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I’m not a football fan, but recent events in the NFL have grabbed even my attention. The latest event took place during the September 29 game between the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots. Chiefs’ safety Husain Abdullah intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown. When he dropped to his knees and lowered his head to the ground in prayer, a referee threw a flag and said it was unsportsmanlike behavior.
Even though a “use it or lose it” vacation policy has been illegal in California for years, having such a policy made the California Chamber of Commerce’s top ten list of things employers do to get sued (released on July 19). This implies that some employers still have such policies in place and are being sued as a result. If you are an employer, here is some information about vacation policies that will hopefully help you stay out of court.
To paraphrase a popular saying, “stuff happens.” As the following court case demonstrates, when stuff happens in the employment world, an employer’s inept response to complaints about it can make life stuffier for said employer.
Almost 50 years ago, local music legend Buck Owens recorded the song, “Act Naturally.” Written by Johnny Russell and Voni Morrison, the #1 Billboard Country Single tells the story of a man who is staring in a film “about a man that’s sad and lonely, and all I have to do is act naturally.” It appears to me that many people act naturally while at work, when what they should be doing is acting professionally instead.
“Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort,” said Franklin D. Roosevelt. Easy for him to say – he was filthy rich. However, according to lots of research on the subject, he was right. That’s good news for employers who want their employees to be happy and motivated but don’t have a lot of money to give them.
Owners, managers, supervisors, and HR practitioners are often required to have difficult conversations with others, such as disciplining employees or having to talk to them about personal issues such as body odor. These conversations can be less stressful for everyone involved if those who initiate the conversations remember a few key things:
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.
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