We are excited to share the next installment of our video series, Conducting Workplace Investigations | Step #6: Interview Best Practices. This series, 10 Steps Every Company Should Take When Conducting Workplace Investigations, is intended to guide HR leaders faced with investigating a complaint between coworkers, such as harassment or inappropriate conduct, through the investigation process.

Each video in this series offers practical tips on everything from creating the investigation plan; interviewing relevant parties; and dealing with the aftermath of the investigation, including potential disciplinary actions taken against an employee.

In this video, Bass, Berry & Sims labor and employment attorney Mary Leigh Pirtle outlines best practices to keep in mind when interviewing witnesses during a workplace investigation. These practices include guidance on the tone of the interviews and how to handle confidentiality during the process. Mary Leigh also addresses retaliation concerns and how to best address those for the witnesses of a workplace conflict.

Several attorneys in our Labor & Employment Practice Group are featured in this video series and offer great recommendations for navigating this tricky process.

View previous videos in the series:

Step 1: Intake the Complaint

Step 2: Interview the Complainant

Step 3: Plan the Process

Step 4: Perfect the Plan

Step 5: Interview Best Practices

To guarantee you don’t miss any videos in the series, be sure to subscribe to this blog or follow us on Twitter.

We are excited to be presenting a CLE webinar titled, “An Employer’s Obligations in the ADA Interactive Process” on February 11.

This 60-minute webinar will examine employers’ obligations within the interactive process, including how to recognize qualifying accommodation requests, what information an employer should request and be provided, and the process of exploring accommodation options and, ultimately, choosing the appropriate accommodation for the circumstance in question. Check out our blog post on this topic.

The program will take place on Tuesday, February 11 from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. (EST) and is hosted by Celesq.  For more information and to register, visit the event web page.

Join us for a complimentary seminar where we will review a broad range of topics pertaining to significant legislative and regulatory actions and court decisions that occurred in the area of employment law over the past year.

7:00 a.m. – 7:30 a.m. Registration and Breakfast
7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Program

Topics will include:

  • FLSA changes to the salary threshold and joint employer test
  • Misclassification of employees as independent contractors
  • FMLA and ADA leave and accommodation issues
  • #MeToo, where we stand today
  • Labor and employment law-related legislative and regulatory actions and court decisions to watch for in 2020

Approved for HRCI and Tennessee CLE credit (1 hour)

Join us for a complimentary seminar where we will cover a broad range of issues employers face when discharging employees and provide guidance for successfully assessing and addressing the associated risks and liabilities.

7:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. Registration and Breakfast
8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Program

Topics will include:

  • Documenting the discharge
  • Workplace violence and direct threat issues related to terminations
  • Severance agreements and waivers
  • The proper approach for communicating a termination, including who should attend, what to say and do, and what written notice must be provided, including how to deal with the unique challenges that arise when an employee is on leave
  • How to handle final wage payments and bonus payouts
  • Addressing confidentiality concerns
  • Issues related to unemployment insurance
  • An overview of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act and how it is applied
  • Addressing restrictive covenant concerns following a discharge

Approved for HRCI and Tennessee CLE credit (2.25 hour)

We are excited to share the next installment of our video series, Conducting Workplace Investigations | Step #5: Interview Best Practices. This series, 10 Steps Every Company Should Take When Conducting Workplace Investigations, is intended to guide HR leaders faced with investigating a complaint between coworkers, such as harassment or inappropriate conduct, through the investigation process.

Each video in this series offers practical tips on everything from creating the investigation plan; interviewing relevant parties; and dealing with the aftermath of the investigation, including potential disciplinary actions taken against an employee.

In this video, Bass, Berry & Sims labor and employment attorney Tim Garrett outlines best practices to keep in mind when interviewing employees during a workplace investigation. These practices include guidance how best to take notes during the interview and how to explain the interview process to participating employees. Companies can use the points that Tim covers in this video to get all of the relevant details in order to get to the truth of the matter being investigated.

Several attorneys in our Labor & Employment Practice Group are featured in this video series and offer great recommendations for navigating this tricky process.

View previous videos in the series:

Step 1: Intake the Complaint

Step 2: Interview the Complainant

Step 3: Plan the Process

Step 4: Perfect the Plan

To guarantee you don’t miss any videos in the series, be sure to subscribe to this blog or follow us on Twitter.

This was originally posted on November 7 and has been updated to include the more recent article.

I recently discussed the potential for age discrimination in the workplace when companies focus too much on recruitment of young employees. The article argues that by focusing solely on young talent, organizations miss out on the “perspective” and “expertise” that baby boomers can offer customers and fellow employees.

“It often manifests itself in what I call lazy language—when somebody says that they want to cultivate a ‘youthful environment’ when what they really mean is a ‘vibrant environment,’” I wrote in the article. Firms that try to recruit new workers solely on social-media sites that cater to younger job seekers can risk accusations of age discrimination.

The full article, “How to Keep Baby Boomer Workers Happy,” was published by HR Executive on November 4, 2019, and is available online. My  quotes were also included in the January 20 MSN article, “Annoying Issues Boomers Encounter When Looking for Work.”

Managing an employee who is struggling with alcoholism or substance use disorder can be challenging for employers. While both conditions could be protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), there are differences in how each condition is treated under the law.

Understanding these differences is essential for any HR professional in implementing a plan after discovering that an employee’s work performance or ability to work is being affected by alcoholism or substance use.

Continue Reading Are Employees with Alcoholism and Substance Use Disorder Protected under the ADAAA?

In light of U-Haul’s recent announcement it will no longer hire nicotine users in many states, I recently discussed the laws governing this company policy. Many states, such as Tennessee, implemented laws decades ago that protect smokers.

However, as I stated in the article linked below, Tennessee’s “statute is silent as to whether this protects someone from not being hired.” My take is that “employers will likely be watching closely how refusing to hire smokers pans out since there are many other lifestyle choices that affect health.”

Continue Reading No-Nicotine Hiring Policies

We are excited to share the next installment of our video series, Conducting Workplace Investigations | Step #4: Perfect the Plan. This series, 10 Steps Every Company Should Take When Conducting Workplace Investigations, is intended to guide HR leaders faced with investigating a complaint between coworkers, such as harassment or inappropriate conduct, through the investigation process.

Each video in this series offers practical tips on everything from creating the investigation plan; interviewing relevant parties; and dealing with the aftermath of the investigation, including potential disciplinary actions taken against an employee.

In this video, Bass, Berry & Sims labor and employment attorney Laura Mallory outlines specific measures to take while crafting the investigation plan, including suspension and the separation of parties. Laura also explains how documents can be used during an investigation and how certain recordings could be critical in determining the truth around a workplace conflict.

Several attorneys in our Labor & Employment Practice Group are featured in this video series and offer great recommendations for navigating this tricky process.

View previous videos in the series:

Step 1: Intake the Complaint

Step 2: Interview the Complainant

Step 3: Plan the Process

To guarantee you don’t miss any videos in the series, be sure to subscribe to this blog or follow us on Twitter.

 

Join us for a complimentary seminar where we will review a broad range of topics pertaining to accommodation issues under the ADA and provide guidance for employers managing these issues.

7:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. Registration and Breakfast
8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Program

Our panels will cover a broad range of topics, including:

  • How to identify (and help supervisors identify) when an employer’s obligations under the ADA may come into play
  • Engaging in the interactive discussion with employees regarding their accommodation requests
  • Requesting medical information in response to such requests
  • Whether an employee who has asserted the presence of a disability may still be disciplined
  • Addressing mental health issues under the ADA

HRCI and Tennessee CLE credit (2 hours)