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Productivity / Performance

Progressive discipline and pregnancy: Can the process continue?

08/04/2009

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

08/04/2009
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

07/27/2009

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

07/24/2009

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:

No evaluations? You could be called ‘Out!’

07/17/2009

The recession has put the brakes on pay raises in many workplaces. But too many employers have halted performance reviews at the same time. That’s a major mistake. Reason: Discharged employees who sue will have a much easier time getting to a jury trial if you can’t produce evaluations that back up your stated termination reasons.

Use ‘fresh-start’ policy to cut retaliation risk

07/17/2009

It often makes sense to give a fresh start to a poorly performing employee who has been complaining about discrimination. Place her in another position with a new supervisor, new co-workers and a clean disciplinary record. Then if her workplace problems persist, you can terminate her without worrying about retaliation claims.

Social media and HR: Managing the legal risks, updating your policies

07/14/2009

Whether they’re shooting off their own tweets or following others, employees using Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and personal blogs are creating liability and PR risks with their online rants, raves and company gossip. We’ve gathered the best of HR Specialist’s recent coverage of social media’s HR implications. You’ll find sound legal advice, and maybe a laugh or two.

Penalize the worst of the worst more harshly

07/13/2009

There’s good news if you use objective and measurable productivity and goal targets to determine whether employees will receive promotions and pay increases. You can distinguish between degrees of failure to meet those goals.

‘Get real’ with job reviews; don’t fluff them up

07/08/2009

You and the supervisors at your organization have read horror stories of negative performance reviews spawning lawsuits from disgruntled employees. As a result, some supervisors may shy away from rating someone lower than his or her colleagues. That fear is one main reason too many reviews are positive even if performance is average or poor. The better thing to do is to urge your supervisors to “get real” with reviews.

Don’t rush to judge accommodation requests; ADA requires interactive give-and-take

07/08/2009

Employees who qualify as “disabled” under the ADA have the right to reasonable accommodations to allow them to perform the essential functions of their jobs. But choosing those accommodations requires an “interactive process” between employer and employee. Employers that rush to judgment about the alleged disability or the accommodation request will risk legal trouble.