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Employee Relations

Tell bosses not to gloss over performance deficiencies

Some supervisors hate including negative feedback in performance reviews of good employees. But nearly everyone has some room for improvement. It’s up to HR to insist on accurate evaluations, including negative feedback when warranted.

OK to discipline even after worker complains

Some employees may not realize it, but filing an internal discrimination or harassment complaint doesn’t create immunity to legitimate, unrelated discipline.

Discipline ASAP if boss targets older workers

It happens all too often: A bully boss yells, berates, pushes and prods older employees more than other staff members. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has concluded that resigning under such circumstances is a reasonable response and amounts to a constructive discharge.

Motivate the long-termers

When a long-term employee seems to be stuck in a rut or is simply coasting, a few moves by the employee’s manager can shake out the cobwebs and rekindle the employee’s fire. Here are five tips.

Address job-hunting key employee with care

If you learn a key employee is job hunting, you might be tempted to try to persuade him to stay. Be careful what you say. Asking the worker to stop looking and making even vague promises of continued employment may backfire if you have to terminate the employee later.

How to confront mistake-prone employees

It’s never easy for managers to confront an employee whose performance is slipping or who has begun making more mistakes. Here are some key rules of engagement.

When bias charges loom, documentation proves discipline was warranted

When it comes to terminating an employee for poor performance, careful documentation is essential. Make sure you can later explain exactly how you handled the employee’s performance problems.

Your own detective work can pay off in court

Employees have only a limited amount of time in which to file lawsuits. However, judges sometimes bend over backwards to give late filers a second chance. When that happens, it may be worth finding out why the delay occurred.

HR pros, bosses beware! Shoddy harassment investigation may create personal liability

If you don’t do enough to end reported harassment, you may be found liable under New York state and New York City law for aiding and abetting that harassment. In fact, it’s just as if you were the harasser yourself—you could be subject to personal liability.

Progressive discipline is great, but retain the right to fire immediately if necessary

If you have a progressive discipline system, give yourself some wiggle room. Make sure you retain the right to immediately terminate an employee when necessary.