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Productivity / Performance

Feel free to reprimand for substandard work

10/24/2013
Does fear of being sued keep you from reprimanding slipshod em­­ployees? If you can document their shortcomings, don’t worry.

Planning to fire expectant mom? Prove problems predated pregnancy

10/24/2013
Ordinarily, if an employer can show it decided to terminate an employee before she announced her pregnancy, a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit won’t succeed. But employers that try to make a better case for termination by whipping up a new performance appraisal that emphasizes poor performance can wind up handing the employee an easy lawsuit victory.

Keep chitchat from killing your productivity

09/25/2013
Office chitchat builds camaraderie and helps break up the day. But when workplace socializing starts to threaten your productivity, call a halt to it with these common-sense tips.

Beware retaliation after employee complains

09/10/2013
Watch out if a supervisor suddenly gives a poor performance review to a previously good employee who has recently complained about discrimination. Unless you can clearly show that the employee’s performance was deteriorating, you might be setting yourself up for an otherwise avoidable retaliation lawsuit.

Warn bosses about personal liability risk

08/07/2013
Remind supervisors that the integrity of the performance evaluation process depends on their honest assessment. Providing anything less may mean a court date and personal liability under North Carolina law.

Document stressful work conditions to defend against retaliation claim

08/05/2013

Some jobs are inherently more stressful than others and some positions require careful supervision. Employees with such jobs may feel anxious and under constant scrutiny. That can be an unexpected benefit should an employee claim some form of harassment based on sex, race, disability or other protected membership.

Annual reviews for part-timers: Are they required?

07/22/2013
Q. Are annual performance appraisals required for our part-time employees?  — Pamela, West Virginia

Don’t worry a somewhat negative performance review will cost you a lawsuit

07/09/2013
Here’s one less thing to worry about when preparing performance reviews: Employees can’t use a poor review as an excuse to sue unless they can show it affected their job in some significant way, such as making the employee ineligible for a pro­­motion.

Can we ban moonlighting?

07/08/2013
Q. We have an employee who recently started working a second job. We currently don’t have a rule against moonlighting, but now he frequently comes in late and tired. It’s really affecting his work. Are we legally entitled to ban second jobs?

Beware the potential legal risks of 360-degree performance reviews

07/08/2013

Seeking performance appraisal input from too many employees can cause problems if you’re sued by a terminated worker. The wider the net you cast, the more likely someone will be called to testify about his or her opinion of the discharged employee’s performance. The problem: If any of those co-workers retire, quit and move on, you may have trouble tracking them down.