Q. A former employee called HR asking to review her personnel file. We already let her review her file following termination last year, and nothing has changed in the personnel file since she reviewed it. Can we just tell the former employee “No”? Or can we ask her to pay for a copy of the file for her own records? Our HR manager is going on vacation next week. Can we wait to deal with the former employee’s request until after the human resources manager gets back from vacation?
Q. We recently received a reference request from another company. We would like to be honest with the potential employer about the former employee’s performance issues. The employee was unreliable, did not get along with co-workers, and was always complaining to his supervisor about our business practices without any basis. Are there risks to being honest and giving the employee a bad reference?
Minnetonka, MN-based G&K Services has settled sex discrimination charges leveled by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.
Q. We are a retail company. Our public image and our reputation for being a patriotic corporate citizen are both very important to us. We tend to hire a predominately young workforce and individuals with trendy, but “clean cut” and energetic appearances. I also don’t want to be forced to hire people with head coverings or facial hair, which we don’t allow. Can the government force us to do that?
Employees have to abide by reasonable rules whether they like them or not. Insubordination remains a reason to deny unemployment compensation to terminated workers.
For the first time in a decade, the NLRB is operating at full strength with five members and a confirmed General Counsel. The new board has a union-side majority and appears poised to expedite union organizing and support other collective activity across an increasingly broad spectrum of unionized and nonunionized workplaces.
The EEOC alleges Chanhassen, MN-based PMT Corp. discriminated against older and female applicants for company sales positions. In a lawsuit filed in federal court, the EEOC claims the company’s president and CEO specifically instructed the HR department not to hire women and people who graduated from college more than 10 years ago for sales positions.
Interstate Hotels and Resorts, the Virginia-based firm that managed Rochester’s Kahler Grand Hotel, has settled age discrimination charges that four former employees brought against the company. Interstate began managing the hotel, which serves the Mayo Clinic, in January 2013.
Employees can sometimes quit and sue for constructive discharge if their employer made work life intolerable. That doesn’t mean an employee can quit anytime she faces a difficult situation. She has to let her employer try to resolve the problem first.
Most employers think that if they just tell employees not to work more hours than their regular schedules call for, that’s the end of it. They put together a policy prohibiting off-the-clock work and figure, “Hey, problem solved.” But that may not be the case.