• The HR Specialist - Print Newsletter
  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
  • The HR Weekly

Discipline / Investigations

Worker acting strangely? Request evaluation

If you think a worker could benefit from psychological help and fear that he may pose a danger to himself or others, you can require an evaluation.

Your best bet for preventing lawsuits: Prompt action, unimpeachable fairness

Prompt, fair resolution of harassment complaints is the best way to prevent litigation—and defend yourself if a lawsuit happens anyway.

Outrageous behavior? Don’t fear fast discipline

Some workplace behavior is so outrageous that employers must take immediate action. While a complete and thorough investigation is ideal, don’t be afraid to act fast when necessary.

Follow 6 steps to set up alternative dispute resolution process

So, you’re thinking about creating a program to help settle employee conflicts in-house. That’s smart. A successful alternative dispute-resolution (ADR) program lets you identify and address problems while they’re still manageable and before they land in court. Here’s a six-step process for establishing an ADR program.

Survive most lawsuits by being able to cite solid, documented reasons for termination


Courts like to see that ­employers pause before firing an employee accused of breaking a rule and then document their investigation carefully. Interviewing the employee should be routine in most disciplinary cases. Temporarily suspending an employee before making a final decision also shows the court that the process was fair.

Can we discipline an employee for his girlfriend’s actions?


Q. We have an employee whose girlfriend has come in and wandered through the production floor without permission. We have escorted her out of the building twice in the last month. What are our options if she comes in again? Should we call the police? Is there any way we can discipline the employee because his girlfriend keeps calling in several times a day wanting to talk with him?

Can we compel a former employee to update LinkedIn to show she no longer works here?

Q. It’s come to our attention that a former employee of ours has not updated her LinkedIn profile after her termination 10 months ago for insubordination. Would we have a cause of action against her?

No need to tolerate personal woes that spill over to workplace arguments

When bad romance spills over to the workplace, you don’t have to put up with the aftermath. Set strict rules about behavior and don’t tolerate loud arguments, threats or other disruptions.

Randleman, N.C. police officer indicted for larceny

Before the Randleman Police Department moved to new facilities last Novem­­ber, Chief Steve Leonard ordered an inventory of the evidence room. The tally found that $7,800 in cash was missing.

Make it easy for courts to side with you: After complaint, document all discipline

Generally, employees who complain are sensitive to possible retaliation—to the point that some sus­­pect retaliation even when it hasn’t occurred. Protect your organization by making sure that you document all subsequent discipline, showing that it was imposed fairly in a way that’s consistent with company policy and your past disciplinary practices.