News You Can Use

Strengthen the Weak Links in Your Cybersecurity Plan

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 00:09
Your cybersecurity "chain" is only as strong as its weakest link. Typically that weakest link is not your network systems, but your employees. Cybercriminals know that employees are busy and may not be trained in the warning signs of fraudulent activity. The threat is serious. Here's what you can do about it.

Are You a Joint Employer? The DOL Weighs In

Mon, 04/18/2016 - 00:09
Are you a joint employer? If so, you could be liable for, among other things, overtime pay even if a worker's weekly shifts at your place of business don't exceed 40 hours. The Department of Labor has offered new guidance on how it defines "joint employer" and how that changes your responsibility if you fall into that category. Here are the details.

Prepare Your Workforce Now For the Next Weather Emergency

Mon, 04/11/2016 - 00:11
Severe weather and bona fide natural disasters are tough to deal with under the best of circumstances. Trying to cope when you haven't made contingency plans and don't have a weather policy in place is much worse, and ill-advised. Before the next severe storm or natural disaster hits, create a plan and make it well known within your company. Here's what you need to know to cover your bases.

Don't Let March Madness Turn Into Workplace Madness

Mon, 04/04/2016 - 00:19
In no time at all, "March Madness" will be tipping off again. Why should you care? As basketball courts heat up around the country, your company's productivity may cool down noticeably. Some of the games in the three-week-long NCAA tournament and the conference games leading up to it are broadcast during the workday. If you have college basketball fans on your payroll, it could be a challenge to keep them focused. Here are some ideas.

Put Pay in Perspective When Recruiting

Mon, 04/04/2016 - 00:19
There's more to hiring strong job candidates than simply throwing money at them. Offering a substantial raise as a way to get a new hire on board may not only be costly in the short run, but may also limit your options to keep the individual motivated down the road. Consider the following alternative tactics.

Every Word Counts when Crafting Your Employee Handbook

Mon, 03/28/2016 - 00:16
In addition to spelling out the benefits of working at your company, employee handbooks set the ground rules for employee behavior. But sometimes what seem like reasonable requirements to an employer are found to violate federal laws, such as the National Labor Relations Act. Here are some guidelines that may keep your handbook from getting shot down in court.

Employee Health Screenings Can Be Well Worth the Effort

Mon, 03/21/2016 - 00:19
Biometric health screenings are showing up more and more in company wellness programs. If well planned, they can turbocharge a health promotion. But if they aren't administered carefully, they can also lead to problems. Here are some guidelines to help you take advantage of the benefits while avoiding the pitfalls of biometric screenings.

Get More Bang for Your Buck with Tax-Favored Employee Benefits

Sun, 03/13/2016 - 23:32
The phrase "fringe benefits" is misleading when the value of those benefits adds up to around one-third of your employees' compensation, as they often do. And when benefits are tax-free, they're even less on the fringe. As might be expected, this is an area the IRS polices carefully. Here are the latest developments, including what changed in 2016 and what remains the same.

What Health Coverage Forms Must Large Employers Complete and When?

Sun, 03/06/2016 - 23:37
As an applicable large employer (ALE) with a fully insured health plan, what forms do you need to complete to report the the federal government about health coverage? When do you need to file them with the IRS? There are several requirements, as described in this article. Fortunately, employers have been given some extra time but they will need to start the process ASAP.

Know the Rules before Running Criminal Background Checks

Sun, 03/06/2016 - 23:37
Screening potential new-hires for a criminal history is a smart safeguard in many situations, and perfectly legal. You can do the same for people already on your staff. However, you can get yourself in a lot of trouble if you go about it the wrong way. Here's what you need to know.

Don’t Let March Madness Turn Into Workplace Madness

Sun, 02/28/2016 - 23:47
In no time at all, "March Madness" will be tipping off again. Why should you care? As basketball courts heat up around the country, your company's productivity may cool down noticeably. Some of the games in the three-week-long NCAA tournament and the conference games leading up to it are broadcast during the workday. If you have college basketball fans on your payroll, it could be a challenge to keep them focused. Here are some ideas.

Hiring Vets: How to Leverage a Valuable Resource

Sun, 02/28/2016 - 23:47
Nearly 200,000 military veterans transition into the civilian workforce each year. Some employers make it a priority to hire them. Others do so inadvertently by choosing the best candidate available, who happens to be a veteran. Either way, there are skills and character traits common among vets that may add great value to your workforce. Here are some pointers.

Do After-Hours Communications Qualify for Overtime Pay?

Sun, 02/21/2016 - 23:46
When does the act of checking job-related emails after hours become "work" subject to overtime pay for nonexempt employees? It's a serious question, and getting the answer wrong could cost your company a lot. Fortunately, a recent federal court ruling helps to provide greater clarity on the topic. Here's more.

A Solution to Your Need for Short-Term Workers: H-2B Visas

Mon, 02/15/2016 - 00:02
Having trouble finding employees for jobs that will last only a year or so? Thanks to a temporary federal visa program known as H-2B, there will soon be a new pool of workers who might meet those needs. Beginning on January 16, workers from 16 more countries will be eligible to provide manpower in the United States. Here's a closer look at how H-2B works.

Good News in the New Year: IRS Extends ACA Filing Deadlines

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 00:17
For the 2015 tax year, some employers and other entities are required to file information returns containing the type and period of health insurance coverage provided to employees. The IRS recently announced that it's extending the deadlines for filing Forms 1094 and 1095. This article reveals the new deadlines.

Give Your Employee Handbook a Facelift

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 00:17
With a new year at hand, it's a good time to make sure your employee handbook is up-to-date. And while you're scouring the document to make sure it's consistent with the latest laws in your state, make sure it's written to give you the most mileage. Here are some ideas on how to go about it.

Is Progressive Discipline Right for Your Organization?

Mon, 01/25/2016 - 00:21
There may be no easier way to spark an employee discrimination lawsuit than by using a haphazard discipline policy. You might be able to mitigate that risk somewhat by adopting a "progressive" discipline policy instead, a practice which is growing in popularity. But certain precautions as well as an awareness of potential downsides are essential. Here's what you need to know.

Video Job Interviews Gaining Popularity

Mon, 01/18/2016 - 00:19
Using video technology to conduct job interviews and candidate screening is growing in popularity, for several reasons. Some who advocate its use even suggest that younger job prospects might consider your company stuck in the past if you don't make use of this technology. Should you jump on the bandwagon? Here are some points to consider.

Take Steps to Help Employees Achieve Financial Wellness

Mon, 01/11/2016 - 00:03
Many of your employees may not feel well but they aren't physically ill. Instead, what they lack is "financial wellness," a hot topic in many companies these days. In a nutshell, they're worried about making ends meet today as well as in the future, and that can take a toll on their productivity. Should you try to do anything about it? And, if so, what?

Perceived Retaliation Can Put Your Company in Hot Water

Mon, 01/04/2016 - 00:00
Suppose your employee complains about discrimination on the job, a complaint you feel is unwarranted. Dealing with that sort of complaint can be troubling and time-consuming. But be aware that any form of retaliation real or perceived against that employee while you investigate the complaint is illegal. Make sure you've fully informed your managers and supervisors understand just how important this is. Here's what you need to know.