HR advice on one of last week's most-read articles

2020 01 23 19 13 7990 Edwards Paul2 20200123195451

Last week, one of the most-read articles on was the story of the Wisconsin dental assistant who claims she was fired when a bad review, claiming her employer had workers who spew racist comments, surfaced on the office's social media. She believes her own pro-President Donald Trump comments on Facebook led to the review and firing, according to news reports.

The firestorm centers around Robyn Polak and Precision Dental MKE in Milwaukee. It certainly has people on both sides of the political spectrum taking sides and issuing their own opinions. We have heard plenty of those since the story was published.

Paul Edwards, CEO and co-founder of CEDR HR Solutions.Paul Edwards, CEO and co-founder of CEDR HR Solutions.

Since that initial story, however, no new details have emerged.

Along with comments about the article, several readers have also sent me emails asking about the human resources (HR) side of this story.

"What could be done about a post on a personal social media page that could impact the person where that person works?" This was one of the questions I received, and it was one of the reasons why I reached out to Paul Edwards, CEO and co-founder of CEDR HR Solutions.

After reading the article and doing some more research, here's what Edwards told me:

We have very few details thus far so anything I say is speculation.

The practice states they can assure everyone that she was not fired for her political views. VERY smart. What we hope is that they have been regularly documenting the job-related performance reason and/or reasons for the termination. This means write-ups, regular performance reviews or one-on-ones, and notes in her file that make the case for THE REASON she was let go. In the best-case scenario, she received a term letter which is supported by all those things that mention nothing about Facebook.

Another point to make is that she's getting calls from local attorneys, and soon one of them is going to represent her and send a letter to the practice requesting the employee handbook and her records. The book is either going to help or hurt.

What's in your handbook?

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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