Minneapolis-based Target has contracted with a Chicago firm, ComPsych, to provide counseling to workers in several of the chain’s urban stores. The move is designed to help reduce turnover by teaching workers coping skills to deal with family and financial problems that may affect their work performance.
State law allows teachers with five years on the job and 10 years’ experience to take up to five years of unpaid leave if the school board approves it. For one former Minnesota teacher and athletic coach, that was a deal too good to pass up.
Here’s a tip if you are revising your employee handbook: When it comes to discipline, make sure you give yourself some flexibility to deal with unusual circumstances. For example, if you want to use progressive discipline, be sure to account for the rare situations that may warrant immediate suspension or discharge.
It happens: A supervisor wants to discipline an employee, but HR or upper management nixes the idea because it knows something the boss doesn’t. Perhaps the employee had suffered discrimination in the past and was placed in a new position for a fresh start. Be prepared for legal fallout if you wind up disciplining the supervisor.
If an internal investigation reveals that the employee whose complaint launched the process was also engaged in improper behavior (or was, in fact, the person to blame for the situation), don’t hesitate to punish appropriately. As long as you act in good faith, a court is unlikely to conclude the punishment was retaliation for complaining in the first place.
The Farmington School Board is investigating one of its own. The board recently voted to investigate member Tim Burke to see if he poses a potential liability. Several board members have accused Burke of treating administrators disrespectfully, burdening them with unnecessary data requests and making unfounded accusations against them.
Union-organizing efforts have consistently failed since Delta Air Lines merged with Eagan-based Northwest Airlines. That trend continued last fall when 53% of baggage handlers voted to reject representation by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
A recent state Supreme Court decision highlights one of the unique problems facing employers: While a pay practice may be valid under state law, it may be illegal under federal law. To ensure they’re in full compliance, employers must be prepared to change their pay practices to conform with the most restrictive law.
Sometimes, courts are suspicious of an employer’s claim that it conducted a reduction in force if it can’t support the claim with facts and figures. Supply the data and make the court comfortable with your company’s decision.
Employees terminated for refusing to abide by reasonable work rules aren’t eligible for unemployment compensation. But what constitutes a reasonable rule depends on the circumstances.