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The recent legalization of marijuana in Washington, Colorado, Oregon, and Alaska has inspired much discussion about its impact on employers in those states and potentially others. However, there is a drug that has been legal for years that employers should really be concerned about, and that is alcohol.
Each year, York College of Pennsylvania’s Center for Professional Excellence conducts a national survey of professionalism in the workplace. Its findings are used “to track changes in the state and definitions of professionalism,” and to help create the content of professionalism seminars that the Center provides for the college’s students, faculty, and administrators.
I give a quiz in my harassment prevention workshop that consists of questions like this: An employer is generally held liable when a supervisor fires a subordinate for refusing to have a romantic relationship, regardless of whether the employer knew the reason for the termination or not - true or false?
The answer is “true.” This action is a form of sexual harassment called quid pro quo, and employers almost always foot the bill when a lawsuit happens as a result.
Just before Christmas when I was eight years old, my dad brought home a big cardboard box that he painted to look like a fireplace. Our house was small, so the big box in the living room was a bit of an inconvenience. My three brothers and I grumbled amongst ourselves as we put the Christmas tree on top of it, piled the presents around it, and wondered why in the world dad wanted a fake fireplace.
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was indicted in March by a grand jury for assaulting his fiancé (now wife). San Francisco 49er defensive end Ray McDonald was arrested on August 31 for felony domestic abuse. Evidently, domestic violence has become a problem in the NFL.
In his article “Hire Slow, Fire Fast” on www.forbes.com, Patrick Hull tells readers that, “If a person that you hire is not working out, don’t hesitate to move on quickly…I know many businesses that took time to try and change someone. I haven’t seen it be successful. People don’t change.” I disagree.
If you’re an employer or manager who is being sued by some of your employees, don’t go posting derogatory comments about them on your company website or Facebook page unless you want to get an additional lawsuit.
When you hear the word “whistleblower,” you probably think of someone like Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency subcontractor who leaked top-secret information about NSA surveillance activities. Or, you might think of Sherron Watkins, who warned Enron founder Kenneth Lay that the company faced financial doom if it didn’t clean up its disastrous accounting practices a few months before it came crashing down.
If you are an employee who likes to post on social media sites, best not to display pictures of yourself having fun when you’re supposed to be at home recovering from an illness or injury. That’s what a number of people learned the hard way in a variety of court cases that overwhelmingly sided with employers who had fired employees because their pictures revealed that they were not really that ill or injured after all.
“One of the most difficult things about starting a business is trying to learn all of the state and federal laws that pertain to business owners,” said Gerald Lavarias, clinical director and co-owner of MAPSS, a local business that provides support services to children and adults with special needs. California is home to more than 850,000 small businesses (< 500 employees), according to the latest data from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Essential – absolutely necessary; extremely important (dictionary.com).
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