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Discipline / Investigations

He broke a rule? What to say

No one likes to discipline team members, but eventually you’ll face a gut-wrenching moment when you have to enforce the organization’s rules.

Pursue harassment claims, even if complaining worker backs off

You know to investigate harassment complaints when they land on your desk. But what if the complaining employee shows a lack of interest in her initial complaint, …

Pursue claims, even if complaining worker backs off

Issue: Courts place the burden on employers to complete investigations of sexual harassment complaints, even in the face of reluctant complainants.
Risk: Failing to pursue complaints actively will come back …

Investigating workplace harassment: 10 steps to success

Issue: Responding to employee harassment complaints is a high-stakes venture.
Risk: A botched investigation can damage employee moral and spark a lawsuit.
Action: Make sure you (or any manager …

Don’t dock exempt worker for partial-Day absence


Q. If an exempt employee has no more paid leave left, can he take a couple hours off without pay? We’d just manually adjust his salary to reflect this. —A.D., Pennsylvania

Managers can refuse bias-tainted orders, court says

Issue: Courts won’t consider a manager “insubordinate” for ignoring a boss’s order if the manager believes the order is discriminatory. Risk: Increases danger of retaliation …

Don’t let abusive staff use disability as excuse; you can fire for behavior

Don’t allow employees to use their disabilities as justification for poor behavior, especially if it clearly threatens your workplace. Even if an employee is …

Employee handbooks: Craft with care to secure ‘at-will’ policy

THE LAW. While law doesn’t directly regulate employee handbooks, they are extremely important legal tools. A handbook documents your policies, builds trust …

One ‘come-on’ can equal sexual harassment

Don’t hesitate to discipline first-time sexual-harassment violators. Even one outrageous comment or act, if severe enough, can make your company liable for fostering …

‘Possibility’ of serious illness wins coverage

The rule has been drummed into your brain: An employee can take job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) if he suffers from a …