Manager's Legal Bulletin

Timing is everything when it comes to retaliation—especially when a supervisor punishes an employee on the same day he complains.

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Fewer American workers are reliant on their next payday to make ends meet, according to a new CareerBuilder survey.

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The last six weeks of the year include a handful of holidays for which employees clamor for time off. While some of these holidays are traditionally offered as a paid day off, employees might want other days off. Be prepared to manage their time off requests.

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Problem: A difficult employee be­­comes defensive and argumentative each time you try to address his shortcomings with him. He doesn’t see a problem or a need to change, so you fire him. His perspective of the situation is much different than yours, and now he’s going around telling his former co-workers how “terrible” the company is and how unfairly he was treated. Solution?

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Q. The mother of a minor employee (age 16) has asked to attend her child’s performance evaluation meeting. Do I have to legally allow the parent to sit in on this session?

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No doubt you fuss over the content in your job ads in hopes of luring the top candidates. Although good content in a job ad is critical, technical issues are more often the culprit behind workers dropping off from applying to a job.

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A simple way for companies to give employees a morale boost: loosening their dress code for a day and allowing employees to dress up for Halloween. It doesn’t cost the company any money or time—except for the few minutes you’ll need to set a few ground rules on costumes.

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If applicants ask why they didn’t get the job, conventional wisdom says to simply state that another individual more closely met the company’s needs, period. Short, sweet, to the point, and unlikely to result in a discrimination claim. Or is it? You may want to reconsider how much feedback to provide re­­jected applicants.

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Q. An employee has a note from her doctor releasing her back to work in a week. However, the employee says she feels fine and would like to return to work sooner. Should we allow her to ignore her doctor’s note?

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Questioning the capabilities of a person in a wheelchair is almost a guaranteed lawsuit. Case in point:

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