• The HR Specialist - Print Newsletter
  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
  • The HR LAW Weekly
  • The HR Weekly

Productivity / Performance

In discrimination cases, don’t bet on Round 1 knockout

Discrimination cases typically have two stages. First, the employee must show that he is a member of a protected class, was qualified for the job he held, suffered an adverse employment action and a similarly situated person not in the same protected class was treated more favorably. Some federal trial judges recently construed the “similarly situated” standard very restrictively …

Should I stay or should I go?

It seems employees don’t want teleworking bosses, according to an Office Team survey …

The value of job descriptions—Even following termination

Q. How serious is it if an employer doesn’t have written job descriptions in place? Is it safe to draft them even after a termination that could result in a lawsuit? …

Paper evaluations? Switch to software to limit subjectivity

There’s no such thing as a completely objective performance evaluation. It’s impossible to totally eliminate manager subjectivity. That can become a legal problem when, for example, a poorly rated employee is promoted over a minority. Increased subjectivity is one of the main reasons employers should consider turning to performance evaluation software …

Which day is best to fire, hire or give reviews?

A study by consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas reports that Mondays are the best days to terminate employees because it allows them to start looking for a job right away. Make job offers on Thursdays because candidates need time to think …

Tap into the lawsuit-saving power of self-reviews


When an employee sues over an alleged discriminatory firing, courts typically make a beeline for one piece of evidence: the employee’s performance evaluation. The problem: Supervisors are notorious for giving overly kind evaluations, even to poor performers. That’s why it’s wise to get another opinion: the employee’s own …

Employee or contractor? Degree of control is key factor

The IRS and the courts are increasingly ignoring the “independent contractor” label that companies increasingly slap on their workers. Instead, they’re reclassifying those relationships as “employees.” And that’s not good for employers …

Progressive discipline among best ways to beat bias claims

There’s no law that says employers must use a progressive discipline system—but that’s no reason not to. In fact, using progressive discipline is one of the best ways to fight frivolous discrimination claims …

Use peer-Review process to assess subjective qualities—And justify discipline

Whether dealing with clients or co-workers, an abrasive, rude and arrogant employee can spell big trouble. The problem, of course, is measuring something as subjective as likeability or abrasiveness. One possible way: Use a peer-review process to gather relevant information and a consensus on how well employees get along with others …

Top 5 mistakes employers make and how to avoid them


Poor communications with employees isn’t just bad for business. It also creates a work environment that’s ripe for legal trouble. Stay out of the courtroom by taking time to explain your actions and make the workplace seem rational to employees. Here’s how.