Manager's Legal Bulletin

Insubordination occurs when an em­­ployee refuses a reasonable order from a supervisor or manager. If discipline or discharge is necessary, knowing how to handle employee insubordination can go a long way toward avoiding legal consequences.

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It’s only natural for managers to monitor the performance of an employee following a leave of absence to ensure that the employee falls smoothly back into the swing of things. There is a fine line, however, between monitoring performance and intensely scrutinizing it.

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Sharpen your pencils and put on your thinking caps. Here’s a list of “adverse employment actions.” Or maybe not. See if your definition of “adverse” jibes with that of our court system.

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With many employees putting off retirement and staying on the job longer than they expected, it’s bound to happen: They have trouble reporting to a much younger manager. Before the work relationship becomes irreparable or an age discrimination suit is filed, have a chat with the veteran employee.

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In a faltering economy, superior customer service is more important than ever. Companies are doing whatever it takes to please their customers. However, this should not include looking the other way when a customer harasses an employee.

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An Asian couple is suing the owner of a Queens Hooters restaurant after they discovered the word “Chinx” printed in the customer ID field of their take-out receipt.

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Consider the following questions a manager might ask during the interview process. Answer yes to the questions the EEOC lists as legal under the Americans with Dis­­abili­ties Act; answer no to the ones that it deems unlawful.

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If you’re faced with an employee who isn’t a good fit with his or her current job, is termination the answer or is demotion a better alternative? The answer is, of course, it depends.

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Q. An employee called me and told me he wasn’t coming to work be­­cause he has bronchitis. I told the rest of the department why the employee is absent. Did I violate HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)?

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If you allow employees to listen to music in the workplace, be aware of the legal and practical consequences, lest you start hearing the not-so-sweet sounds of co-workers’ complaints … or even lawsuits.

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