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Discipline / Investigations

Terminations: 5 Tips for Avoiding Lawsuits

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Personality Conflict With the Boss Isn’t a ‘Disability’


Employees who claim an ADA-protected disability will have to cite more than a simple personality clash with their boss. Such conflicts won’t win an ADA lawsuit even if working with a particular supervisor makes the employee anxious, depressed and angry …

Toledo firefighters face termination for illegal tapings


The Toledo fire chief has recommended terminating three female firefighters after discovering they had secretly taped workplace conversations …

Shootings spark bias lawsuits by white officers in Cleveland


A federal court jury recently awarded $800,000 to a white police officer, finding that the city of Cleveland racially discriminated against him after he shot a black youth in a 2001 arrest attempt …

Stray From Progressive-Discipline Policy at Your Own Risk


If you have a progressive-discipline policy in your employee handbook, it’s legally wise to follow it carefully with all employees. If you deviate from it and fire a worker quickly, be prepared to provide a good reason …

Quick fix can help avoid harassment liability


Q. One of our male supervisors fired what we in HR thought was a poor-performing female employee. During the exit interview, the terminated employee told us that her supervisor fired her because he was sexually harassing her and she threatened to report him if it didn’t stop. It turned out that her claim was legitimate. We immediately called her back to work.

We thought we had dodged a bullet but, unfortunately, we’ve been contacted by her attorney, who threatened a lawsuit unless we agree to settle her claim for a lot of money. We will contact an attorney to represent us, but we want to know if the fact that we brought her right back to work is going to make a difference? —L.W.

Two Philly officers file lawsuit citing lax response to stalker


Two married police officers in Philadelphia’s K-9 Unit have sued the police department for allowing a female chief inspector to harass and stalk them for more than a year …

What should you do if an employee gets arrested?


It’s Monday morning, the coffee has yet to be brewed and already a huge problem has dropped onto your desk. An employee left a voice mail saying he has been arrested. He doesn’t say what happened, but the very next message is from a local newspaper reporter asking for details about the employee’s work history

Punishing a worker for personal blog post


Q. One of my staff showed me an Internet link to another employee’s personal blog, which included racial and offensive comments about our company and employees. Can we reprimand the employee for the racial slurs?

Failing to track FMLA leave requests erases your right to challenge time off


It’s crucial to keep meticulous FMLA records, from requests to approvals to return-to-work discussions. If you fail to create a solid paper trail, courts will resolve any questions in the employee’s favor …