Monthly Archives: February 2008

FORM OF THE MONTH: DISCIPLINARY LEAVE NOTICE (PDF)

Disciplinary leave provides a powerful alternative to a knee-jerk termination. Leave can be given with or without pay depending on the circumstances. We encourage businesses not to dock the wages of exempt employees for short term leaves (less than one week). This form is especially effective while investigating wrongdoing or after confronting insubordination. Watch the… Read more »

IT MAKES SENSE TO PROTECT TRADE SECRETS AND CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

In Navigant Consulting v. Wilkinson et al., the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed a jury verdict requiring two employees to pay more $2 million to their former employer for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract regarding confidential information, and misappropriation of trade secrets. This case emphasizes the wisdom in taking precautions to… Read more »

TAKE NOTE!

Employment Testing. The EEOC has issued a new fact sheet on the application of federal anti-discrimination laws to employment tests and selection procedures for workers and applicants. The sheet describes commonly-used tests in the modern workplace, including cognitive tests, personality tests, medical examinations, credit checks, and criminal background checks. It also sets forth “best practices”… Read more »

WHAT’S GOING ON?

One of the greatest challenges with building workplace relationships is that there’s always something else going on — with me, with them, and in the environment. In fact, there’s always more going on. Maybe they’re in the middle of a difficult divorce, or just had a fight with a loved one. Maybe their kid is… Read more »

DOES DRUG TESTING WORK?

There’s been an ongoing debate on whether drug testing helps prevent drug use and workplace accidents. Today, the vast majority of employers engage in drug testing for new hires, “reasonable suspicion incidents,” and when required by the Department of Transportation. A study of the literature reveals these conclusions: Employees are highly resistant to giving urine… Read more »

MAKE SURE YOUR TEMP AGENCY DOES ITS JOB

A recent California case, E-Fab Inc. v. Accountants, Inc. Serv. 153 Cal. App. 4th 1308 (2007) reinforces the importance of making sure any temporary agency does its job accurately and gives you proof of this. When E-Fab needed a temporary accountant, it contacted Accountants, Inc. Services. They represented to E-Fab that the employee placed with… Read more »

NLRB LIMITS EMPLOYEE USE OF EMPLOYER E-MAIL SYSTEMS FOR UNION PURPOSES

On December 16, 2007, a 3-2 ruling by the National Labor Relations Board gave a major victory to employers by holding that an employer may prohibit employees from using its e-mail system for any “non-job-related solicitations,” including union-related communications. The NLRB decision provided long-awaited clarification to employers and employees on the use of e-mail, and… Read more »

OFCCP ISSUES NEW FAQS

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, which ensures compliance by government contractors with affirmative action requirements, has issued Frequently Asked Questions regarding the OFCCP’s Review of Contractor Compensation Practices. In the FAQs, the OFCCP: * Described the tiered process it uses for a compliance review, consisting of a desk audit followed, where necessary, by… Read more »

TRAINING ON CUSTOMER PHONE CALLS

An excellent teleseminar by the Information Marketing Association (www.info-marketing.org) discussed their criteria for “Simple Ways to Get Better Results from Your Customer Phone Calls.” Here are the main points: There’s no substitute for training in “best practices” for customer phone calls. Identify the most frequently asked questions and have a script for each one of… Read more »

FMLA REQUIRES INDIVIDUALIZED NOTICE

In Downey v. Strain, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has reaffirmed Department of Labor regulations requiring employers to give employees individualized notice of Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave. Susan Downey took leave related to knee and shoulder surgeries from November 2002 through March 2003 and was charged with 424 hours of… Read more »