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Managing the Modern Workplace
V&E International Labor & Employment Resources

  • 14
  • January
  • 2020

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One Promotion Too Far

As employment lawyers, we see all sorts of reasons for businesses deciding to terminate employees, ranging from gross misconduct to plant closures. But there is one scenario that comes up from time to time that always strikes me as a particularly unfortunate loss of talent – when a good employee gets promoted into a role they are simply not suited for.

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When Poorly Performing Employees Suddenly Get Sick

You finally sit down with an employee who has performed poorly for months, and you give him or her both a detailed performance improvement plan spelling out your expectations and a time frame by which they must demonstrate substantial improvement. The very next morning, the previously healthy employee calls in sick and soon thereafter requests medical leave, supported by a doctor’s excuse, to obtain treatment for work-induced stress and depression.

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Know the Facts Before Making a Decision

I recently coached a law student working at Vinson & Elkins for the summer that when she writes a legal memorandum, she should always start with a statement of the facts of the matter as she knows them. The reason for doing this is that if she makes a conclusion on the facts, but does not tell the reader what she believes the facts to be, there could be a misunderstanding. Sometimes associates are not provided all of the facts needed for their memorandum. We will catch that if the associate repeats back the facts in their memorandum. This is also good advice for a young lawyer when they first start writing opinions for clients, because clients may forget some important facts.

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Contributors

Thomas H. Wilson

Thomas H. Wilson Partner

Christopher V. Bacon

Christopher V. Bacon Counsel

Sean Becker

Sean Becker Partner

Stephen M. Jacobson

Stephen M. Jacobson Partner

Martin C. Luff

Martin Luff Counsel

Lawrence S. Elbaum Partner