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Firing

Document every termination as if it will be challenged in court

04/25/2012
Here’s a good rule of thumb when disciplining employees: Consider it a given that if discipline leads to termination, the entire disciplinary decision-making process will be challenged in court. That’s why you must carefully document every disciplinary action, starting with warnings.

Calmly accept need for intermittent FMLA leave

04/24/2012

Intermittent FMLA leave can be a pain, especially in industries where attendance is crucial. That’s particularly true in nursing and related fields. But employees who are otherwise eligible for intermittent FMLA leave can’t be denied that right merely because it’s inconvenient for employers …

Firing injured employee? Have legit business reason

04/19/2012

Illinois employees are protected from retaliation for filing workers’ compensation claims. Protection kicks in when a claim is actually filed or when the employer knows the employee was injured and needs medical care. But that doesn’t mean you can’t fire an injured employee for reasons wholly unrelated to the injury.

Stop harassment suits before they start! Follow up with employees after every complaint

04/19/2012
One of the simplest and most effective ways to prevent retaliation lawsuits is to follow up with the employee who complained. Remind her that you won’t tolerate retaliation, and be sure to check back at least once following the investigation.

No explanation of illness? Then no unemployment

04/12/2012

In Minnesota, employees who suffer from a serious illness can still collect unemployment compensation if they ask their employers for an accommodation. If none is available, then the employee can collect benefits if he can’t work. But employees must tell their em­­ployers about their medical condition.

No job protection for urging criminal report

04/11/2012
In a recent case, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to extend protected status to an investigator who wanted her company to go further than it was willing to after it discovered sexual harassment.

Employee performance not up to snuff? You must communicate your concerns

04/09/2012
Employers have an obligation to make sure employees know what kind of performance is expected of them. Under no circumstances should you wait until you’re ready to discharge the employee to put criticism in writing. That creates the suspicion that you came up with reasons as a cover for illegal discrimination.

Health insurer CEO axed over affair, arrest

04/05/2012
Highmark Blue Shield has terminated its CEO in the wake of criminal charges that he attacked the husband of a former employee with whom he was having an affair.

Detailed disciplinary records show you’re not biased

04/02/2012
Employers that keep detailed disciplinary records showing exactly why an employee was disciplined are much more likely to win lawsuits. That makes it harder for an employee to argue he was singled out for unfair, discriminatory punishment.

Don’t let insubordinate employee hide behind dubious ‘That’s illegal!’ claim

03/30/2012
Employers can’t fire employees for refusing to engage in criminal acts. But that doesn’t mean em­­ployees can proclaim “That’s illegal!” and expect to get away with what is really insubordination.