Fear of firing – An article in Business Week uses the recent $11.1 million judgment against General Electric for retaliation in firing an employee as a springboard for a discussion about the reluctance many employers have in terminating under-performing employees. Many employers are immobilized by fear of lawsuits, with the end result being that problem employees are often kept on the payroll. The article notes that suits based on retaliation are on the rise: “Retaliation suits are a hot growth area in employment law. In 2005 and 2006, retaliation claims represented 30% of all charges individuals filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a required first step before most discrimination cases can go to federal court. That’s up from about 20% just 10 years ago.”
Thanks to Michael Fox at Jottings By An Employer’s Lawyer for the pointer.
Great workplaces – Here’s a video profile of another fun, creative place to work – Cranium, the game company. In addition to a visit to the company, the clip also includes an interview with Polly LaBarre, co-author of Mavericks at Work, which sounds like a business must-read. In the interview, LaBarre lists several characteristics of “maverick” organizations: they don’t just think about making money, they think about making a difference; they don’t just think about product, but standing for important ideas; they have distinctive and disruptive sense of purpose; and they have a value system and are passionate about advancing a cause. (Thanks to The Chief Happiness Officer for the pointer – visit his happy links roundup.)
Tough HR questions – Susan Heatherfield of Human Resources at About.com presents the Top 10 Toughest Questions – Asked and Answered based on reader e-mails. The toughest questions also tend to be the ones that are asked about most frequently, such as “how to deal with a negative coworker” and “why employees don’t do what you want them to do.” Not only is this a great list, but Susan has developed thorough “how-to” guides to answer each question.
- Ask Metafilter answers the question How do I gently inform a new employee that she needs to dress better?
- 5 Tips to “Handle” Unwanted Workplace Visitors
- Top 6 Rules for Using Cell Phones at Work
Bad employee of the week – We nominate John Awesome.