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Productivity / Performance

No adverse action needed for hostility case


Think you’re immune from lawsuits as long as you don’t cut an employee’s pay or fire, demote or refuse to promote him? You’re wrong. Employees who belong to a protected class and can show they endured enough slights, insults or other harassing conduct to affect the way they perform their jobs can win a hostile environment lawsuit.

Another reason to track everything: Passage of time makes it harder for worker to successfully sue


It’s possible that a supervisor might wait years to get back at an employee who filed a discrimination complaint. Possible, but unlikely. The more time that passes between an initial complaint and any alleged retaliation, the less likely courts are to entertain a lawsuit.

3 ways to motivate extra employee effort

In lean times, managers sometimes need employees to go above and beyond their normal duties. Don’t beg and plead for volunteers to step up. Instead, offer three kinds of rewards to persuade employees to give of themselves for the greater good of the organization.

Last-minute complaint shouldn’t derail firing

Employees who know they’re in trouble often look for ways to set up a lawsuit in case they’re fired. They may file some sort of discrimination complaint right before termination. This can be a winning strategy if the employer hasn’t been careful to document performance or other problems all along. Don’t get caught in that trap.

Fairness, careful documentation are key to discipline process that will stand up in court


Are some of your supervisors so gun-shy about getting sued that they hold back on discipline? That’s a big mistake. As long as an employer carefully documents the disciplinary process with solid evidence, chances are any lawsuit will be quickly dismissed.

Lower employee stress to raise performance


Studies show that workplace stress has increased over the past several years and that productivity can drop if employers don’t address the problem. Here are just some of the issues likely stressing your staff—along with suggestions on how HR can help.

4 ways to make telework work

More than 33 million Americans now work remotely at least one day per month, according to the nonprofit WorldatWork. Here’s how work-from-home arrangements operate in organizations nationwide, according to a recent survey. Plus, learn what managers must do to make the most of their teleworking staff members.

8 steps to becoming the manager your employees need

In an effort to “empower” their staffs, too many managers take a completely hands-off approach, leaving employees alone unless they really need help. But this can create a rudderless ship, says management expert Bruce Tulgan. That’s not leadership! Here’s how effective managers provide genuine support to their employees.

Showing sympathy doesn’t create ADA liability

Employees who turn out not to meet the definition of “disabled” can still sue for disability discrimination based on their employer’s perception that they are disabled. That doesn’t mean, however, that supervisors can’t express concern and sympathy when an employee reveals a problem. Nor does it mean they can’t offer accommodations at that point or explain what types of leave are available.

Employee complained about discrimination? That doesn’t excuse shoddy or dangerous work


Employees who file EEOC or other complaints about discrimination are protected from retaliation for doing so. But that doesn’t mean employers aren’t allowed to discipline employees who have complained—if the situation legitimately calls for discipline. You must, however, be very careful to document the underlying reasons.