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Documenting Employee Conduct

by Jason Dalton, Esq.
November/December 2009
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/documenting-employee-conduct/5019016/

One of the best ways for a child care program to lose an employment-related lawsuit is failure to document the performance of its employees. Documentation of an employee’s performance can provide evidence of an employment-related decision such as discipline, promotion, or discharge. When properly implemented, documentation of employee perfor­mance can be an employer’s most valuable tool in avoiding and defend­ing against employment-related lawsuits. However, without proper documentation, employers can find themselves in court, struggling to justify their employment-related decisions.

Like any other business, the operation of a child care program involves a certain degree of risk of lawsuit. Accordingly, even the most well-run centers may find themselves the subject of an employment-related suit from time to time. Two of the most common legal issues faced by child care providers include suits based on discrimination and unemployment compensation. In both cases, documentation of employee performance forms a key element of an employer’s defense.

For example, according to the Unemploy­ment Compensation law in most states, employees who commit willful misconduct are ineligible for unemployment compensation after they are terminated. Thus, evidence that an employee engaged in conduct which the employee knew was a violation of a workplace policy can be instrumental in defending a ...

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