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Employee Relations

Retaliation protection extends to employee’s family

11/01/2001
Michael Flannery was a pro-union employee at a baking plant where his wife was a supervisor. Soon after Flannery joined in an organizing drive, managers told him that his actions were …

Debunked: 3 myths about workplace bullies

11/01/2001
Much of what you think you know about office bullies may be wrong. For example, there’s a common belief that bullies are insecure and lack self-esteem. In fact, they’re often popular and have an inflated sense of self. Here are some other myths about bullies.

An honest mistake won’t sink you

10/01/2001
After receiving a phone message that her father had suffered a heart attack, Vickie Medley told her boss that she was leaving Denver immediately to drive to Nebraska. Over the next …

Raise Doesn’t Prove Employee Was Succeeding

10/01/2001

Q. About three months ago, we gave a marginal employee who is pregnant a pay raise in hopes that it would improve her job performance by boosting her morale. Unfortunately, her performance has gone from bad to worse. If we fire her for poor performance, can she successfully argue that the recent raise indicates that she was performing well and that our reason for terminating her was discriminatory? —H.K., Illinois

You Can Restrict Use of Personal Days

10/01/2001

Q. If a company provides both personal and vacation days for its employees and does not define what a personal day is, can that be used for anything outside of vacation time? —E.H., Utah

Doc’s opinion alone isn’t enough

10/01/2001
Larry Jackson’s doctor cleared him to return to work without restrictions following his triple bypass surgery. His employer, DBM Technologies, initially assigned him …

Don’t let blabbing employees hide their identity on the Internet

09/01/2001
Imagine that an employee posts confidential information about your company on an Internet message board. What do you do? One company sued the message-board site to learn the identity of the …

Investigate complaints, pronto

09/01/2001
The male workers at an Azteca restaurant constantly mocked Antonio Sanchez for his effeminate ways. They swore at him and referred to the waiter as “she” and “her.” Sanchez finally …

Get Certification Before Granting FMLA Leave

09/01/2001

Q. An employee told her supervisor that she needed surgery. We approved time off under the FMLA with the understanding that she would provide certification after the leave began. We later discovered that this “necessary” procedure was liposuction. Can we revoke approval of medical leave under FMLA and convert sick hours used to vacation hours instead? Can we fire her based on inappropriate use of the FMLA? —T.S., Florida

Simple hearsay about harassment doesn’t create hostile environment

08/01/2001
When Diane Leibovitz heard that two employees of the New York City Transit Authority had been harassed, she claimed that made her a victim of a hostile environment and filed …