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Discipline / Investigations

‘Anonymous’ harassment: How to respond when harasser is faceless and nameless

02/09/2010

In some cases, employees are harassed via scrawled words on a wall, voice mail messages or some other shadowy act. You may never be able to pinpoint the culprit, but you must still do something. Begin by opening an investigation, just as you would for any other complaint. Then remind all employees about your anti-harassment policies.

How can you rein in rogue ‘early clockers’?

02/05/2010

Do you have employees who clock in before their shift starts, then stand around drinking coffee for a half-hour? How can you cut down on this “on-the-clock-but-standing-around” time? …

Your new workers’ comp investigator: Facebook

02/05/2010

More employers are using Facebook and other social media sites to spot employees who file fraudulent workers’ comp claims. Example: An employee who was in too much pain to get out of bed posted video of himself competing in a rodeo.

Reward for doctor who blew whistle on Medicare fraud

02/02/2010

Dr. Steven Radjenovich contacted federal officials when he believed Wheaton Community Hospital was manipulating hospital stays to overcharge the federal government. As a result, he will share in the almost $850,000 fine the hospital will pay to settle the charges.

Anti-bias agency learns what it’s like to be sued

02/02/2010

The Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights, which investigates discrimination charges, has been sued over an allegedly negligent investigation.

A taste of her own medicine: Office manager to pay doc, IRS

02/01/2010

Medical office manager Karen Schmidt of Amberley Village has pleaded guilty to mail fraud and filing a false tax return in connection with a scheme to bilk her employer, Ohio Valley Orthopedics, a Cincinnati-area medical practice.

OK to aggressively question suspected thieves—as long as your intent isn’t malicious

01/22/2010

Some employees are light-fingered, and it isn’t always easy to catch them stealing. Loss-prevention staff often presses hard when interviewing employees they suspect are pilfering. That’s appropriate, as is reporting the case to police. As the following case shows, aggressive questioning during an initial investigation doesn’t equal malicious intent.

Disciplining safety violators: Don’t just holler

01/20/2010

What do your supervisors do when they catch workers breaking a major safety rule? Simply yell at the worker? A new court ruling highlights the importance of enforcing safety rules with discipline and documentation.

Not sure it’s sexual harassment? Take steps to end it anyway

01/15/2010

Not every complaint about alleged sexual harassment turns out to be true. Sometimes, the harasser may simply be a difficult personality. He or she may have it in for all co-workers, and the harassment that someone complains about may be completely unrelated to sex. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should ignore the behavior. Your best bet is to discipline the employee.

You can’t choose the day for FMLA medical treatments

01/13/2010

Employees who suffer from chronic conditions may have to see their doctors regularly. Under the FMLA, if those employees give you 30 days’ notice, they’re allowed to pick the day for their appointment. You can’t simply argue that they don’t need to take off that particular day because there is no emergency or urgency.