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

Productivity / Performance

When worker may have broken rules, conduct independent investigation to confirm suspicions

The possibility of hidden bias is what makes it so important to never base a termination decision solely on one person’s recommendation. The key is to cut the connection between the supervisor’s attitude and the company’s termination decision.

Three’s a crowd: Can an employee bring someone else along to his performance appraisal?

Q. An employee has asked to have his wife present during his performance evaluation. Does he have the right to bring a representative?

Are we legally required to offer performance improvement plans and last-chance warnings?

Q. I attended a seminar for HR professionals last month where the instructor discussed the value of offering performance improvement plans and last-chance warnings to employees before they are terminated. Is my company obligated to offer these plans or warnings?

Understanding Minnesota’s personnel record requirements gives you a leg up during litigation

Minnesota’s personnel record rules can cause problems for employers that don’t operate primarily in the state. For example, employers that aren’t used to the rules may not realize that employees can challenge the truthfulness of information in personnel records and then sue for defamation.

Document all discipline, every complaint


Some employees may manufacture complaints when they think they’re in trouble at work. That’s why it’s so important to maintain good records of all work problems, discipline and complaints. Employers that can prove they were raising concerns about performance before the employee complained about discrimination or harassment effectively cut the causal link between the complaint and the alleged retaliation.

Update job descriptions to include new duties


If you don’t have accurate and up-to-date job descriptions, you’re probably courting trouble—especially if an employee develops a disability and wants a reasonable accommodation. That’s because what an employee considers a job’s essential functions may not jibe with your assessment.

Past tolerance of misbehavior doesn’t mean it can continue

Some employees believe that if their supervisor tolerates misconduct, those further up the workplace hierarchy can’t do anything about it. That’s not true.

Scrooges on staff? 8 ways to turn ’em around


As another year winds down, the economy isn’t the only thing that’s in a slump. Plenty of workers are in the doldrums, too. They feel stuck in their jobs because new ones are hard to come by. They can’t afford to retire. So they’re not performing as well as employees who look at their jobs as labors of love. Here’s how HR can help get them back on track.

Siemens employees get big post-recession bonus

Now that the worst of the economic crisis seems to have passed, Berlin, Germany-based electronics and powerhouse Siemens in December said thanks to its employees worldwide with “special payment” bonuses totaling $430 million. Nonmanagement employees in the United States received almost $100 million.

New IT system helps Barilla cut down turnover

Pasta maker Barilla America scored a big “zero” with employees last year: zero work stoppages due to faulty processes, plus overall employee turnover decreased to 8.1%. Reason: A $50 million overhaul of the organization’s 18-year-old IT systems and work processes gave employees the tools they needed to increase speed and improve efficiency.