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Productivity / Performance

Offer accommodation, but don’t mandate extra leave

02/01/2003

Q. We’re afraid that a previously injured worker returned from medical leave too early. Can we require him to take additional leave if it’s obvious that the injury is still hurting his job performance? —M.D., Wyoming

When Can You Fire a Disabled Worker?

09/01/2002

Q. We’ve had a disabled worker on staff for five years. He’s consistently absent or tardy and has trouble working with others and keeping up his job duties. We adjusted his hours, but his poor work forced us to reassign some of his duties and even hire another person to help carry the load. What can we do? —F.F., Texas

Enforcing Sales Quotas

03/01/2002

Q. As a large retail business, we employ several “demo staffers” who present products to shoppers in the hope they’ll buy them. Recently, given economic pressures, we’ve had to put increasing pressure on our demo staff to increase sales up to 200 percent. If a demo staffer doesn’t meet the new goal, can we terminate her? Do these workers have legal recourse should they be fired? —T.P., California

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

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

Get the most from your temps

06/01/1998
Some managers hire temps and then pray that the newcomers don’t get too far behind or make too many mistakes. But there’s a better way.

Cut Noise Pollution at Work

07/01/1997
Stroll through your workplace and listen. What do you hear?