Sexual harassment by a nonemployee confirmed by a Federal court

When I train about sexual harassment or discuss it in a class, one area I mention is that companies can be liable for harassment from a nonemployee. The example I give most often is a delivery person who “flirts” with the receptionist that is receiving the packages. That is not a difficult example to understand …

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Four Very Instructive Reads in HR Compliance

Legal compliance for many HR people is a major headache. Each situation has some different twist to it that makes you question whether you are making the correct decision. Here are four situations that provide examples of just my point. Reverse discrimination This first post shows that reverse discrimination is recognized by the courts as …

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Don’t be a dupe for someone else’s ill will

I have run across the term “cat’s paw” several times in the past, including just recently. It comes supposedly from an old Aesop’s fable that was adapted by Frenchman Jean de La Fontaine under the title Le Singe et le Chat that appeared in the second collection of his Fables in 1679. It tells the …

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Why you should document when the decision was made!

  I know I write frequently about the importance of documentation. There is a reason for that! It will save you grief, heartache and money. Here is yet another reason why documentation is important. The Situation  Attorney Christopher Ward, of Foley & Lardner LLP, makes the point that a successful defense of a lawsuit often …

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Six Rules for terminations: Firing Fast does not mean firing Stupidly!

  I am a firm believer in the idea of the concept of hiring slow and fire fast as the best way to select employees and the best way to protect your company in an employment relationship gone awry. You can read more here, here, here and here. However firing someone fast does not mean …

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Does Respect Have to be earned in the workplace?

  We have all heard someone proffer the advice that “respect has to be earned.” I hear that from CEO’s who like to “run a tight ship.” My question is that really the case, does respect really have to be earned? My answer I feel that is backwards thinking. I think everyone deserves respect from …

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What do Clowns, Freedom of Speech and Facebook have in common?

  I wrote about this topic just last week, but came across a situation that turns out to be a perfect example of my post on protected speech. Here is what clowns, freedom of speech and Facebook have in common. The situation Attorney Lee Tankle, of McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC, described in his article …

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Turnabout is not Fair Play

  If you have been paying attention, to either my blog posts or others or the HR literature, you know the National Labor Relations Board has been enforcing protection of workers’ rights in their use of social media. But not everyone is protected. Turnabout is not fair play. A refresher on Section 7 The NLRB …

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Does Résumé “Lying” Really Matter if You Can Perform?

  What does lying on your résumé get you? For a lot of people apparently a lot of trouble. Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson is in trouble. Apparently his résumé lists that he had two degrees from Stonehill College, earned in 1979. But in reality he does not. He has an accounting degree but not the …

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Can You Terminate Someone the Day They Return From FMLA?

I have been asked several times “Can you fire someone the day they return from FMLA?” Naturally, my answer is “It all depends.” To illustrate let’s consider the case of Winterhalter v. Dykhuis Farms, Inc. Briefly, Winterhalter was a supervisor working for the pig farm of Dykhuis Farms, Inc. He was in charge of a …

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