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Published on May 30th, 2017 | by Kandace H

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HR Nightmare: 4 Tricky Situations and How to Handle Them

When you’re an employer, the last thing you want is for an employee to have a legitimate grievance with your company. An “HR nightmare” can really put a damper on your month. To help you prepare for a worst-case scenario, here are four potentially tricky situations and how you should handle them.

An Employee Injures Themselves On The Job

Whether it’s a slip and fall accident or an accident that’s the fault of the employee’s own carelessness, the protocol is the same. The first step is to offer the employee medical attention and assure them that the company will cover the cost. The next step should be to review the incident, utilizing any security footage if you have it. Once you’ve determined the details of the case, talk to a slip and fall attorney, even if you don’t think the employee will take legal action. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

An Employee Reports A Co-Worker For Sexual Harassment

No one wants to find themselves with a sexual harassment case on their hands, but it’s a sad reality of modern office life. The first step is always to listen to and accommodate the employee making the complaint. If the actions they describe are minor, you can handle the problem by warning the co-worker that they must cease their objectionable behavior. If the allegations are more serious, you may want to consult an attorney on how your company should proceed.

An Employee Is Bashing The Company On Social Media

If you find an employee bashing you or your organization on social media, take screenshots as quickly as possible as evidence of the offense. It’s a good idea to tackle these situations on a case-by-case basis. If an employee has posted something relatively innocuous – i.e. “I can’t believe my boss is making me work late on Friday!” – the situation is best met with a gentle but firm discussion about what is and isn’t appropriate to post. However, if the employee is directly bashing the company or posting something egregious, a formal warning or termination is usually the best course of action.

An Employee Is Struggling After A Serious Personal Tragedy or Crisis

When employees fail to perform or miss shifts, it’s typically grounds for dismissal. However, if an employee does these things after a major death in the family or a traumatic incident, it’s imperative that the employer treads lightly. Of course, you have to look out for your bottom line. However, these situations are usually best handled by a closed door meeting where you sympathetically but realistically discuss the best way for both the organization and the employee to proceed.

No one wants to find themselves in an HR nightmare. However, any situation can be remedied if handled correctly and within the guidelines of the law.

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