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Employee Relations

Treat unauthorized overtime as discipline issue

03/01/2001

Q. We verbally warned an employee not to work overtime. Recently, he claimed to have worked 56 hours straight, eating and sleeping only on regular break times. The timecards say he was here, but we don’t have any night staff, so we can’t verify if he was actually at work. Is there anything we can do? —S.T., Michigan

Notify employees if you find a problem with your benefit plan

03/01/2001
Joseph Griggs took early retirement after 32 years with DuPont. The company was offering certain employees a special pension benefit. For Griggs, that would equal a year’s salary, in addition to …

Addiction isn’t a license for unacceptable behavior.

03/01/2001
The city of Chicago fired Daniel Pernice after he was arrested off duty for disorderly conduct and possessing cocaine. He argued that his addiction was a disability and having drugs was …

Stamp out harassment without trampling on free speech

03/01/2001
A CEO, an HR manager and an attorney walk into a bar …. If any joke in the workplace makes you think, “lawsuit!”, you aren’t alone. The laws requiring you …

Employee is covered under ADA if you perceive him to be disabled

02/01/2001
After downing at least nine beers during and after a company dinner, which followed a training program, Ray Zakaras spoke freely about his objections to the program and made rude comments …

Refusing to follow orders doesn’t always equal insubordination

02/01/2001
The new fire alarm system at Seattle’s Key Arena automatically cuts off the public address system so that emergency personnel can issue instructions. When the feature disrupted Sonics basketball games, arena …

How to respond when unions come a knockin’

02/01/2001
No union, no problem. Right? Not really. Even if your company isn’t unionized now, you can’t afford to be oblivious. Just ask Amazon.com. In the thick of the holiday shopping …

Body Odor: Clear the Air Over Staff Dress Code

02/01/2001

Q. In the December 2000 issue, you discussed the topic of employees with body odor. We also have a staff member with body odor so bad that other staff members have complained and even threatened to leave the agency. The employee has been disciplined several times and required to go home without pay until she agrees to comply with the dress code. At what point can we legally terminate her? —A.S., Michigan

Jilted lover’s badgering could become your problem

12/01/2000
Joseph Succar’s affair with Clemencia Lorenz soured after about a year. At the school where they worked, she verbally and physically harassed Succar and tried to embarrass him in front of …

Stray remarks add to suspicions of bias

12/01/2000
With nearly 30 years of experience and several awards for selling animal health products, Marvin Fisher was assigned to a top sales unit after a company merger. About a year later, the company…