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Valspar is closing a Texas plant

BY HBSDealer Staff

The Dallas Business Journal has reported that paint manufacturer Valspar is closing a single plant in Texas as part of a business consolidation. 

The plant to be closed by Aug. 15 is located in Grand Prairie, Texas, outside of Dallas.

According to the article, no other plants are planned to be closed. About 58 people are expected to be laid off by the consolidation. 

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Sarcastic emails are asking for trouble

BY Allen Smith

“The ‘e’ in email stands for evidence,” particularly if the email is sarcastic, cautions Joe Beachboard, an attorney with Ogletree Deakins in Torrance, Calif.

Management attorneys interviewed by SHRM Online cited a host of sarcastic emails that could cause headaches for employers, including:

• In response to an email about an employee being on leave, a manager emails a co-worker that the employee was probably “recovering from another bender.” There are a variety of potential ramifications from this email, including potentially perceiving someone as having an Americans with Disabilities Act disability, as well as defamation, Beachboard warned.

• In response to an email about a worker being separated, a manager emails a co-worker that the company is “better off without that thieving SOB.” While the employee was terminated for violating company policy on removal of company property, “theft” has criminal implications and could lead to allegations of defamation, Beachboard added.

• An email between male managers mentions that one of them was going to have drinks with a particular employee. In response, the other manager says he “wouldn’t have a drink with him on a bet as he wasn’t sure which way he swings.”

• A manager emails, “I am going to have a stress disorder from trying to accommodate everyone. I need an accommodation.”

• A manager emails, “I am tired of employees who don’t want to work hard claiming they can’t.”

• Another manager emails, “This employee needs an accommodation about as much as I need a migraine.”

• A manager questions HR about an employee’s need for leave, saying, “Come on. Hasn’t she been out enough? She’s faking it. This is ridiculous.”

• When an employee is given a Friday afternoon off for religious reasons, a manager fires off an email saying, “This is a bunch of baloney. I wonder where she’s going.”

• A senior-level manager emails an employee about which vendors he would or would not sleep with, giving the name, rating and characteristics.

“Some managers think email is just talking with your fingers. Employment lawyers know better,” remarked Jathan Janove, an attorney with Ogletree Deakins in Portland, Ore. A sarcastic email often winds up being exhibit one and might result in larger damages, he cautioned.

Often, employees send emails they thought were funny but the humor doesn’t translate. All that is left is the printed word, which doesn’t go away, he added.

Managerial training

Employers “have to educate your managers,” Steve Miller, an attorney with Fisher & Phillips in Chicago, emphasized.  

Email is so informal that many employees often treat it like regular conversation. Employees should be reminded to communicate in a professional manner, including in their emails, he added.

Employees should type their emails, read them and make sure they are professional before sending them, Miller remarked. “No sarcasm, no profanity.”

“I think the most effective way to train managers is to blow up mock emails and ask managers to see how they think they would look to a jury,” added Jonathan Segal, an attorney with Duane Morris in Philadelphia. “Make them see it through a jury’s window.”

Allen Smith, J.D., is manager, workplace law content.

© 2012 SHRM. All rights reserved. 

Have HR-related questions and concerns? Get access to essential forms, policies and guides, plus a live call center, at ToolkitHR.com, powered by HCN and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

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Fifty winning retailers, state by state

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Home Channel News selected 50 hardware stores — one from each state — for inclusion in the second annual Hardware Store All-Star list. The stores distinguish themselves with strong customer service, innovative approaches to retail and a connection to community and customers.

The alphabetical listing of All-Star stores, one from each of the 50 U.S. states, continues here with Texas, Utah and Vermont:

Texas
Hooten’s Hardware
Emory, Texas
Hooten’s Hardware loves to expand, despite the fact that it’s located in Emory, Texas, population 1511. Visits to Orgill’s markets often result in new lines of merchandise. The 40,000-sq.-ft. store and other buildings on 15 acres sell major appliances, farm and ranch supplies, building materials, every SKU made by Midwest fastener, housewares, lawn and garden, and a full assortment of electrical and plumbing. A machine repair shop and eight-bay welding operation draws farmers from neighboring states. 

Utah
Kohl’s Hardware & Lumber
Duchesne, Utah
Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2012, Kohl’s Hardware & Lumber serves its rural community (about 100 miles from Salt Lake City) with a one-stop shop approach to retailing. In fact, “One stop shopping” was the store’s motto back when it sold groceries. Today, the 10,000-sq.-ft. store continues its tradition of well-rounded service with hardware, auto products, a lumberyard and flower shop. 

Vermont
Woodstock Home & Hardware
Woodstock, Vt.
Owner Larry Perry is a firm believer in multiple suppliers: He buys from Ace, Orgill and Standard Hardware. Maybe that’s why Woodstock had ice melt and roof rakes when everyone else was out last winter. Perry’s eclectic blend of merchandise defies description. His ever-changing store marquee features advice, special promotions, jokes and the occasional political jab.

For the complete list of 50 winning retailers, state-by-state, register or log in to Homechannelnews.com.   

 

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