News You Can Use

Avoid the Traps of Unequal Pay

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 23:37
When it comes to pay, equity may be in the eye of the beholder. But pressure is building on employers to change some outdated hiring practices that create inequities. One example would be paying less to a woman who returns after a long absence, even when length of employment is irrelevant to performance. Here's what you need to know about pay inequality and some ways to avoid contributing to the gender pay gap.

The Rules Surrounding National Origin Discrimination

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 23:37
Seldom does a day go by when jobs and immigration aren't in the news. So it may be more important than ever for employers to have a clear understanding of how federal law handles the issue of employment-related discrimination based on national origin. A pair of recent cases highlight the stakes. Here's more.

Promote From Within Successfully: A Management Cookbook

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 23:37
When vacancies occur on your supervisory staff, promoting from within may be a win-win for your employees and your company. Knowing that advancement is possible can motivate your workforce, and allow you to choose from people with whom you have history. However, when promotion happens prematurely or if there isn't coaching in place for new positions, this move could backfire. Here's information to help you avoid that outcome.

A Fresh Look at Incentive Compensation

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 23:37
Maximizing employee productivity on a sustainable basis can be an elusive goal. But a properly designed incentive compensation plan can play a big part in making it happen. The trick is to not go overboard. Balance what you give and how you give it with what you're hoping to encourage, such as increased accuracy or enhanced production. This article gives some details.

Court: Outsourced Employees Count for COBRA Purposes

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 23:37
A U.S. Court of Appeals recently rejected arguments that a staffing company and its owner were exempt from requirements under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). Therefore, they were both liable for the penalty for failing to notify a former employee about COBRA rights. This article explains the details of the case.

Revised OSHA Regs Have Kicked In

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 23:37
Newly revised OSHA regulations took effect January 1, and so far, they remain intact. The changes revolve around the timeline and method of reporting for various size companies, and also some guidance regarding employee drug testing following an accident. When is this testing permissible, and when might it appear to be retaliation? Here's the latest.

EEOC Prioritizes Sexual Orientation Discrimination Claims

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 23:37
Although employment discrimination based on sexual orientation is not explicitly banned by the U.S. Civil Rights Act, the federal agency that helps to enforce the law the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is moving full speed ahead to address such allegations. Here's the latest.

Separation Agreements May Provide Peace of Mind

Sun, 03/19/2017 - 23:25
You may have done absolutely nothing wrong in terminating an employee. But if you want some assurance that the former employee won't decide to sue you or cause you other harm, consider a separation agreement. While this type of agreement isn't foolproof, it can give you a measure of support if needed. Here's how they work.

Leverage Benefits to Recruit and Retain Talent

Mon, 03/13/2017 - 00:10
Retaining good employees and recruiting new ones are two tough issues that many employers deal with regularly. With unemployment rates fairly low in many parts of the country, these challenges are magnified. Accordingly, employee benefits are being used in different ways to address the problem. Here's how.

Employers: You Are Now Required to Use the New Form I-9

Sun, 03/05/2017 - 23:57
Employers must ensure their proper completion of Forms I-9 to verify the identity and employment authorization of their employees. A new Form I-9 was issued last year but employers could still use the old form. Now, they must use the the new version. This article explains.

Employee Assistance Programs May Be Valuable Resources

Sun, 03/05/2017 - 23:57
Depression. Stress. Strained personal relationships. Money problems. These are among the debilitating challenges many of your employees face. Employee assistance programs (EAPs) today can help workers with these worries, and much more. Here's some background on EAPs and some guidance going forward.

DOL: Civil Penalty Increases for Willful FLSA and FMLA Violations

Sun, 02/26/2017 - 23:51
The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced inflation-adjusted increases in the civil penalties levied on violations of federal laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family Medical Leave Act and those related to child labor. This article briefly explains the changes and what employers need to know.

Train Employees to Avoid Cybercrime

Sun, 02/26/2017 - 23:51
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. When it comes to cybersecurity, the weakest link could be any one of your employees which is why establishing cybersecurity policies and staff training are critical. Here are some tips to get you started.

Tax Deadlines Loom for Employers. Minimum Wages Rise in Many States

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 23:38
The beginning of a new calendar year means employers may need to make a few adjustments to their payroll processes. There are also looming deadlines for a bevy of the usual tax form completing tasks. Here's a quick rundown, as well as a list of states that increased their minimum wages on January 1 or plan to do so later this year.

Accommodating Employees with Mental Illness

Mon, 02/13/2017 - 00:21
During (and for weeks after) the holiday season, many workers experience a spike in productivity-robbing clinical depression. As a timely reminder, the EEOC has issued fresh guidelines on the employment rights of workers suffering from that affliction and other mental conditions. Employers need to be clear on this score as well. Here's what the EEOC had to say.

Consider an Apprentice Program to Fill Skills Gap

Sun, 02/05/2017 - 23:24
With unemployment rates at their lowest level since 2001, many employers are finding it hard to fill open positions. Creating formal apprenticeships can be a way to overcome that challenge if you're willing to invest some time and effort. Apart from providing a way to find good workers for hard-to-fill positions, employers can also expect other benefits from a well-developed apprenticeship program.

Help Avoid Legal Hot Water with a Strict Email Policy

Sun, 02/05/2017 - 23:24
Work-related emails that your employees send can get you in a lot of trouble, particularly if employees try to get rid of them when the heat is on. It's critical to proactively avoid making a bad situation worse, that is, increase the likelihood of litigation. Here are some tips.

Expanded EEO-1 Form Means New Responsibilities for Employers

Sun, 01/22/2017 - 23:42
Beginning next year, employers with at least 100 employees will have more work to do when it comes to annual reporting. Compared to the original proposal for increased reporting, the burden has been eased somewhat. Still, compliance will take a major effort for most employers. If your company is among those affected by these changes, continue reading to learn what your new responsibilities will be.

New DOL Investigation Finds Employer Violated Minimum Wage Law

Sun, 01/15/2017 - 23:35
After an investigation by a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, a company agreed to pay employees back wages and damages, as well as pay $99,825 in civil penalties, for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. The employer had taken deductions from employees' pay for uniform costs. Here are details of the investigation and how businesses can comply with the law.

Health Savings Accounts May Carry New Employer Risks

Sun, 01/15/2017 - 23:35
Sometimes federal regulations pop up where you least expect them. Case in point: Potential employer liability associated with health savings accounts. The Trump administration could alleviate the risk, but it's too soon to tell what's on the horizon. For now, nothing should be taken for granted. Keep reading for some guidance on what may be ahead.