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Dealing with Problem Employees: A Legal Guide (Book with CD-ROM) [Paperback]

Amy Delpo , Janet Portman , Lisa Guerin
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Paperback, January 2001 --  
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Book Description

January 2001 Dealing With Problem Employees, 1st ed
An employer's nightmare? Problem employees, of course. But in today's world, many business owners, supervisors and managers often want to work effectively with difficult employees rather than fire them -- and Dealing With Problem Employees shows them how. This book combines the practical and legal information employers need. Providing a plain-English overview of employment law, Dealing With Problem Employees also shows readers how to:

head off potential problems and conflicts

recognize who is and isn't a problem employee

evaluate the circumstances

investigate problems and complaints

conduct performance evaluations

apply progressive discipline

suspend employees, if necessary

terminate employment

deal with the results of termination

handle severances and references

avoid legal trouble Whether employers need to handle situations as they crop up, or want to implement policies and procedures to make the workplace problem-free, they'll find everything they need in this one-of-a-kind book. Provides sample policies, forms, checklists and statutes for every state. NOTE: This book does not cover hiring or layoffs. For more information on these topics, see The Employer's Legal Handbook, published by Nolo.

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Product Description

About the Author

Attorney Lisa Guerin During her years as a law student at Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley, Lisa worked for Nolo as a research and editorial assistant. After a stint as a staff attorney at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Lisa worked primarily in the field of employment law, in both government and private practice. Lisa recently rejoined the staff at Nolo, where she is the co-author of Nolo's Pocket Guide to California Law.

Attorney Amy Delpo Attorney Amy DelPo brings more than six years of criminal and civil litigation experience to her work at Nolo, having litigated cases in all levels of state and federal courts, including the California Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court. Before coming to Nolo in January 2000, Ms. DelPo specialized in employment law, handling a wide variety of disputes between employers and employees, incluging sexual harassment, discrimination and wage-and-hour issues. Her real-world experience enriches her work at Nolo, where she writes and edits numerous employment law titles, including Dealing with Problem Employees (co-author), The Employer's Legal Handbook (editor) and Your Rights in the Workplace (editor). Ms. DelPo received her law degree with Honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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In the chapters that follow, we will talk extensively about strategies for dealing with employee problems. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
This book is an excellent starter for anyone who is new to running a small company, and wants a better understanding of the legal pitfalls of employment practices and some practical advice on how to avoid them. The book does a good job in covering most of the basics of employment law, and in addition provides some tips on performance management, terminations, and investigations that should work well in the majority of situations.
There are a couple of areas where the book is a little light, and therefore a business owner or leader would want more information. The section and information on sexual harassment laws is weak, considering that the most common type of sexual harassment complaint (hostile work environment) is a broad set of very gray areas of risk determined by the employee. Little coverage is given to the legal definitions of sexual harassment, including how an employer may be liable if they "should have known" the behavior was taking place. Additionally more information on how to create a positive working environment, which avoids legal risks but is still a place where people want to work, would be useful. Additionally, most business owners would like to see information on how to better connect the dots between employee behavior, legal constraints and business results.
I also recommend that any leader wishing to employ these tips and practical information in their workplace first read one of the many excellent books on leadership, or how to motivate employees, and how and why to treat people with dignity and respect. The excellent and unusual leadership book, Leadership and Self Deception, is an example of a great companion for this text. Consider this book the "what" and "how" of what to do with legal employment issues, and others to really focus on the "why".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nearly Flawless Sept. 11 2003
Dealing With Problem Employees is an excellent resource for most organizations, especially for start up companies. This fine book investigates key employment issues such as contract employees, sexual harassment, alcohol and drug abuse, developing performance appraisals, dealing with dangerous employees, interviewing, and countless legal issues. All of the above issues are discussed from a detailed point of view as numerous examples are cited illustrating the fine line between what is proper conduct and what is illegal. Very specific examples are given how to fire someone, provide fair job references, and conduct a disciplinary hearing that motivates employees to improve. The importance of having an employee handbook is emphasized greatly. The depth is so phenomenal that there is even a section on how to fire your employment lawyer when he does you wrong.
There are a few questionable sections on exit interviews. From my personal experiences, most firms blur the line between termination and exit interviews. In other words, when someone is terminated there is one meeting on the employees' last day explaining why he is being let go and all the benefits that this person is entitled to. Maybe some higher level management personnel may have some of these extended privileges. I realize that there are a few exceptions as the authors describe. However, from where I stand, most terminations due to performance consist of one meeting combining all the elements combined in the termination and exit interviews. Financial layoffs may vary.
Also the section of an employee being allowed to have representation in a termination meeting is slightly disjointed. I have never encountered such a situation for myself or anyone else.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great for Avoiding and Handling Employee Problems! Sept. 10 2003
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
I strongly recommend this book for people planning to start-up their first business, those becoming supervisors for the first time, and those who are entering human resource positions . . . as well as those who do not know how employment law currently works.
Most problems with employees begin with incomplete or poor communications. This guide is just as good at helping with those communications as it is with understanding how the law applies to situations that arise.
As an attorney, I found the legal information to be complete and accurate (often providing summaries and references to state laws, as well as federal ones). As a management consultant, I found almost all of the advice to be pertinent and up-to-date with best practices. The only exception was that many management experts now discourage annual reviews in favor of continuous feedback (which is also encouraged by the book).
Have you ever fired anyone? It's no fun. The book's description of how events should lead up to that, and how to handle the event for all concerned is wise and helpful for anyone who is about to have to do that. Even if you have fired people before, you can probably get some good ideas in this book for how to do it better.
If you don't have a system for progressive discipline (feedback that improvement needs to be made), you can get what you need here to design and implement such a system.
This guide will also be helpful to disgruntled employees who wonder if they should seek out an attorney. The section on how to find an employment attorney is equally applicable to companies and employees.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that after going into firing, the book also takes the reader back into hiring to see how to avoid hiring people in the future who will have to be fired.
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