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Productivity / Performance

Beware bloated résumés: Extra skills don’t necessarily mean better-qualified person

09/18/2009

Employees who want a promotion sometimes get upset when they aren’t selected, especially if the job winds up going to someone they perceive as less skilled or talented. But if the spurned employee’s extra skills or training weren’t necessary, they aren’t particularly relevant.

Must we reassign disabled worker to a new job?

09/18/2009

Q. We have an employee who just developed a disability that will keep him from performing his job for an unknown time. After he uses up his FMLA and other accumulated leave, do we have an obligation to look for another position for him?

Preparing your workplace for a possible swine flu pandemic

09/15/2009

The United States is facing a swine flu outbreak that has caused the government to declare a public health emergency. Recently, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published new guidelines to help employers prepare for flu season and prevent the rapid spread of the H1N1 influenza. Here are the CDC’s suggestions, plus insight on your risks and obligations as an employer …

Keep Facebook from frittering away employee productivity

09/15/2009

A new study estimates that nearly two-thirds of Facebook users access the site at work. On average, they spend 15 minutes on the site during work hours, and the electronic back-and-forth could represent as much as 1.5% of an employer’s productivity losses. The good news: You can stop it.

Age discrimination harder to prove following 7th Circuit ruling

09/14/2009

The 7th Circuit’s recent opinion in Martino v. MCI represents the first opportunity for that court to apply the U.S. Supreme Court’s recently clarified standard for determining liability in disparate-treatment cases brought under the ADEA. Together, the two decisions make it harder for employees to win some age discrimination lawsuits.

Don’t nickel and dime ADA accommodations: Everything can’t be essential to the job

09/14/2009

Employers sometimes think they can get around the ADA requirements by calling every task in a job description “essential.” They hope they’ll be able to exclude anyone who can’t do absolutely every aspect of the job. But that strategy can backfire badly because not every task is essential.

Asperger’s syndrome may be an ADA disability

09/08/2009

Asperger’s syndrome may be a covered disability under the ADA, a federal court hearing an Ohio case has concluded. Asperger’s is a developmental disability characterized by “severe and sustained impairments in social interaction,” according to the American Psychiatric Association. The condition is permanent and is similar in some respects to autism.

Get it in writing! You need consistent, persistent documentation

09/08/2009

If I had to boil employment law into one overarching maxim, it would be this: Be fair and document everything, in case someone thinks you’re not being fair. If you doubt the importance of thorough documentation, consider two recent cases decided by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

9 ways to cut costs with strategic work/life & flex benefits

09/04/2009

Amid layoffs, furloughs, pay cuts and frozen salaries, most organizations are holding onto their work/life benefits during the recession. And some of them are using flextime, telework and other employee favorites as cost-cutting strategies. Here are nine ways your organization can make strategic use of work/life benefits to cut costs, save jobs and pump up employee morale during the recession.

The 5 steps of progressive discipline

09/02/2009

A progressive discipline system is the best way to correct employee performance problems. It’s also the best way to protect against wrongful termination lawsuits. It allows you to ensure that any employee fired because of inferior performance was treated fairly and in accordance with your company’s policies. Here’s a five-step model for progressive discipline: