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Productivity / Performance

It’s your duty, not just workers,’ to suggest accommodation ideas


When a disabled employee requests accommodation to help him or her perform the job’s essential functions, don’t just knock the ball back into the employee’s court by saying, "What do you want us to do?" It’s up to you to actively help look for solutions …

Fitness-for-Duty Letters Trigger Instant Reinstatement


Must you allow an employee to return after FMLA leave if you don’t think she’s physically ready? She could injure herself if she returns. But if you block her return, you could face a failure-to-reinstate FMLA lawsuit. Begin the return-to-work process earlier to see if she still has the ability to perform the job’s essential functions …

Medication may limit employees’ FMLA reinstatement rights


What happens if an employee tries to return to work after FMLA leave but isn’t quite recovered? In that case, you can turn the employee away if he or she can’t perform the job’s essential functions. That scenario often plays out when the returning employee’s job involves operating machinery or driving and the person must take medication …

You can remove injured worker for safety reasons


Q. An employee told us he has a bad hernia. He wants to wait a couple months to have the operation, since it requires six weeks’ recovery. He does some lifting in his job. Yesterday, he had to go home early because he was in pain. Now that we are aware of his condition, what’s our liability? And what should we do? —D.C., New Jersey

Revise your overly complex employee review methods


If your evaluation procedures are too complicated, employees may question whether they’re being treated fairly. Mild suspicions can quickly grow into expensive discrimination lawsuits, as a new court ruling shows …

The 3-Step Method for Giving Clear Instructions


You may think you’re giving clear instructions, but you lost her back at Step 14a. People want to know three things: 1. What am I supposed to do? 2. By when? 3. In what order? …

Make sure your physical tests gauge realistic demands of the job


Any tests you use to screen applicants should relate to the job, and you must be prepared to prove that they do. If you can’t and a protected group of workers (e.g., women, minorities) tend to score poorly, you’re just asking for a lawsuit …

Same job titles don’t demand the same pay


While the Equal Pay Act prohibits wage discrimination against women, make sure you and your supervisors realize that it doesn’t require every employee in the same position to earn the same salary. If you can point to factors other than gender (seniority, education, experience, skills, etc.), you can set radically different salaries for employees who hold the exact same job …

Avoid Impromptu Job Reviews; It’ll Look Like a ‘Paper’ Job


Warn your supervisors that if they quickly schedule negative employee reviews—particularly after an employee files a complaint—they could appear to be papering the employee’s file in advance of a retaliatory firing, which won’t look good in court …

Avoid Phrases That Can Sabotage Job-Review Meetings

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