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Employment Law

Friday, July 14, 2017

Progressive Discipline: How Your Policy Can Help or Hurt You in a Discrimination Lawsuit


By: Megan M. Pearson

With the recent decision of the Supreme Court to partially uphold President Trump’s executive order to place a travel ban on six largely Muslim countries, coupled with President Trump’s plans to move forward with a structure to physically prevent persons from entering the United States through the Mexico border, the word “discrimination” is on a lot of minds and lips. Simply typing the word “discrimination” into the Google search bar yields over 138 million results. Though discrimination is not a new issue in the workplace, it is still one that should be on the forefront of employers’ minds especially when faced with issues of discipline and termination of employees.

Although not required by federal or state law, many employers today have an employee handbook or manual.
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Friday, October 14, 2016

Henry County attorneys, judges named to State Bar of Georgia committees


Congrats to three SWWW attorneys for being appointed to serve on special or program committees for the State Bar of Georgia. From the court system to the classrom, we know you will work hard to make a positive impact. 

Janet C. Scott of Smith Welch Webb & White LLC in McDonough will serve on the iCivics Committee, which works toward implementing a comprehensive, standards-aligned online civics curriculum into Georgia’s 8th grade classrooms.

John P.


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Monday, June 20, 2016

Employment Discrimination in the Tech Industry


The employment rate in the computer science and engineering sectors is growing twice as fast as the national average.  Plus, the sheer number of industries and occupations associated with “high tech” is increasing, as traditional industries are being transformed by new technologies and the tech jobs required to support them.  The problem is – despite the rapid growth of tech opportunities – there has been a distinct lack of opportunities for women, workers over 40 and other groups. 

The U.E.


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Thursday, February 11, 2016

How to Minimize Damage Caused by Office Romance


If you’re employed, you probably spend many of your waking hours at work.  Given that the amount of time is spent in close proximity with co-workers, it’s no surprise that office romances between co-workers may blossom.  In fact, according to a CareerBuilder survey, one third of employees admitted to dating a co-worker and surprisingly 25% of those relationships led to marriage.  Of those surveyed, only 18 percent dated their boss.

However, romantic relationships between co-workers can create a complicated dynamic in the workplace environment – including the two people involved in the relationship, co-workers and their employer.
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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Legal Rights for Temporary Workers This Holiday Season


The holiday season can be an excellent example of supply and demand working almost perfectly in the marketplace:  People need extra money, and retailers need extra help.  Therefore temporary jobs are created.  

 

This holiday season, employers are announcing the creation of thousands of temporary jobs.  According to a recent article published in the AJC, the Kohl’s department store plans to hire an average of 50 seasonal workers per store for the upcoming holidays.   Nationwide, the store is projected to hire 69,000 workers total in the coming months, an increase from 67,000 last year (there are a 35 Kohl’s locations throughout the state of Georgia).
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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Number One Reason It May Be Time to Update Your Company’s Policy on Electronics


Have you forgotten your smartphone, laptop or tablet lately?  Just a few hours without access to technology makes you realize how dependent we’ve become on it.  In fact, the ubiquitous shift to mobility is the number one reason your company’s electronic communications policy might be outdated.  When policies regarding electronic communications were first drafted, employees were using company-owned, stationary desktop computers.  Today’s policies need to address a number of scenarios regarding the ownership and use of electronic devices and Internet connections.

Different companies may use their own lingo.
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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

How to Deal with a Problem Employee, Part Two


Problems with an employee’s soft skills – such as a bad attitude - can be hard for employers to address.  As an employment law attorney, I know that the best first line of defense against a toxic employee eroding away your business is clear office policies, job descriptions and performance evaluation procedures. 

Office policies and job descriptions should be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure expectations are relevant within the context of your changing business needs.  Policies should be shared with employees during the onboarding process and easily available for reference at any time.   

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

How to Deal with a Problem Employee, Part One


 

Part 1: Identifying the Problem

Outrageous behavior in the workplace obviously needs to be addressed with swift disciplinary action.  However, problems with an employee’s soft skills can be harder for employers to identify and address.  This blog post is Part One in a two part series outlining how employers can effectively minimize the damage while identifying and dealing with problem employees.

The Importance of Soft Skills in the Workplace

Soft skills - qualities such as a good work ethic and positive attitude - are harder to quantify than hard skills, such as a diploma or certification.  However, problem employees that have issues with soft skills should not be overlooked, as intangibles such as a chronically negative attitude have a real impact on your company’s bottom line, customer satisfaction and the ability to retain other employees.
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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Cultural Fit versus Discrimination in the Hiring Process


Building a successful team is much more than simply having the most qualified employees. Teamwork and compatibility are also big factors in the success and growth of the organization as a whole. But recruiting for cultural fit can also lead to questions of discrimination if not handled properly. Here’s a quick guide on how to find a good cultural fit during the interview process.

A candidate’s personality can often become one of the deciding factors when determining who to hire out of a pool of equally qualified interviewees.
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Friday, May 8, 2015

How Employers can Prevent Sexual Harassment in the Workplace


In today's fast-paced world, many people spend more time at work than they do at home. That often means more time around our coworkers than our own families.

Workplace dynamics and morale play a big role in job satisfaction. Many employers focus on fostering a healthy team spirit amongst employees in an effort to reduce turnover and increase productivity. But employers cannot overlook the importance of its fundamental moral and legal obligations to provide a work environment free of sexual harassment.
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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Top 3 Reasons Employers Should Review Employment Contracts


 

There is a lot to take into consideration when hiring a new employee.  Once an employer has determined the applicant has the skill level, industry knowledge and people skills needed to do get the job done, it may be tempting to hasten through the paperwork and get back to the day-to-day of running your business.  However, employers should not underestimate the importance of employee contracts. 

 

There are a number of risks associated with using generic employment templates.   Here are the top three reasons it’s smart for employers to periodically review and update employment contracts:

 

First, the contract language should be as clear as possible and crafted with your specific business needs in mind.
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