Employee Misconduct

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    According to a report released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 8 percent — about one in 12 — full-time workers ages 18 to 64 used illegal drugs in the past month. The study, from the 2011 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health, uncovers an important finding for business owners, showing that...

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    There is no federal law that obligates employers to adopt or follow any specific disciplinary process. In the vast majority of states, the default rule is that employment is at will, which means that the employer or the employee can terminate the employment relationship at any time and for any reason (or no reason) unless a law or agreement...

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    The 3rd Circuit recently ruled that an employer's statements that its employees would remain employed if they did their jobs and stayed out of trouble didn't create an implied employment contract sufficient to overcome the presumption of at-will employment. Facts Karen McCrone, Daniel Arminio, Jose Hernandez, Emanuel Hodson, Denise Molineaux,...
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    On April 15, 2014, the Missouri Supreme Court issued a decision that significantly lowers the burden of proof for claims of workers' compensation retaliation under Section 287.780 of the Missouri Statutes. To prevail on a claim under the previous standard, an employee was required to prove that filing a workers' comp claim was the "exclusive"...
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    Employers should review all policies related to employee conduct in light of recent — extreme — decisions from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) concerning the (im) permissibility of rules aimed at fostering a culture of professionalism or otherwise managing workforce behavior. Rules once considered reasonable to maintain a...
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    In a 3-2 decision, the Alaska Supreme Court recently reaffirmed the high level of deference it gives to arbitration decisions. The court upheld an arbitrator's decision to reinstate an Alaska state trooper who was fired after he had sex with a domestic violence victim one day after arresting her husband. Facts and proceedings In April 2009,...
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    For a number of years, going back at least to the 1960s, the conventional wisdom about the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to South Carolina employers) was that its decisions in employment cases tended to be mostly conservative and favor employers, according to some observers. Despite its "business- friendly" reputation,...
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    After a civil rights claim is filed with a municipal human rights commission in Iowa, an administrative law judge (ALJ) may conduct a hearing to determine whether the employer acted lawfully. The ALJ's decision is then subject to review by the local human rights commission and the state courts. Read on to learn what the Iowa Court of Appeals...
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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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    In April, recordings of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling making racist remarks to his half-black, half-Mexican girlfriend assistant* surfaced. Among those remarks were the following: It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you're associating with black people. Do you have to? You can sleep with [black people]. You can...
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