnel records versus investigation records


Q One of our employees has just filed a complaint with the company claiming that she has been sexually harassed. We are concerned that if we discipline the alleged harasser based on our findings and note this incident in his personnel file, he may demand to inspect our investigation records. May we avoid this by maintaining a separate investigation file?

Strange days indeed: Company argues for workers’ comp coverage


An appeals court ruled that the estate of Miguel Pena, a setting machine operator shot and killed by a fellow employee at Gutmann Leather in Chicago, may proceed with a wrongful death suit …

It’s the truth: no lie-detector tests


Q. I want to know whether applicants have ever stolen from or been fired by a prior employer. Can I require them to take a lie-detector test?

Use discipline instead of docking pay


Q. Can I dock an employee’s pay for failing to meet a production quota?

River Vale to pay $75,000 for mayor’s conduct


The township of River Vale settled a lawsuit with Police Chief Aaron Back over harassment by former Mayor George Paschalis. Back testified that Paschalis repeatedly threatened to fire him …

Vague claims of illness not enough to trigger liability


Employees should notify their employers before taking FMLA leave—30 days ahead if possible. In cases of emergencies or sudden illnesses, employees must let their employers know as soon as is practical. But that doesn’t mean calling in sick or providing a vague doctor’s note is enough …