HR Management

Strategic human resource management is the end product of success in conduction workplace investigations, vendor management, human capital management, and more.

Our human resource management articles can help you vastly improve your human resources planning, HR policies, and human resource training.

As an HR professional, you’re constantly being called on to decide whether an employee’s rights have been violated. Take, for example, a manager who does a lot of indiscriminate yelling. As long as he  doesn’t say anything outrageously linked to sex or race, there may be nothing illegal about the behavior. But explaining that to the affected employees can be difficult.

Biewer Wisconsin Sawmill has agreed to settle sexual harassment complaints brought by two female employees alleging a male co-worker repeatedly exposed himself to them over the course of several years. Biewer, which has a manufacturing and distribution outlet in Seneca, failed to deal with the complaints promptly ...

Overlapping issues often make it even harder for HR pros to deal with difficult situations. For example, addressing the needs of two disabled employees can turn into a discrimination lawsuit if they belong to different protected classes and you come up with different accommodations.
Managers and HR professionals are often pulled in many directions at once and don’t always have time to independently review the personnel decisions that line supervisors make. Under what’s commonly referred to as the “cat’s paw” theory, an employee can win a discrimination claim even if the employer successfully proves that the actual decision-maker didn’t intend to discriminate—or even knew that the employee was a member of a protected class.
Q. Admittedly, this is an odd-ball question. My HR department just received a complaint from an employee about risqué e-mails that some of her co-workers were trading back and forth. Coincidentally, the employee who complained is also slotted for termination because of poor performance and attendance problems. Is there any risk in terminating this employee in light of her recent complaint?
Q. A recently terminated employee retained an attorney, who then engaged in pre-suit negotiations with our HR vice president. During those negotiations, our VP disclosed, in writing, some confidential information about the internal investigation that led to this employee’s termination. Negotiations have since broken down and the employee filed suit. Should I be concerned about these pre-suit disclosures coming back to haunt us in the litigation?
Recently, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals had a chance to declare that an informal internal complaint about ERISA-covered benefits might be enough to protect an employee from retaliation. Fortunately for employers, it declined to do so.

Sure, everyone knows that employees who make a good-faith complaint alleging some form of discrimination are protected from retaliation. But that doesn’t mean that no one can criticize the employee for making the complaint in a way that’s out of line. If he or she is discourteous, you can and should put an end to the disruptive behavior.

Sometimes despite your efforts to prevent it, a complaint leads to solid evidence that a female employee has endured severe sexual harassment at the hands of co-workers. What’s your next move? And will that move enable you to prevent a successful lawsuit? If you correct the problem and prevent any further similar harassment, your company will be in the clear after 300 days.

Make sure your employee handbook covers federal jury service and that supervisors don’t punish employees who serve on federal juries. Employees who are called to serve on juries in federal courts are protected from discharge because of their service.