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Employee Relations

You must pay for all work, even if it’s not authorized

04/01/2000

Q. In the October 1999 issue, you explained that nonexempt employees who work more than 40 hours in a week are entitled to overtime for all hours over 40, regardless of whether the overtime was authorized. Do we owe overtime if a nonexempt employee works more than his or her scheduled hours even if the total number of hours worked does not exceed 40? —J.P., Illinois

Poor performers still may collect unemployment

04/01/2000

Q. The job performance of one of our employees no longer meets our standards. While she used to be a good worker, she’s now making a lot of errors, coming in late from time to time and not getting along with her co-workers. We’ve talked to her about these issues, but her performance has not improved. If we fire her for poor performance—which we would consider termination for cause—will she be eligible to collect unemployment compensation? —W.T., District of Columbia

Harassment: How to stop it before, and after, it starts

03/01/2000
Protect your organization from employee lawsuits for harassment by focusing your attention on both preventive and corrective measures. Provide every employee …

You can recoup loss for payroll error

03/01/2000

Q. We direct-deposit the wages and salaries of most of our employees. Last week, two checks for the same pay period were deposited into an employee’s account. Can we legally have the bank withdraw the extra funds from the employee’s account? —M.F., California

New risk: Workers can claim retaliation even if there’s no adverse job action

03/01/2000
Judy Morris’ supervisor at the county road department first evaluated Morris’ job performance as “excellent.” Later, he rated her as “very good.” The supervisor said …

Limit sensitive meetings to ‘need-to-know’ managers

03/01/2000
During a management meeting, an operations director warned Karen Bishop, a human resources manager, not to share information with another employee whom …

Women-hating comments, even if not sexual, can equal sexual harassment

03/01/2000
Elizabeth Smith got hit with a double whammy: a harassing boss and a company that didn’t take it seriously. In the end, the company’s lax response cost it big-time …

Don’t ban employees from discussing a co-worker’s health

03/01/2000
Jolene Conn, a security guard at Lockheed Martin Astronautics, developed a medical condition that made it hard to carry a gun …

Don’t fear distress caused by proper investigations

03/01/2000
You don’t have to worry that the target of your harassment investigation will turn around and sue you for emotional distress. The 2nd Circuit said he …

Don’t hand out authority without giving training to match

02/01/2000
Promoting lower-level employees to supervisory roles, even if it’s on a temporary or “acting” basis, can backfire if you fail to educate them on their new legal responsibilities. That’s what happened …