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Hell Hath No Fury
HR Stories From The Front Lines*
While relationships between employees are inevitable, sometimes they end badly. Aside from hurt feelings, there's occasionally backlash from the scorned party. When it happens outside the workplace,
there's little you can do about it, but what happens when your workplace Romeo's ex starts bullying his new girlfriend – and both women are your employees? For now, be thankful you're only reading about it,
but read on to see how one HR Manager responded to the new girlfriend's complaint.*Read more
(*These incidents really happened; but names and other details have been changed.)
Stay Up to Date on the Latest Employment Legal Updates
Do you have an HR question keeping you up at night?
The following questions were submitted to our HR Professionals in the past month ...Question #1
We have an employee that was hired last week contingent to drug test results. The employee started working last week and we just received the results today and he tested positive for the use of marijuana.How do you recommend we approach this matter? Our company handbook states the following:It is the Company's desire to provide a drug-free, healthful, and safe workplace. To promote this goal, employees are required to report to work in appropriate mental and physical condition to perform their jobs in a safe and satisfactory manner. While on Company property and while conducting business-related activities off Company property, no employee may use, possess, distribute, sell, or be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs. The legal use of prescribed drugs is permitted on the job only if it does not impair an employee's ability to perform the essential functions of the job effectively and in a safe manner that does not endanger other individuals in the workplace.
Violations of this policy may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including immediate termination of employment, and/or required participation in a substance abuse rehabilitation or treatment program. Such violations may also have legal consequences.
Yesterday, our general manager clocked in to the restaurant early and begin yelling at the assistant manager about the speed with which the employees were handling the lunch rush. The assistant manager became frustrated with the general manager's conduct and walked off the job.We conducted an investigation into this incident and believe the general manager was “out of line” and have spoken to the general manager about her conduct.
We would like to know what we should do about the assistant manager. She is a valuable member of our team and someone whom we see could go far in our organization. How should we handle this situation?
View the Answers (Opens in a new window)
May the 4th Be With You ... While I'm Off Work
You operate a popular Mexican restaurant. Last week, one of your employees, Lando, informed you that he has just converted to a new faith – Jedism – and, as a tenant of his religious faith, he is prohibited from working on May the 4th, which is its major holiday. Lando then asked for May the 4th off from work as a religious accommodation.
Coincidentally, due to its proximity to Cinco de Mayo, May 4th is also one of your restaurant’s busiest working days. In fact, it’s so busy that you require all employees to work that day.
In response, you told Lando, “Wait, you agreed to cover that day when I hired you; if you’re not available, I’ll have to pay overtime which I can’t afford.”
Lando's reply, "It's required by my faith."
What should you do?
Require him to bring you written proof from a religious authority, that he's a member of this new faith, and that his faith requires him not to perform any work on May the 4th.
Grant the request – you have no choice!
Talk to him to see if there's another option, other than not reporting to work, that would allow him to satisfy his religious belief.
Nobody's perfect, but in the field of human resources, making certain mistakes are a surefire way to expose your organization to a claim. Luckily, some of the most common HR mistakes are the easiest to avoid when you take a proactive approach to planning.
This information is provided by ePlace Solutions, Inc. which is solely responsible for its content. ePlace Solutions, Inc. is not engaged in rendering legal or other professional services. Federal and state laws are more complex than presented here. This information is simplified for the sake of brevity and is not a substitute for legal advice. ePlace Solutions, Inc. disclaims any liability, loss or risk incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents of this information.