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When Joking Around Goes Too Far
HR Stories From The Front Lines*
The work day is always more enjoyable when you get along with your coworkers. But what happens when employees joke around to the point of making potentially racist comments? We’re not saying that humor is bad, but the work environment has limits that must be respected to protect all involved.
When a joke goes too far, HR Professionals need to be prepared to handle the situation at once. Read on to see how name calling in the workplace quickly turned into complaints of harassing and discriminating behavior.*
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 recently ran a background check on a job applicant and learned that this applicant has a criminal record. All the charges are within the last 7yrs, and we are not closed to the idea of hiring the applicant,
but we were hoping that you could offer some guidance on how we can respond to the results of a potential new hire’s back ground check?Question #2
We have employees that we send for outside safety training classes. The employees who attend take a two-day course (as a refresher) every year and for some of the attendees, that would potentially put them into overtime.
Am I required to pay employees to attend this training class and, if so, I am required to pay them overtime (if applicable)?View the Answers
The Resignation Letter Isn’t Always the End of It
On Friday, you received a resignation letter from Maxine, your company’s nightmare employee. Maxine has made your life challenging to say the least; she constantly complains about insignificant matters such as the quality of the snacks in the breakroom, argues with co-workers, and questions her supervisor on every assignment given to her. In addition, Maxine is rude to customers and frequently makes errors, despite receiving follow-up training. In fact, Maxine’s conduct towards customers recently cost your company one of its most valuable accounts.
Needless to say, upon receipt of Maxine’s resignation letter, you were overjoyed. Yet, before you were able to break out the champagne, you received an email from Maxine claiming she had no choice but to quit because of her manager’s inappropriate behavior.
Can you just ignore her email?
No. You must conduct an investigation and take corrective action, if necessary. You must also respond to Maxine’s complaint, but since she was a nightmare employee, there is no need to offer reinstatement.
Yes. You do not have to take any action because the complaint was not mentioned in Maxine’s resignation letter. You can just delete her email.
Yes. Only current employees can complain about workplace conditions. Maxine resigned, and the company has no legal obligation to investigate the complaint or to reinstate Maxine.
No. You must conduct an investigation and take corrective action, if necessary. You must also respond to Maxine’s complaint and should offer reinstatement with the assurance that the complaint has been addressed.
It’s a scenario faced by all HR Professionals . . . an employee comes into your office and tells you that he has a disability and requires an accommodation to perform the essential functions of his job.
While you are aware that under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you are required to engage in a “good faith, interactive process” with the employee, you are not entirely certain on how to accomplish this.
Read ahead to learn how to master the interactive process in five easy steps.
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.