• The HR Specialist - Print Newsletter
  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
  • The HR LAW Weekly
  • The HR Weekly

Productivity / Performance

Carrot or stick? Motivating managers to finish reviews


HR can waste lots of time and energy hounding supervisors to complete their performance reviews. Choose the best mix of incentives and penalties to inspire managers to do reviews right and on time …

7 common employee gripes (and how to silence them)


Texas high court rejects employer liability for worker conduct


The Texas Supreme Court recently issued two decisions limiting when employers can be held responsible for the wrongs committed by their employees. The cases offer hope that employers won’t always bear the brunt of their employees’ wrongdoing, as has often been the case in the past …

Is it time to ban BlackBerrys from company meetings?


A new survey shows that employees are becoming increasingly comfortable checking their e-mails in the middle of meetings. But do those numbers make the practice OK, and does your organization need to lay down the law on when and how mobile devices can be used? If your organization is going to allow employees to use mobile devices during meetings, pass along these tips …

Court: Intermittent FMLA leave won’t cover tardiness, bathroom breaks


Employees are becoming well versed in the FMLA game, and you’re paying the price. Unscheduled intermittent leaves now account for a huge portion of all FMLA leaves of absence. And while the law does allow employees to take FMLA leave in small bites for a doctor’s visit or to care for a sick relative, it doesn’t give them unfettered rights to random work breaks or to arrive late without a good excuse …

Even Years Later, ‘Getting Even’ Can Still Be Retaliation


Title VII of the Civil Rights Act makes it illegal to retaliate against employees who complain about discrimination. Ordinarily, employees must show a strong time-related connection between their initial complaint and the alleged retaliation. However, employees can file years later if they can show that the individual who allegedly retaliated waited until he was in a position to order a payback

You can force ‘Fitness for duty’ exam with good reason


It certainly shouldn’t be a routine practice, but you can require employees to undergo “fitness for duty” examinations. The trick is knowing exactly when and why such an exam is legal—or not …

Seek accommodations even if the effort seems impossible


As soon as an employee makes it known that he needs accommodations, it’s up to the employer to start an interactive accommodations process, even if it turns out that no accommodation is possible …

Use job-Related standards to kill discrimination suspicion


Do you have clear and objective criteria for internal promotions? Prepared to justify those criteria as business-related? If so, you have little to fear from employees who were passed over for a promotion even if that means your management isn’t a perfect reflection of the racial makeup of the local work force

Independent investigations are key to making decisions stick and avoiding retaliation claims


Employees who file EEOC or internal complaints charging discrimination often behave as if their complaint is a job guarantee. Approach them about performance problems, and they immediately cry “retaliation.” But you can’t allow your workplace practices to be held hostage if you have legitimate concerns about performance