Strategic human resource management is the end product of success in conduction workplace investigations, vendor management, human capital management, and more.
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Some supervisors can’t or won’t refrain from finding ways to punish employees who complain about alleged harassment or discrimination. That’s why it’s important for someone in HR to follow up on every complaint—even if it turns out to be unfounded—and ask whether there’s been any retaliation.
Judges don’t want your job. They don’t see courtrooms as publicly funded HR offices, and will often try to defer to employer decisions as much as possible. That’s a huge advantage for employers. Capitalize on that by giving the court something to hang a favorable decision on. That something is often a clear and fair disciplinary process.
Guess which of your employees are among the most likely to file a discrimination complaint, request ADA accommodations or ask for FMLA leave. Those who know they’re in trouble at work. They think that by doing so, they’ll make you think twice before discharging them. If that doesn’t keep you from firing them, guess what happens next.
It’s one of the HR profession’s hard truths: You never know which applicant may sue you if he or she isn’t hired. That means you must be ready to defend every hiring decision. The best way is to have a clear routine that everyone involved in the hiring process must use.
To sue for employment discrimination, employees have to show some sort of adverse action—e.g., discharge, demotion, a pay cut or a transfer to a less desirable or less prestigious position. Merely being criticized or having a reprimand placed in a personnel folder isn’t enough to support a lawsuit.
If you don’t have a chance to personally observe an employee’s behavior, don’t rely solely on a supervisor’s termination recommendation. Instead, conduct an independent investigation to verify the supervisor’s claim. Otherwise, any employment decision based on that recommendation can be tainted by the supervisor’s hidden bias.
Employers have an obligation to prevent sexual harassment and to end it when it does occur. But many times, what a thin-skinned employee considers harassment isn’t actually serious enough to rise to that level. When that happens, smart employers exercise patience. They understand the very real danger of winning a sexual harassment case but losing the retaliation case that follows.