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Productivity / Performance

Keep careful track of work-restriction notes


Some bosses are visibly irked when they receive a doctor’s note restricting the work an employee can perform. If the employee notices that reaction and then gets disciplined or fired, watch out for a lawsuit! Her attorney will probably try to link the timing of the doctor’s note and the adverse employment action as proof of discrimination or retaliation. 

Poor performance terminations and COBRA: Can we deny the new COBRA subsidy?


Q. We had to terminate an employee for failure to adequately perform his job responsibilities. Can we deny him the COBRA subsidy because the termination was not a layoff or a result of the economy?

Problem Solved: Real People … Real Comp & Benefits Solutions, Sept. ’09


This month’s collection of real-world quick tips from American business leaders, brought to you by members of The Alternative Board.

Make sure your promotion process gives all qualified candidates enough time to apply


Supervisors who want to hand-select a particular employee for a job may be tempted to play fast and loose with the company promotion process. Watch out!

Recession revisited: Is it time for cautious optimism on pay?


As hard as this recession has been on everyone, it has forced organizations to look at how to spend compensation budgets more efficiently and more effectively. What has shaken out is a new system of pay raises and bonuses that rewards employees for doing top-notch work rather than for simply showing up for work. Here are five lessons compensation pros have learned during these hard times:

Court: We won’t micromanage hiring decisions


The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that an employee who was passed over for a promotion can’t later use the poor performance of the person who got the job to prove the decision was discriminatory. The case shows that courts are willing to let employers make mistakes; they won’t micromanage hiring and promotion decisions.

Progressive discipline and pregnancy: Can the process continue?


Q. If an employee is already on probation when she becomes pregnant, can we continue progressive discipline measures, including possible discharge?

Interviews: The legal way to ask 5 risky questions

Job discrimination claims are running at record-high levels in the past two years. Way too many problems start when hiring managers ask the wrong questions during job interviews. Here’s how to ask five key questions without risking a hiring discrimination charge. (Plus 16 questions no one should ever ask.)

Former boss’s good reviews don’t prove new boss’s bias


When a new boss suddenly gives a lousy performance review to an employee who is used to getting good reviews, the employee may try to blame the change on the new supervisor’s alleged bias. Absent other evidence, that won’t prove discrimination in court.

Tough times = stressed-out staff: 10 tips to ease their pain


A brutal economy … layoffs … pay cuts. These are trying times to be a U.S. worker, and not all are handling it well. Nearly half of U.S. workers say they feel stressed out, compared with 39% in other countries, according to a Robert Half International survey. Here are 10 ways to deal with your employees’ recession-induced stress: