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Why Consistency and Documentation Matter

    Discipline/corrective action must be issued consistently. Two questions employers should ask before corrective action deciding upon what discipline to mete out is: “What actions have we taken in the past under similar circumstances?”; and “Are there any circumstances that would justify departure from that practice?” Inconsistency in corrective action is a serious problem and one that costs employers dollars if challenged and proven in arbitration by the EEOC, NLRB or a judge/jury. It is imperative that discipline follows reasonably close in time from the conduct for which the employee is being disciplined. Any delay in discipline is far less likely… Read More »Why Consistency and Documentation Matter

    Progressive Disciplinary Policies

      Not so incredibly, courts are seeing a breach of an “implied contract” for failure to follow a progressive discipline policy in employee handbooks. This is consistent with the number of reported cases in the country in recent years in which employers have been found to have breached implied contracts with employees for failure to follow other personnel policies. To minimize exposure to liability with respect to progressive disciplinary action procedures, employers should consider the following: Do not include the progressive disciplinary procedure in the employee handbook. The purpose of a progressive disciplinary policy is to provide guidelines to employees and… Read More »Progressive Disciplinary Policies

      Are You Terminating Employees “By the Book?”

        The unpleasant take of discharging an employee should follow a time-tested protocol to put you in a defensible position should your decision be challenged in a proceeding or in court. You need to review and investigate any issues in which a supervisor wants you to terminate an employee. The possibility of an employee being “fired on the spot” for any offense should not even be a possibility. The maximum authority any supervisor should have is to suspend an employee pending further investigation. Immediate supervisors should be given the right to recommend termination but should not be permitted to fire an employee. Frequently,… Read More »Are You Terminating Employees “By the Book?”


          Free initial consultation for police and firefighters If you are facing Merit Board demotion or termination, you have statutory protection. Call before your matter gets to the Merit Board


            YOUR COMPANY’S NEED FOR A MEDICAL COMMUNICATIONS POLICY As you are well aware, your workplace is governed in part by administrative agencies when it comes to medical communication with employees.  Laudible as the ADA and FMLA are in the broad scheme of things, they place a greater administrative effort on your staff.  Employers are constantly running the risk of asking, saying or doing the “wrong” thing when it comes to making inquiries of an employee’s medical condition.  A policy which can help make you “bullet proof” from charges and lawsuits is a Medical Communication Policy. Breakdowns and miscommunications surrounding medical… Read More »YOUR COMPANY’S NEED FOR A MEDICAL COMMUNICATIONS POLICY


              YOUR EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK – YOUR BEST DEFENSE An employee handbook presents an excellent opportunity for you to educate employees about your organization, its history, and its origin.  It also allows you to establish a positive employee relations philosophy, to let your employees know that they are an essential and valued part of your organization, and to instill in them a loyal, positive, and favorable attitude towards you.  It is also your best defense at an unemployment compensation hearing, before an administrative agency, or in court. Every union-free organization that wants to remain that way should consider a clear statement explaining… Read More »YOUR EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK – YOUR BEST DEFENSE


                “Overtime Pay For Christmas” Since 1975, the share of employees who qualify for overtime pay has plummeted from 62% to 7% according to the Department of Labor. The solution? Under new rules announced by the Obama administration, 4.2 million American workers will become eligible for overtime pay effective December 1, 2016. Your new regulation double the current salary threshold for salaried employees who are guaranteed overtime pay from $23,660 ($455 per week) to $47,476 ($913 per week). Moreover, that threshold will increase over the next succeeding three years to ensure that it keeps up with inflation. As a Business People… Read More »OVERTIME PAY FOR CHRISTMAS

                WHY YOU NEED A FMLA REVIEW

                  WHY YOU NEED AN FMLA REVIEW The Family Medical Leave Act has been in effect for employers with 50 or more employees for decades. While the number of obvious cases of interference has declined, the number of claims investigated by the Department of Labor over employers who get “too cute” with the Act, now make up the lion’s share of their investigations. Investigations, of course, can land you in court. Instances in which companies were found to have skirted the Act include: • Drafting and utilizing an FMLA policy which does not comport with the Act and utilizing that policy… Read More »WHY YOU NEED A FMLA REVIEW


                    ORGANIZING WITHOUT UNIONIZING Did you know that your employees can organize, without “unionizing”, to get protection under federal labor laws? The National Labor Relations Act provides this alternative as a way to give employees more clout on the job by permitting workplace committees engaged in “protected concerted activity” to negotiate with an employer over wages and other terms and conditions of employment. The Act – enacted under President Franklin Roosevelt in 1935 – prohibit employers from retaliating against workers who join together to improve their working conditions. Employers typically think of the Act as a means of formal union organizing.… Read More »ORGANIZING WITHOUT UNIONIZING


                      DO YOU HAVE APPROPRIATE INSURANCE? Needless to say, when you contemplate starting up and running a business, you need to undertake business considerations. More to the point, what sort of coverage considerations do you need to make to prepare for a catastrophe to you business? My friend and colleague Arlen Stutzman at provides some needed food for thought in protecting your business assets: When is the last time you have reviewed your business insurance policies? Unfortunately, for many business owners it has been awhile. This is something that should be done annually with your insurance agent to verify your… Read More »DO YOU HAVE APPROPRIATE INSURANCE?