Corrections or additions?
This article was prepared for the October 24, 2001
edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Managing Employees & Preventing Lawsuits
Recording an employee’s missteps — and his good
work too — is so time consuming that many supervisors, struggling
to bring projects in on time, often just don’t bother. It can be a
nuisance to take detailed notes on complaints against the employee
who thinks it’s funny to harass women or on the employee who
outperforms everyone in the department. But the effort pales beside
"You’ve got to do it," says
human resources analyst with the New Jersey Department of Labor.
overrules excuses." The reason? "These days anyone can sue
for any reason."
Raykovich, who studied Spanish, education, and theater at Rowan back
when it was Glassboro State, has been educating employers for the
labor department’s division of business services for 25 years. She
speaks on "Document! Document! Document!" on Tuesday, October
30, at 9 a.m. at a meeting sponsored by the labor department and the
Employers Association of New Jersey at the Department of Labor
in Trenton. Cost: $10. Call 609-984-3518.
Among the excuses Raykovich hears with some regularity are "no
time," "no space," and "someone will see it."
She gives advice on overcoming all three.
employer has policy manuals, detailed job descriptions, time cards,
and well-designed appraisal forms, documenting employee performance
becomes largely routine. A good infrastructure for recording each
employee’s contribution — or lack of same — means less time
spent creating paper trails on a case-by-case basis.
people think everything on an employee should be in the same
says Raykovich. This common mistake can lead to big problems. She
says a government office, maybe Immigration or the I.R.S., which wants
one form on an employee, will not dig out that piece of paper, but
rather will take the whole file. The employer is left with nothing
on that person.
Keeping everything in one place can also be a problem if an employee
wants to see his file. By law, Raykovich says, the employee does not
have an automatic right to see it, but denying him access can cause
morale problems. If everything ever written about him is there, the
employee may come across negative comments by supervisors who never
meant him to see them. He might also come across incident reports
mentioning other employees.
It is worth spending some time in clearing an area, or areas, for
different types of employee records, and then establishing a set
supervisors to document negative performance by an employee, and it
is important that these comments be kept where no one else can see
them. Raykovich recommends a locked drawer or a password protected
need to be aware that anything they write down can be called as
should an employee sue. With this in mind, it is vital that all
about an employee address only behavior. There is no room for
to record an employee’s behavior soon after an incident occurs —
but not too soon. Let any anger evaporate before picking up a pen,
attitude are probably best left out, all specifics on negative
need to be included. If the problem is absence, for instance, write
down the date, the time, the day of the week, whether the employee
called in, and even who called in for him. Make a note of whether
he submitted a doctor’s note, and if so, how long after the absence.
These facts could be used to establish a pattern or to document
of company policy.
disciplined employees, but also from those passed over for promotion.
Be prepared to document why Susie got the top job, or Johnny, passed
over yet again, could well take legal action. In order to prove that
Susie moved up because of her superior ability and performance, it
may be necessary to produce records of her positive efforts and
is establishing a reputation as a fair boss, a person who will only
discipline when it is warranted, and will promote based on merits.
Beyond raising morale and attracting superior workers, such a
could ward off lawsuits.
"The name of the game is consistency and fairness," says
"If everyone knows what’s expected, people have no surprises.
There’s no reason for them to come back legally or violently."
Seven Princeton area companies will discuss their
with their academic counterparts when the Princeton University’s
for Photonic and Optoelectronic Materials (POEM) holds its annual
review of research activities on Thursday, November 1, starting at
8:30 a.m. in the Computer Sciences building (www.poem.princeton.edu).
Armed Services Committee, will give the keynote talk, "Global
Challenges and the Role of Technology in Securing Our Future."
Corporation (UDC), will give a plenary session address on "Organic
LEDs: Delivering on Technology Promises Today and in the Future."
plenary session, on the intersection of photonics, nanostructures,
and biology. A luncheon poster session from noon to 1:45 p.m. and
an evening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. will provide networking
Cost: $50. Fax to 609-258-1954 or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flat Panel Displays
Four sets of technical seminars have been scheduled. Flat panel
and other large area electronics technologies has its own agenda,
and founder of UDC, and Brown.
Phillips Boulevard, Ewing 08618. Steven Abramson, president.
Photonics & Imaging
Biomolecular Photonics and Imaging is the focus of
series of seminars, led by Warren S. Warren of the chemistry
and Wlodek Mandecki of Pharmaseq. Mandecki will discuss
for diagnostics and assay for drug discovery, particularly
nano transponders for genomic analysis. Frederic Zenhausern of
will talk about nanostructures and near-field biological imaging.
Plaza, Suite F, Monmouth Junction 08852. Wlodek Mandecki, president
and CEO. 732-355-0100; fax, 732-355-0102.
Ultrafast optics, switching, and integration
will be the province of Evguenyi Narimanov of the electrical
department and Chris Dries of Sensors Unlimited.
Thomas Curtis of UltraFast Optical Systems and Paul Prucnal of the
EE department will discuss the use of non-linear interferometers for
ultra-fast optical processing. Milind Gokhale of ASIP joins Forrest
to discuss high bandwidth metro and long haul communication systems.
Chuni Ghosh of Princeton Optronics will discuss tunable lasers —
VCSELs — for long Haul and switching applications.
5, Princeton 08540. Gregory H. Olsen, president. 609-520-0610; fax,
Road, Holmdel 07733. Thomas H. Curtis, president and CEO.
Gokhale, acting president. 609-537-5500; fax, 609-537-5515.
08619, Box 8627, Princeton 08540. Chuni Ghosh, CEO. 609-584-9696;
Quantum devices, sensing, and nonlinear processes will
occupy Richard Miles, of the mechanical and aerospace engineering
department. He joins John Lowrance of Princeton Scientific
Lowrance works on electro-optical R&D and manufacturing, such as sight
integration of an automatic muzzle reference system.
Princeton Corporate Plaza, Suite C, Monmouth Junction 08852. John
Lowrance, president. 732-274-0774; fax, 732-274-0775.
will host a half-day workshop on lasers and imaging, sponsored by
the Office of Naval Research and the NJ Technical Advisory Committee.
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