News You Can Use

Limit Your Exposure to Costly Whistleblower Retaliation Claims

Sun, 11/19/2017 - 23:35
From time to time, employees believe their employers are doing something wrong and decide to "blow the whistle" on them. Whatever the merits of the accusation, it's important for the company to respond carefully to avoid further complicating the situation with a retaliation claim. Here are some tips.

Use Job Descriptions to Ward Off ADA Discrimination Claims

Sun, 11/19/2017 - 23:35
Providing employees with formal job descriptions is optional from a legal perspective, but there are sound reasons to do so. If you do supply them, take great care when listing each job's "essential functions." Otherwise, down the road you could inadvertently run afoul of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This article outlines how well-meaning employers can find themselves in trouble if the tasks listed in a job description are misunderstood or interpreted as nonessential.

Consider a Phased Retirement Program for Your Employees

Sun, 11/19/2017 - 23:35
Should retirement be an all-or-nothing proposition? Many employees would prefer to wind down gradually. And employers need a way to transfer some of the knowledge from long-term employees to those next in line for their jobs. Phased retirement can be a win-win for employers and for workers nearing their golden years. But the benefits won't come without careful planning. Here's how some companies are changing the face of retirement.

Minimize Risks and Costs When Employees Leave

Sun, 11/19/2017 - 23:35
Departing employees can create headaches for your organization, whether you're glad they're going or sad to see them leave. Sooner or later, these things do happen, and often at the worst possible times. Still, you can make the best of a potentially bad situation with some planning and careful management. Here's how.

Tread Carefully When Developing an Employee Drug-Testing Policy

Sun, 11/19/2017 - 23:35
Keeping employees motivated and on task requires that they be free of the influence of drugs. That's not just illegal drugs, but also some legal drugs that could interfere with safety at work. Yet creating and enforcing a drug-testing policy can give rise to a minefield of problems. Here's an overview of what you need to consider.

Employers Can Claim Tip Credit Despite Employees' Non-Tip Work

Sun, 11/19/2017 - 23:35
A federal appeals court recently ruled that employers at several restaurants can claim the tip credit even though their servers and bartenders were required to perform some duties that didn't generate tips. This article provides the details of the case.

Mitigating Workplace Injury Risks for Telecommuters

Sun, 11/19/2017 - 23:35
Allowing employees to work at home on a regular basis telecommuting is becoming a more widespread practice in today's work environment. In fact, a Gallup survey shows that in 2016, 43% of employed Americans spent some time working remotely. But the practice can expose employers to certain new legal risks. This article takes a look at how a federal law treats the issue and how an actual case was viewed by the laws of one state.

Know How Age Discrimination Enforcement is Evolving

Sun, 11/12/2017 - 23:38
A half-century after the enactment of the ADEA, a law prohibiting age discrimination in the workplace, many types of discriminatory practices live on. And the law's application and enforcement are evolving challenges in light of changing demographics and technology. Here's an update.

EEOC Cases Illustrate Examples of Unlawful Discrimination at Work

Sun, 11/05/2017 - 23:29
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) fielded about 650,000 calls from workers last year who believed they had a legitimate discrimination case against their employers. While only a small proportion led to legal action, the lesson is clear: Employees aren't shy about calling in the big guns when they have a gripe. To illustrate the many ways employers can find themselves in hot water with the EEOC, here's a sampling of recent investigations that prompted the agency to take action.

Federal Contractors Get a Minimum Wage Increase in 2018

Mon, 10/30/2017 - 00:19
The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) recently announced that the minimum wage rate for federal contractors will increase by 15 cents per hour, effective January 1, 2018. This article reveals the new minimum wage rate, and details what non-federal contractor employers in various states must pay staff members and tipped employees.

How to Investigate Workplace Complaints

Mon, 10/30/2017 - 00:19
From time to time employees accuse each other of behavior that can lead to serious legal troubles for you as the employer, if not for the actual perpetrator of the bad deed. That's when you need to conduct a workplace investigation, a task which must be handled with special care. Here are some pointers on being an effective workplace detective.

Help Veterans on Your Staff Thrive

Mon, 10/23/2017 - 00:03
Military veterans typically have qualities civilian employers seek, including integrity, loyalty, organization skills and a strong work ethic. They can add much to a workforce, yet it's common for veterans to have difficulty transitioning to a civilian work environment and end up frustrated and quickly moving on to other civilian jobs. It doesn't have to be that way. Here's how to avoid it.

IRS Guidance on Leave-Sharing Programs to Help Hurricane Harvey Victims

Sun, 10/15/2017 - 23:50
Employers can set up leave-based donation programs to provide assistance to Hurricane Harvey victims. The IRS recently announced that employees won't be taxed when they forgo vacation, sick, or personal leave in exchange for employer contributions of amounts to charitable organizations providing relief. Employers can also deduct the amounts as business expenses.

A Pair of Key Employer Requirements Put on Hold

Sun, 10/15/2017 - 23:50
Washington's focus on rolling back regulations and employer burdens has led to two recent developments that are generally welcomed by employers. One involves a controversial Equal Employment Opportunity Commission form, and the other centers around the Department of Labor's planned changes to overtime pay eligibility. Here's the latest information you need to know.

Follow the Law When Using Background Checks for Hiring

Sun, 10/08/2017 - 23:31
There are many good reasons to use background checks when hiring. After all, you're giving employees have some degree of access to your company and its reputation. That's not to say you shouldn't hire anyone who's had brushes with the law, but you want as much information as possible when making hiring decisions. Just make sure you know what federal law and the laws in your state say about the legitimate and prohibited use of background checks.

Do You Pay Employees to Be On Call?

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 00:13
If your company's need for manpower ebbs and flows dramatically from day to day, there's a good chance you have employees available on standby. The added flexibility of having on-call workers is a great resource, but knowing how to pay them for the hours they spend waiting might be complicated, depending on the circumstances. Here's some guidance from the Department of Labor on how to handle on-call pay.

Protect Your Company from Immigration Infractions

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 23:57
Employers are required to complete Form I-9 when hiring workers and keep the forms for the requisite period of time. To enforce these requirements, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency performs administrative inspections. Here's what you need to know before you receive a "notice of inspection" that you're about to receive a visit from ICE.

Franchisor Enters Agreement to Help Franchisees Comply with Labor Laws

Sun, 09/17/2017 - 23:37
The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division recently entered into a voluntary agreement with a restaurant franchisor to help eliminate violations of wage and hour laws at its franchisees. This article explains the details of the agreement and why the government is hoping other franchisors will enter into similar agreements to help ensure their franchisees are complying the the Fair Labor Standards Act.

U.S. Treasury to Retire the myRA Program

Sun, 09/17/2017 - 23:37
It's only a few years old, but the "my Retirement Account" (myRA) program, is going away. These accounts were intended to encourage taxpayers to start saving for retirement, but too few people took advantage of the program to justify the taxpayer cost. As part of a plan by the Trump administration to assess and eliminate ineffective programs, myRAs will soon be phased out. Here's information for accountholders about the future of myRAs.

Which Employees or Positions Do You Rely on Most?

Sun, 09/10/2017 - 23:27
Do you know who your most valuable employees are? And are you doing the right things to motivate them? If you're being guided only by the cumulative effect of raises and other upward adjustments in compensation as the benchmark, think again. You might just be operating on autopilot, limiting your potential success. Here's more.