Performance and Discipline

This is not the “battery” or “assault” in your flashlight or next to the pepper shaker.  The “battery” and “assault” that employers need to understand in the HR context has to do with actual or threatened physical misconduct allegations in the workplace.  When an upset employee presents such a complaint, use of the term “assault”

In HR circles, there has been a growing discussion of “stacked employee ratings” by which management determines pre-set percentages of employees to be rated in the categories of “excellent,” “good,” “fair” and “poor,” or similar such rankings.  It is somewhat like the beloved grading curve in school.  Like the grading curve, stacked employee ratings are

Health professionals, including physicians, dentists, nurses, paramedics, pharmacists, psychologists and social workers, are far from immune from chemical dependency, mental illness, and other conditions that impair their ability to do their jobs. When an impairment leads to poor performance or misconduct, health care employers, like other employers, must analyze  whether discipline, a reasonable accommodation

If an employee claims he or she is suffering “emotional distress” on the job, a good employer takes the situation seriously since it can affect morale, productivity, and turnover.  But from the legal liability standpoint, the employer can take some solace in the narrow definition and high bar to bringing an intentional infliction of emotional

Respondeat superior is a legal doctrine under which an employer may be held vicariously liable for the torts of an employee that are committed within the course and scope of employment.  The employer’s liability stems not from the fault of the employer, but from the public policy notion that an employer should have to bear

Poking a coworker can potentially constitute employment misconduct and render an employee ineligible for unemployment insurance benefits.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals addressed this question in Potter v. Northern Empire Pizza, Inc., 805 N.W.2d 872 (Minn. Ct. App. 2011).
In Potter, the court emphasized that, while Minnesota law used to recognize an exception

An employer who discovers an employee theft is forced to deal not only with loss and betrayal, but is confronted almost immediately with questions of employee discipline, insurance reimbursement, significant tax implications, and possible criminal prosecution.
Criminal prosecution is perhaps the most personally difficult issue since the employee will face penalties and possible jail time. 

On November 9, 2011, Penn State University fired its long-time football coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier.  The University’s Board of Trustees made the decision to terminate Paterno and Spanier based on allegations that Paterno and other top school officials were told that a graduate assistant saw assistant coach Jerry Sandusky assault a

In a recent Advice Memorandum, an Associate General Counsel at the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) determined that an employer did not violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when it terminated an employee for calling his supervisor an obscenity involving the F-word on LinkedIn.
The employee argued that his employer’s reliance on his