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Employee Relations

Disciplining employee with spotless record? Document precisely what went wrong

08/23/2018
It’s crucial to document the problem if you suddenly have to discipline a long-term employee who has never been in trouble before. That’s especially true if he or she has also recently complained about some form of discrimination.

Productivity growth hits 3-year high

08/21/2018
Worker productivity grew at its fastest pace in three years during the second quarter of 2018.

When a previously good performer starts to slide, carefully document decline

08/06/2018
When an employer fires a worker for poor performance and the worker sues alleging some sort of discrimination, the employer must be ready to explain any apparent decline in its performance appraisals. That’s especially true if the worker previously received excellent reviews.

Include all relevant details in discipline reports

07/26/2018
When you document disciplinary action, make sure you provide enough detail in your report to put the decision in context. You may need them later to show a judge exactly what you were thinking when you made your decision.

Yes, You Need a Crisis Plan! Here’s What it Should Say

07/20/2018
It’s every company’s worst fear: A horrible employee decision leads to front page news and a PR crisis. In many cases, HR is on the front lines of such responses. Having a crisis plan ahead of time can literally save the company—and your career. Some recent examples: Starbucks faced protests and lots of negative press […]

Skipping disciplinary step? Document why

07/19/2018
If you have a progressive discipline system that gives poor performers or rule breakers a chance to reform, be sure your policy includes an escape hatch that lets you skip steps when necessary.

Prepare to turn over disciplinary records if employee files a discrimination lawsuit

07/18/2018
When an employee sues for alleged discrimination, he or she is generally entitled to access all relevant employer documents. If you disciplined the employee, chances are you will have to turn over disciplinary records concerning other staff. Don’t expect to keep those records confidential.

When punishing harassment, you may discipline different perpetrators differently

07/14/2018
Employers investigating workplace harassment accusations may wonder if all the alleged perpetrators must be disciplined equally harshly. You do have some discretion in how you mete out punishment. Just make sure you can later justify why one party was less culpable or deserved a lesser punishment than others.

Counseling, all by itself, isn’t an adverse action

07/14/2018
Do you use some form of counseling or peer review to help employees improve their performance? If so, make sure it isn’t tied directly to punishment such as demotion or termination.

Outrage about news could be hurting the bottom line

07/10/2018
Controversial news, such as the recent uproar over immigration policy, could cost employers $832.5 million for every 19.2 minutes workers spend discussing and reading about it at work, according to calculations by Challenger, Gray & Christmas.