October 21, 2021

Volume XI, Number 294

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Dealing with Problem Employees

Every office has a problem employee.  They’re chronically late.  They don’t meet deadlines. They don’t accept criticism, etc.  When they begin to sense their employment is in jeopardy, they start to blame others for their failings, suddenly claim they are being harassed or targeted, demand leave, etc.  More often than not, these are the employees who turn around and try to sue their employers after they’ve been terminated.  Even more frustratingly, these same individuals will typically allege they were model employees before their termination.  So how can you, as an employer, protect yourself?

There are a number of strategies for avoiding employment litigation.  The first is, no matter what the size of your business, always document employee issues.  If an employee isn’t meeting expectations, you should make the employee aware of this fact.  There’s nothing wrong with having a verbal discussion, but make sure that you always document your actions so that there is a written record.  For example, take five minutes after the discussion to email the employee a quick summary of what you discussed.  If issues persist, additional warnings should follow, with a written record of the warning always placed in the employee’s file.   Taking a few minutes to create a written record of an employee issue could be the difference between scaring off a litigious ex-employee and incurring thousands of dollars in legal fees to defend against a frivolous suit.

© 2021 Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla, P.C. All Rights Reserved National Law Review, Volume VII, Number 61
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About this Author

Ari G. Burd, Shareholder, Giordano Law Firm, Labor & Employment, Cannabis Law, Health Care
Shareholder

Ari devotes his time to assisting and defending employers with regard to traditional employment issues. He frequently counsels employers for compliance with New Jersey laws and has extensive transactional and litigation experience.

Ari has litigated employment matters throughout the state, having made appearances in almost every Superior Court in New Jersey, as well as before both Federal District Courts in New Jersey and the Federal and State Courts in New York.  These actions have involved a diverse range of claims such as wrongful discharge, discrimination, harassment,...

732-741-3900
Jeri L. Abrams, Giordano Halleran, Employment Documentation Lawyer, Workplace Litigation Attorney,Labor & Employment
Shareholder

Jeri focuses primarily on employment law, with an emphasis on drafting and negotiating complex employment-related documentation, such as executive employment, consulting, restrictive covenant, commission, bonus, retention, change-in-control and severance agreements. Jeri counsels employers on a broad range of employment matters, including hiring, disciplining and terminating employees, family and medical leaves, disability leaves and accommodations, anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation laws, wage and hour compliance, and reductions in workforce. She works closely...

732-741-3900
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