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One important way to judge your success as a manger is by the success of your employees. An effective manager isn’t just a boss who can extract the most productivity from his people, but the one who produces great future managers. How can you be sure that under your leadership managers will blossom?

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Employers can’t punish employees for complaining about alleged discrimination or harassment. That’s true even if the complaint doesn’t pan out, as long as the employees complained in good faith. But judges don’t want employees to use the threat of a retaliation lawsuit as a way to circumvent fair discipline, either. There’s a way for employers to get judges on their side.

Sometimes, a handful of bitter employees can poison the workplace atmosphere so much that production falls. That doesn’t mean it’s always easy to figure out who’s to blame. Here’s one way that sometimes works: Conduct a thorough assessment of the workplace by interviewing all the employees. What you learn may surprise you and provide the impetus to make some sorely needed changes.

You hear a lot about bullies and bullying these days, especially in schools. But bullies grow up. If they’re not stopped, they bring intimidation and violence into the workplace. What’s worse, some of them will become supervisors. If you get wind of a potential bully boss, here’s what to do:

Employees sometimes quit and claim they had no choice because work conditions were so terrible. Sometimes, they sue. In most such cases—the argument is called “constructive discharge”—courts side with employers, provided there’s no evidence the employee suffered an adverse employment action such as a transfer, demotion or pay cut.

Some employees think they can freely break rules they consider unimportant. Trouble is, other employees often follow suit. Your best bet for stopping such nonsense: Explain to the main culprit that his behavior is unacceptable—and then give him one last chance. Get that warning in writing with a formal last-chance agreement.

For most problem employees, deteriorating behavior and performance is a gradual process. Smart employers track the downward trajectory along the way.

Save yourself lots of trouble by posting all open positions and telling employees exactly how to apply. When jobs aren’t posted and a member of a protected class misses out on a job opportunity, he or she can argue that the employer purposely hid the opening in order to exclude some individuals.

A former secretary at a Nacogdoches vehicle dealership says the sexual harassment there was so severe she had no choice but to quit. That’s the definition of “constructive discharge,” and it’s the basis of the lawsuit Jennifer Burch has filed against Eastex Tractor & Powersports.
Sexual harassment sometimes grows slowly, starting out fairly innocuously before accelerating to behavior that creates a truly hostile work environment. Courts understand that and have created a specific legal doctrine to help harassed employees—the continuing violation doctrine.
Employers can defend against alleged retaliation by showing they had a good reason for the adverse action. For example, if a supervisor moves an employee to another position for a legitimate management reason, that’s not retaliation. Consider the following case.
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