The HR Specialist

Q. We have a nonunion shop. It is not uncommon for our employees to insist that they have the right to have a witness present during investigatory interviews and disciplinary action meetings. I have heard conflicting answers to whether employees in a nonunion facility have the right to have a witness present during investigatory and disciplinary interviews. Can you clear up the confusion for me? …

{ 0 comments }

Q. Am I required by law to give my employees copies of documents contained in their personnel files? …

{ 0 comments }

GPS to track employees

by The HR Specialist on December 7, 2007 12:00am

in Human Resources

Q. I would like to install GPS tracking devices in company-owned vehicles to track my employees’ whereabouts and determine whether they are making effective use of company time. I would prefer not to notify my employees that I will be installing these devices. Would I subject my company to any liability for violating our employees’ right to privacy if I take this step? …

{ 0 comments }

Technically, favoring friends and family members for jobs and giving them plum assignments isn’t illegal. But if nepotism results in an all or mostly white work force, applicants or employees from other protected categories (e.g., race, gender, national origin) can still sue, claiming illegal discrimination …

{ 0 comments }

No employer is immune from employee lawsuits. But there is a lot you can do to lessen the impact of lawsuits that do occur—before they cost huge expenditures of time, effort and money. One of the best ways to ensure the quick dismissal of frivolous claims is to have information at your fingertips, especially disciplinary data …

{ 0 comments }

Overtime collective actions represent a growing nationwide trend. These are cases in which one employee claims his employer misclassified him as exempt and owes overtime. The employee also claims to represent everyone else similarly situated. If such a case goes forward, it may mean the employer must pay out thousands of dollars in unpaid overtime. Employers have only one chance to make the case go away …

{ 0 comments }

Congress passed the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) to give employees time to adjust to an imminent plant shutdown and prepare for unemployment. Covered employers are required to give employees 60 days’ notice before shutting down operations. Good news: The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that not giving WARN notice is fine—as long as the company continues to pay …

{ 0 comments }

Employees who ask for FMLA leave often act as if they are immune from any sort of discipline. But that’s simply not the case. Even if an employee has applied for or is actually on FMLA leave, you can and should punish rule breaking. Just make sure you aren’t treating an employee who takes FMLA leave more harshly than any other employee. Equitable discipline is the rule …

{ 0 comments }

Q. If a Texas-based company has divisions in several other states, does the Texas law allowing employers to deny employees a look at their personnel files still apply? …

{ 0 comments }

If there’s one situation in which the HR function really earns its keep, it’s when an employer faces the prospect of having to discharge an employee. Sometimes—if a subordinate has a legitimate complaint against the supervisor, for example—the supervisor harbors illegal retaliatory motives. That’s when it’s best to have an independent decision-maker involved …

{ 0 comments }