The HR Specialist

CareerBuilder.com recently asked 2,929 hiring managers and HR pros to name the lamest excuses they had ever heard for missing work. Who knew America’s work force was so fragile—or creative? Maybe some innovative strategies can stem the tide of absenteeism.

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Any presence of pornography in the workplace can spark expensive, reputation-draining lawsuits. You need a policy of zero tolerance: No adult material anywhere, anytime — not on office computers, in e-mails, on videotapes or DVDs.

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The following sample policy was excerpted from The Book of Company Policies, published by HR Specialist, © 2007. Edit for your organization’s purposes. _____________________________ Purpose: “All employees have the right to work in an environment free from physical violence, threats and intimidation. The Company’s position is that violence is a form of serious misconduct that […]

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When it comes to hiring good employees, you know that experience and education aren’t everything. There’s nothing wrong with considering such “soft” factors as loyalty and reliability when making hiring decisions. Just make sure you don’t consider things such as disability, FMLA absences or other protected characteristics …

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The Texas Supreme Court has weighed in for the first time on an important interpretation of the Texas Whistleblower Act. Until now, a key term in the act was largely undefined: Exactly what is an “adverse employment action"? …

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Sometimes, it’s hard to see what’s actually going on down at the frontline supervisor level. A rogue manager may be spouting all sorts of garbage and getting away with it—until he fires someone who ultimately sues. Then, it may be too late to save the company from a costly jury verdict. One way to spot potential problems is with a simple HR evaluation technique—the so-called 360-degree evaluation …

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Employers can’t discipline employees for filing discrimination claims with state or federal agencies. That’s retaliation. But what if an employee is spouting off to co-workers and customers about how he’s suing to “get” the company? …

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If you don’t have one, consider adding a general honesty or misrepresentation clause to your employee handbook. Such a clause can come in handy when you are looking for a solid reason to discharge someone who just isn’t being upfront and honest with the company, but technically may not have violated a specific work rule …

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Q. We are entering our busy season. Although our budget is tight, we’d like to reward those employees who go above and beyond with some sort of additional “perk.” Can you recommend some low-cost ways to reward exceptional performance? …

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Q. Am I required to pay my employees when they miss work due to inclement weather? …

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