The risk isn’t new—e-mail has been around for a while. But managers and supervisors still continue to play fast and loose with their e-comments. E-mail messages are increasingly finding their way into employment-law court battles. Remind managers in the hiring process that it’s typically better to pick up the phone or walk down the hall to discuss a candidate than it is to send an e-mail.
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If your former employees decide to sue, they’ll find themselves competing for lawyers to represent them. Increasingly, former employees are filing their own lawsuits. And judges give such pro se plaintiffs every possible break since they aren’t expected to know the tricks of the legal trade.
Some employees may manufacture complaints when they think they’re in trouble at work. That’s why it’s so important to maintain good records of all work problems, discipline and complaints. Employers that can prove they were raising concerns about performance before the employee complained about discrimination or harassment effectively cut the causal link between the complaint and the alleged retaliation.
Sometimes, it’s possible for an employee to have two employers. That’s often the case when a temporary service provides workers for a client, and both the temp company and the client exercise significant control over how and when the work is performed. But now there’s a new wrinkle.