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Discipline / Investigations

Made a mistake? Fix it fast to avoid liability

01/13/2009

It can happen to the best manager or HR professional. You discipline or demote an employee, and then, when she files an internal grievance or asks the company to reconsider, you conclude she shouldn’t have been disciplined or demoted in the first place. What should you do?

Stuffed monkey on noose rankles firefighters

01/13/2009

St. Paul Fire Chief Tim Butler said he will discipline two employees responsible for hanging a stuffed monkey by a noose in a fire station service garage in August. Butler said he learned about the monkey in September, when he ordered an investigation and had the items taken down.

Former Minnesota U.S. Attorney retaliated against whistle-blower

01/13/2009

Former U.S. Attorney Rachel Paulose retaliated against John Marti, a former first assistant U.S. attorney for the district of Minnesota, according to an investigation by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.

Have policy, act fast to cut racism liability

01/09/2009

When racism raises its ugly head at work, employers must do two things. First, make sure everyone understands your company policy prohibits any form of harassment, including that of a racial nature. Then punish anyone caught violating that policy. And if racist graffiti is involved, remove the graffiti as soon as possible.

Workplace CSI: the anatomy of a successful investigatory interview

01/09/2009

A solid investigation is the cornerstone of any decision to discipline an employee. One of the most important and effective tools available in conducting an investigation is the investigatory interview. Here’s how to conduct one.

State snoopers disciplined for ‘Joe the Plumber’ inquiries

01/05/2009

Three top managers at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services were suspended without pay for using state databases to spy on Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher of “Joe the Plumber” fame.

2 government workers charged in online sex flap

01/05/2009

Christopher Johnson, academic advisor at Ohio State University’s School of Nursing, and Vanise Dunn, a child sex-abuse caseworker at Franklin County Children Services, were placed on administrative leave following criminal charges of participating in a prostitution ring.

Complainer can use co-workers’ anecdotes in building hostile environment case

12/31/2008

The 4th Circuit just made it easier for employees to sue for having to work in a hostile environment. The court said that unpleasant and offensive conduct aimed as one’s sex or race does not have to happen in the presence of the employee who winds up complaining. Conduct witnessed by other employees can be used as evidence …

Charlotte-Meck teachers disciplined for Facebook postings

12/31/2008

Offensive postings on the social networking web site Facebook led the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) to fire one employee and discipline seven others.

Worker’s hour count is off—Now what?

12/31/2008

Q. We do not believe that one of our employees is keeping accurate time records of her work. Can we pay her what we believe she worked instead of what her time records show?