Employers are often faced with the difficult decision to terminate an employee for performance or promote one employee over another. When there is documented evidence of performance review and discussions to back up the decision, employers reduce their risk of liability. There is no one-size-fits-all review system for every employer, and employers are encouraged to work with legal counsel to develop a system that is not only right for them and their culture, but also helps mitigate the risks associated with poorly conducted performance reviews. … [Read more...] about Conducting Effective Employee Performance Reviews
Discussing performance issues with employees
In Flex Frac Logistics, LLC, 358 NLRB No. 127 (2012), the National Labor Relations Board (in a decision later upheld by a federal appeals court in New Orleans) held the employer’s confidentiality policy was unlawfully overbroad, and, as a result, could inhibit employees from discussing terms and conditions of employment (i.e., wages, benefits, and the like). Thus, according to the Board, the policy violated employees’ right to discuss these issues under Section 7 the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). (See our article, Policy Restricting Employees from Discussing Wage Info with Outsiders Ruled Unlawful.) … [Read more...] about Employee Termination Pursuant to an Unlawful Confidentiality Rule is Lawful, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Holds
Following her termination, Brown filed a lawsuit against the City alleging FMLA retaliation and a number of other discrimination claims. On appeal, the Eighth Circuit approved of the lower court’s grant of summary judgment to the employer on Brown’s FMLA retaliation claim. First, the court noted that the timing of Brown’s termination – eight months after returning from leave – did not raise an inference of discrimination. Second, the court held that the undisputed evidence (which included written warnings) showed that Brown was warned about her poor performance prior to even going on leave. Accordingly, the Court affirmed summary judgment in favor of the City. … [Read more...] about Timely Performance Management in Avoiding Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Liability
First, be sure a voluntary wellness program is truly voluntary. If failure to participate results in a financial penalty, such as loss of insurance or the employee having to pick up the entire premium cost, the EEOC will not consider the program to be voluntary. Second, ensure that any required medical exams are job-related and consistent with business necessity. You should be able to explain why an employee in this particular position has to have this exam in order to safely perform his or her job. Finally, beware asking for family medical histories in either wellness programs or job-related medical exams. As we discussed in an earlier blog, the EEOC is also actively enforcing the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA”), which prohibits covered employers from acquiring “genetic information.” GINA defines “genetic information” to include family medical histories. … [Read more...] about EEOC Places Employee Wellness Programs Under Scrutiny
“The company strives to anticipate and manage crisis situations in order to reduce disruption to our employees and to maintain our reputation as a high quality company. To best serve these objectives, the company will respond to the news media in a timely and professional manner only through the designated spokespersons.” … [Read more...] about Is it Time to Review Your Employee Handbooks?