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1. Devote more time and resources to employee selection and training.
2. Make effective use of trial or orientation periods (also known as initial probationary periods); deal with problems sooner rather than later.
3. Be careful when dealing with employees with medical conditions; consider all the interrelationships between the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and workers’ compensation.
4. Adopt and enforce a clear policy against harassment in the workplace; thoroughly investigate any complaints; take effective action to end any harassment that is found.
5. Do what you promise your employees; do not promise what you will not or cannot do.
6. Read the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s guidelines regarding the ADA and the U.S. Department of Labor’s regulations regarding the FMLA.
7. Keep all employment documentation up-to-date and consistent; include simple and unambiguous at-will statements.
8. Use progressive discipline and document its use.
9. Clearly communicate expectations to employees, including performance expectations and reasonable privacy expectations.
10. Document your efforts to reasonably accommodate any employees claiming to be disabled.
Source: Davis Wright Tremaine, Seattle. Used with permission.