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Productivity / Performance

U.S. workers using less vacation time, survey says

05/04/2009

Online travel agent Expedia.com probably didn’t hear what it wanted to hear when it conducted its ninth annual travel survey. More than a third of workers said they won’t use all of their vacation this year. The primary reason cited? Work-related pressure.

How to Solve Your Employee Absentee Problem

05/03/2009
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Create an anti-discrimination action plan now

04/28/2009

If discrimination has always been a head-in-the-sand issue for you and your organization, it’s time to get serious about your policies and practices. Discrimination complaints of all types—race, sex, age, etc.—have climbed as steeply in the past year as the economy has fallen. Don’t get caught flat-footed.

Offer alternatives to reporting discrimination straight up the ‘chain of command’

04/27/2009

If an employee suspects his manager of bias, you can’t expect him to go to that particular boss to make a complaint. And you can’t expect to escape a lawsuit if you discipline the employee for going around the boss to report his concerns.

Turn Gen Y’s ‘unreasonable’ requests into a negotiating tool

04/21/2009

The two biggest comp and benefits myths about Generation Y employees—your youngest workers—are that they don’t care about money … and that they care only about money. They want more than that. In fact, they want way more. Use their demands as a negotiating tool, and watch the productivity of these young, tech-savvy go-getters soar in response.

Preparing for possible litigation

04/20/2009

Q. We recently had to discharge an employee for poor work performance. We are a relatively small company (70 employees) and don’t often fire people. Because of special circumstances that forced us to terminate the employee rather than try corrective action, we think it is very possible there will be some kind of litigation. Do you have any recommendations for what we should do or think about now, even before any lawsuit has been filed?

Go ahead and detail performance problems—criticism isn’t an adverse employment action

04/14/2009

Employees can sue for discrimination only if they can show they suffered an “adverse employment action.” In other words, they have to show that their employers somehow did something that affected their jobs—such as a demotion, discharge or pay cut. Merely criticizing an employee’s performance isn’t enough if it isn’t accompanied by something more substantial.

Discovered performance problems while worker was on FMLA leave? You can fire him

04/14/2009

What if you discover during an employee’s FMLA leave that the employee wasn’t as stellar as you always believed? What if you couldn’t have known that until you hired a temporary replacement. Must you bring the employee back? No, according to a recent 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decision.

Lost in translation: Remind foreign managers about U.S. age discrimination laws

04/09/2009

Discrimination at work is perfectly legal in some countries, and foreign-born managers and executives who work for U.S. employers may sometimes say things that show ignorance of U.S. laws. Those words can come back to haunt an employer that is sued for age discrimination.

Unequal performance standards shout—not whisper—disability discrimination

04/09/2009

Treating disabled employees differently than others raises all kinds of red flags that disability discrimination may be afoot. For example, setting higher standards for disabled employees than you do for others is a surefire way to end up in front of a jury, as the following case shows.