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Discipline / Investigations

Calling in ‘sick’ won’t trigger FMLA; employee must give details

What do you do with employees who call in sick with vague excuses, aches and pains and other less-than-convincing reasons? Can you discipline those people for unexcused absences without fearing that …

Stop FMLA abuse with employee ‘bed check’

Good news: Managing employees out on sick leave and spotting FMLA abuse just got easier.
As a recent court ruling shows, you can call and check on employees to make …

Train managers how to spot bias and take complaints

Issue: Employers can be liable for sexual harassment if they “knew or should have known” about it but failed to act.
Risk: Courts increasingly say you “know” of harassment once …

Even ‘nontargets’ can sue for hostile environment

Hopefully, you already take any discrimination or harassment complaints from minority employees seriously. But what if a white male blows the whistle about race discrimination he sees affecting his minority co-workers? …

Require hands-free phone usage in company vehicles

Issue: More states are placing restrictions on when drivers (and which drivers) can use wireless devices while driving.
Risk: Your organization may be liable when distracted employees on cell phones …

Check state law before firing victim of a stalker


Q. One of our female employees says her ex-boyfriend is stalking her. She hasn’t been able to get a restraining order against him. We’re worried that he may show up and do her or other workers harm. Can we fire or suspend her? —B.L., Florida

It’s every manager’s duty to take harassment complaints

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Attack tardiness with progressive discipline


Q. Several of our assistants are constantly late. What can we do to get them to come to work on time? —A.A., Virginia

When an employee loses control at work

Tempers flare all the time in the workplace, and managers need to know how to quickly calm down employees whose anger gets out of hand. Here’s a step-by-step strategy you can use:

Collect proof of FMLA medical leave the right way


If you think employees are fudging their FMLA medical leave, how often can you request medical certification? The U.S. Labor Department recently gave employers added latitude to dig into suspicious FMLA claims …