- Patience with the chronic complainer. Every workplace has that employee -- the one who, at the drop of hat, lodges a complaint about something. It might be a co-worker, it might be a boss, it might be the quality of the free coffee, or it might be the thermostat setting. Employers should exercise caution with this employee. A drop of patience might avoid the retaliation lawsuit when the chronic complaint turns into protected activity.
- Patience with the habitually absent. Most workplaces have rules about absences. I've counseled enough employers to know that most take those rules very seriously. An employee who is habitually absent, however, might not be irresponsible. He or she might be dealing with a medial issue that is causing the absenteeism or tardiness. A modicum of patience with this employee might avoid the creating of an FMLA or ADA quagmire.
- Patience with wage and hour laws. Anyone who reads my blog regularly knows that I take wage and hour compliance very seriously. I am reasonably confident that I could walk into any business in America and uncover at least one wage and hour violation. The laws are simply too complex for any employer to execute them perfectly, at least without careful and constant guidance from an experienced practitioner. A little patience in the area of wage and hour compliance, however, will go a long to way to avoiding a costly DOL audit or class action lawsuit.
- Patience. Two years ago, I wrote about what I call the Golden Rule of Employee Relations: "If you treat your employees as you would want to treated (or as you would want your wife, kids, parents, etc. to be treated), most employment cases would never be filed, and most that are filed would end in the employer's favor." I think if we try to be a little more patient in all situations, we would face less strife and fewer lawsuits.
Presented by Kohrman Jackson & Krantz, with offices in Cleveland and Columbus. For more information, contact Jon Hyman, a partner in our Labor & Employment group, at (216) 736-7226 or firstname.lastname@example.org.