Supervisory Issues

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    There is an ongoing debate about whether employment decisions should be based on objective or subjective factors. Some advocate for the exclusive consideration of objective criteria. These decisions are based on verifiable information or empirical data. Comparisons are made by reviewing mathematically quantifiable information. The consideration of...
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    The 6th Circuit recently reaffirmed that failure to train an employee can be an actionable form of discrimination. Facts Charles Reed, an African American, began working as a technician at Procter & Gamble's Tennessee plant in 1996. He was promoted to a technician 2 position in 1997 and became a technician 3 in 2003. Despite submitting the...
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    A federal court in Missouri recently ruled against the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) on its request for dismissal of a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by a letter carrier who walks with a cane. The court determined that comments by the employee's supervisor suggesting that he should apply for disability retirement showed discriminatory intent...
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    Q If an employee is on some kind of medicine for his back and we notice he has mood swings and can be hostile toward his manager, what rights do we have as the employer? May we require him to bring in a doctor's note? This could be a long-term issue with him. A Obviously, hostility toward a manager is a disciplinary issue, so begin there. From...
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    Progressive discipline is an essential tool for management, particularly when it's combined with good documentation and communication practices. Progressive discipline systems are designed to help employers apply fair, consistent disciplinary decisions. Proper documentation and communication strengthen the legal defensibility of those decisions...
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    Recall that in a sexual harassment case (or any harassment case for that matter), it's important to know whether the harassing employee is a supervisor or a coworker. The U.S. Supreme Court decided how to resolve that issue last year, and a Texas appeals court recently applied the Supreme Court's ruling. In this case, the issue was resolved in...
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    In a recent Massachusetts state court case, a Boston employer learned that even a seemingly objective consensus-driven employment decision can leave the door open for a claim of discrimination. A business consultant who was fired after a poor performance review was allowed to proceed with her case after the court decided that her manager's...
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    The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to Arkansas employers) recently held that an employee failed to satisfy all the elements required to prove her claims of sexual discrimination, hostile work environment, constructive discharge, and retaliation. Facts Loretta Rester worked as a graphic designer at the Hot Springs...
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    A Kentucky federal court recently dismissed a claim of hostile work environment racial harassment because the employee failed to show the harassment was race-based. Despite allegations that, if believed, demonstrated the employee's supervisor "treated [her] very badly," she failed to establish that the treatment was racially motivated. Facts...
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    The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Minnesota employers) recently held that a supervisor's loud and abrasive behavior toward an employee couldn't support the employee's claims for sex discrimination, hostile work environment, constructive discharge, and retaliation because she wasn't terminated or demoted and there...
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