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TERMINATION

To avoid a messy workplace theft investigation, can we just fire our prime suspect?

By Lynne Curry Question: Several years ago, when one of our employees was stealing from other employees’ purses and lockers, we called the police. The process — calling the police, alerting our insurance carrier and interviewing multiple employees to show fairness so we wouldn’t get sued for wrongful termination when we fired the one employee — tore apart our company. Some of our best employees couldn’t believe we didn’t trust them. We tried to explain we had wanted to be fair, and that if we only singled certain employees, we’d stigmatize them forever, but two of our best, long-term employees were so angry they quit within a few months. Once again, we have a problem. Several employees have reported missing small things from their desks. These items appear to be… . . . read more.

HIRING & FIRING

Employees who ask to be fired: A new trend to obtain a strategic advantage

By Lynne Curry At first, you think you’re imagining things. Your employee, “Kevin,” seems to want you to fire him. It started with Kevin not showing up for two critical team meetings in a row. When you sent him a text asking, “what happened” after the first, he responded, “It wasn’t on my radar.” You sent him an individual meeting request to ask him about this, but he was a “no show.” You planned to ask him to stay after the second team meeting, but he didn’t show up. In the meantime, your hear a complaint from another staffer: “He treats me with total disrespect. Maybe it’s that I’m a woman, or Hispanic, but I don’t plan to take it anymore.” This cascade of problems tells you need to act… . . . read more.

MANAGING STAFF

Quiet firing meets quiet quitting

By Lynne Curry Quiet quitting, the employee behavior pattern that swept through the nation this summer after a viral TikTok video in July, has met its match—quiet firing. Employers, disgusted by employees that consider it justified to do the bare minimum at work, are blessing these employees out the door. Managers take action In September 2022, 91% of 1,000 managers surveyed reported taking action against quiet quitters or firing them (1 in 3 managers have responded to ‘quiet quitting’ with ‘quiet firing’ – ResumeBuilder.com). One in three of the surveyed managers reported firing quiet quitters; 75% of the 1000 managers described firing quiet quitters as justifiable. Managers that didn’t outright fire quiet quitters took other actions. 27% of them denied raises to quiet quitters; 23% denied promotions to quiet quitters…. . . . read more.

HIRING

3 things to know about background checks

“No, we didn’t do a background check on her before we hired her. She seemed like such a nice person.” “Well, I just ‘Googled’ him, and it looks like he has some sort of criminal record, but I can’t see what it is.” These are things we occasionally hear from our members on the topic of background checks. Although nobody wants to think the worst of every applicant, it just makes good business sense to look into a person’s background before you make them your employee. This is especially true when you are hiring someone who will have access to your company’s financial records and/or to patient financial information such as social security and credit card numbers. A call that we hate to get, but we do get occasionally, is… . . . read more.

DRUGS & ALCOHOL

High at work: Anyone else smell that?

By Paul Edwards More often than you would think, we get calls from managers wondering what they can do about someone whom they think is impaired at work. When that happens, we immediately go into crisis control mode because, well, impairment at work is never acceptable. In this article, we are going to discuss impairment and odors from the perspective of marijuana legalization. From job candidates showing up to interviews smelling like a skunk to employees showing up to their shift distracted with bloodshot eyes, knowing how to handle an employee’s potential marijuana use has only gotten more complicated. Currently, marijuana legalization is in limbo between state versus federal government. While many states have moved to legalize or decriminalize its use, marijuana is still an illegal Schedule I drug under… . . . read more.

DOCUMENTATION

What you write can come back and bite

By Lynne Curry Your recorded words—they’re direct evidence. Direct evidence is evidence that proves the existence of a fact. Direct evidence includes someone else’s direct observations as in “I saw…,” “I heard….” Here’s a recent case where a staffing firm torpedoed itself and their client. The firm’s recruiter emailed 66,000 recipients. They emailed 66,000 individuals seeking applicants for a desktop support position for a client with a subject line “Desktop Support (Need Young Folks Only).1 Really? That’s direct evidence. And in September of 2021 the EEOC sued the staffing agency. Here’s a landmark case, Stewart v. Wells Fargo Bank, 5:15-cv-00988-MHH, that shows how a manager can undercut a potentially needed termination. Wells Fargo bank hired Deborah Stewart as a treasury management sales consultant. She had experience that qualified her for her… . . . read more.

HIRING & FIRING

The least you need to know about at-will employment

By Paul Edwards At-will employment can seem freeing for employers, but it can also provide a false sense of security. On the one hand, it’s liberating to be able to terminate employees for any lawful reason at any time. On the other, unlawful termination—or activities that can be construed as such—can put you at risk for litigation and are not protected by the tenants of at-will employment. The latter scenario is why the myth of at-will employment being a protective shield that allows employers to fire for any reason or no reason at all needs to be better understood by all managers and owners. So, to lessen the fear factor and help you sidestep at-will employment potholes and myths, here’s the least you need to know about at-will employment along with… . . . read more.

Hiring mistakes come at a higher price amid pandemic

A hiring mistake could cost your office more today than it would have a year ago. New research from a global staffing firm shows more than three in four senior managers surveyed (77 per cent) admit to recruiting the wrong candidate for a role, and more than half (56 per cent) said the negative impact is more severe now than it was a year ago. Four months lost on one hiring mistake When it comes to their most recent regrettable hire, senior managers said it took 11 weeks, on average, to realize the person was a poor match and to let them go, and an additional 5 weeks to restaff the role. That’s a total of 16 weeks, or 4 months, of time squandered on a recruiting blunder. Companies have… . . . read more.

EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE

EEOC charges down but lawsuits rising

By Mike O’Brien bio EEOC data for FY2020 show dip in charges filed The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its Fiscal Year 2020 Enforcement and Litigation Data report on Feb. 26, 2021. The EEOC reports that 67,448 charges of discrimination were filed in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2020, compared to 72,675 charges filed in the previous fiscal year. The agency made headway in addressing a backlog of charges, resolving 70,804 charges during FY2020, and securing $439.2 million for victims of discrimination. Continuing the trend of recent years, retaliation was the most commonly-asserted claim, made in 55.8% of all charges. Disability, race, and sex discrimination claims each were asserted in roughly a third of charges filed, at 36.1%, 32.7%, and 31.7%, respectively. Age, national origin, color, and religion… . . . read more.

EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE

How HR regulations could change under Biden administration

By Mike O’Brien bio Employers may be wondering how a Biden administration will affect workplace laws. Prior to the election, Biden’s campaign website gives some clues as to his priorities in this area. Biden lists the failure to pay minimum wage and overtime pay, forcing off-the-clock work, and misclassifying workers as problems resulting in billions of dollars a year in wage theft. To address those issues, he proposes a phased-in implementation of a $15 per hour federal minimum wage (including eliminating the tip credit). He also supports the adoption of a more stringent test for classifying workers as independent contractors, similar to the ABC test employed by California. This type of test would almost certainly result in many more workers being deemed employees and fewer being properly classified as independent… . . . read more.


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