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Productivity / Performance

Prepare for change when ADA Amendments Act takes effect next month


The ADA Amendments Act of 2008, which goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2009, is designed to restore protections for the broad range of individuals with disabilities, as originally envisioned by Congress. The amendments were also meant to reverse several U.S. Supreme Court decisions that limited the ability of individuals to qualify as disabled …

Stress test: 9 questions to find out if you’re a victim or a master


Everyone’s stressed these days—whether from financial worries or just the looming holidays. Some thrive on stress, but for others it’s an emotional and productivity drain. Here’s a simple self-assessment you can do to gauge your stress level—and do something about it.

How to coach ‘problem’ employees: A 4-step plan for managers

When faced with a poor-performing or disruptive employee, it’s easy for supervisors to play the wait-and-see game and simply hope the situation will improve. But problems rarely solve themselves. And that’s especially true with problem employees. The best method? Meet with employees right when you spot problem behavior or performance—don’t wait.

One more reason to keep job descriptions current


If you don’t have up-to-date job descriptions, you are asking for legal trouble the next time an employee asks for reasonable accommodations under the ADA. Without a current job description, the employee will come up with her own—quite possibly minimizing the essential functions she can’t perform.

Don’t fear conflicting reviews show discrimination


Sometimes, employees work with several supervisors, all of whom provide input on that employee’s performance. But courts generally won’t view differing evaluations by more than one supervisor as evidence of discrimination

The HR I.Q. Test: December ’08


Test your knowledge of recent trends in employment law, comp & benefits and other HR issues with our monthly mini-quiz …

Can we require worker to wear hearing aid?


Q. An employee with severe hearing loss refuses to use his hearing aid. He works in a loud environment with forklifts and other hazards. Can we force him to wear the hearing aid or otherwise remove him from the floor? We think he’s endangering himself because he can’t hear someone warning him about a hazard.

HR cost-cutting moves: Your benchmarks for surviving the meltdown


As the impact of the global economic crisis takes hold, a quarter of U.S. employers expect to make layoffs in the next 12 months. Find out how employers nationwide are hunkering down—and the HR lessons you can apply to your organization. Your goal: Do what needs to be done … without killing productivity.

Objectivity is what counts in constructive discharge cases


Sometimes, employees who think they are about to be fired for poor performance will try to take pre-emptive action by quitting and then suing. Courts are pretty strict when it comes to “constructive discharge” …

OK to reject applicant who volunteers that disability can’t be accommodated


If an applicant discloses a disability and says she can’t perform the job’s essential functions even with an accommodation, you can turn her down. You don’t have to second-guess her assessment and look for a reasonable accommodation.