News You Can Use

Avoid Legal Traps When Interviewing

Sun, 09/03/2017 - 23:53
Interviewing prospective new hires can be a delicate business. It's critical to avoid those personal questions that can get you in legal trouble. But you also need to get beyond the safe questions so you can glean more than sterile, rehearsed answers. How can you obtain the information you need to make an informed choice without landing your company in hot water? Here are some tips for safe navigation.

FMLA: The Law that Never Sleeps

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 00:22
Some laws lie dormant for years while others, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), never sleep. It's constantly being tweaked and reinterpreted and courts are frequently asked to weigh in. That's why employers should check in now and then to ensure they're compliant with this dynamic law. Here's a look at the fundamentals of the FMLA as it is today and summarizes three recently settled cases.

Reduce Your Risk of Committing Employment Discrimination

Sun, 08/20/2017 - 23:49
Employment discrimination claims are rising about 92,000 were filed last year with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. But the proportion of those claims that are based in reality hasn't risen. Here's some guidance on how to address unfounded claims involving "protected class" employees, and also how to prevent claims in the first place.

Is Your Company’s Vacation and Holiday Policy Working as Planned?

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 00:20
It's summer time and vacation season is in full swing. If your company isn't prepared, you may be faced with some serious labor shortages. What happens when several employees with related job duties ask for vacation days at the same time? Some companies have strict policies against overlapping vacations, while others allow it and muddle through. Here are some ideas that may help you avoid problems with time-off scheduling.

Should Your Company Offer Paid Parental Leave?

Sun, 08/06/2017 - 23:52
Offering paid leave to help employees care for a new child could benefit not only your workers, but your company too. And, although it's unlikely you will be legally required to offer it (except in a few states and localities), doing so could become more commonplace. One advantage you might see is the ability to find and retain quality employees. Here's a look at parental leave in today's workplace.

Tune Up Your Performance Review System By Giving it a Performance Review

Mon, 07/31/2017 - 00:16
Is your system for performance appraisal motivating employees to greater productivity and enhanced creativity? Many employers have abandoned the standard annual review system, which they believe doesn't accomplish those goals. Here are details about why several prominent companies have grown dissatisfied with the old way of evaluating employees and what they're doing now to handle this important task.

Understand How the Definition of Independent Contractor Has Changed Again

Sun, 07/23/2017 - 23:46
Worker status continues to be an important topic in today's economy, with many companies still not sure whether to classify some workers as employees or independent contractors. Muddying the water even more is the fact that the U.S. Department of Labor recently announced it is unwinding an interpretation set by the Obama Administration, regarding the guidelines for classifying workers. Here's the latest.

Minimize Risk of Sexual Harassment Claims in Your Workplace

Mon, 07/17/2017 - 00:06
Last year, more than 12,000 allegations of "sex-based harassment" were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Although many of such charges are ultimately dropped, it's far better to avoid conditions that could lead anyone to allege harassment in the first place. Doing so requires a multifaceted, proactive strategy. Here's the latest.

Consider Adding Schedule Flexibility for Childcare Needs

Sun, 07/09/2017 - 23:40
With school ending for the summer, many employees with school-aged children are scrambling to make new childcare arrangements. And for parents of kids who aren't yet school age, the challenges of finding quality daycare can pop up year round, without warning. Employers can help out in many ways without spending big bucks. Here's how.

Prepare: E-Verify May Soon Become Mandatory

Sun, 07/02/2017 - 23:52
Is your company using E-Verify? Many employers currently use the voluntary system, but you should know it may soon be mandatory. E-Verify is the federal government's employee immigration status system that individuals and employers can use to ensure that members of their workforce have the legal right to work in the United States. This article provides some basics to help you prepare to use E-Verify.

Underperforming Employees May Be Salvageable

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 23:40
Terminating an underperforming employee can be traumatic and expensive. It also can often be avoided with the right performance management strategies. If you decide to go that route, the process takes creativity, patience and a willingness to salvage the situation.

Can You Monitor Your Employees’ Communications?

Sun, 06/18/2017 - 23:27
As an employer, you have more authority to monitor employee communications than you might think. Of course, that power isn't unlimited. It depends in large measure on the level of privacy you have led employees to expect, whether explicitly or implicitly. Managing those expectations is the key to maintaining your rights. Here's more.

Give Employees a Running Start with a Strong Onboarding Program

Sun, 06/11/2017 - 23:25
Expecting a new worker to perform efficiently from day one may be a little nave. It's like transferring an employee to a foreign country with no knowledge of the local language and customs, and anticipating immediate superstar performance. That's why successful companies have formal onboarding programs designed to give new hires a good foundation to build on. Here's how these programs work.

Employer Can Have Info about Whether Misclassified Workers Paid Tax

Mon, 06/05/2017 - 00:10
Many businesses use independent contractors to lower their costs and administrative burdens. A recent U.S. Tax Court ruling provides good news for businesses that may find themselves audited by the IRS over worker classification. The court found that an employer could receive information about whether misclassified workers paid tax on the income, which would reduce the tax liability of the business.

EEOC and Some Courts Expand Sex Discrimination Definition

Mon, 06/05/2017 - 00:10
Employers should be aware of a legal trend in employment-related sex discrimination that has reached an important milestone. Workplace sex discrimination and harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act now includes sexual orientation and gender identity, according to the EEOC. To avoid legal hot water, it's now increasingly important for employers to ensure that all members of their workforce are aware of, and adhere to, the emerging legal requirements.

What's the Status of the Overtime Rule Scheduled to Go into Effect Last Year?

Mon, 05/29/2017 - 00:13
As you may recall, new overtime rules were scheduled to go into effect on December 1, 2016. But just nine days before the start date, a federal court issued an injunction that temporarily blocked implementation of the rules. Now, the federal government is asking a court for a third extension to appeal the court decision that blocked the rule. This article explains.

Maximize the Effectiveness of Your Workplace Safety Programs

Mon, 05/29/2017 - 00:13
While nobody wants accidents and injuries to occur at the workplace, efforts to prevent them often fall short due to misconceptions about what it takes to minimize the dangers. In the process of keeping a company up and running, it can be easy to miss details that could lead to health and safety problems. Read on to test whether your approach to safety is up to snuff.

Time to Launch Your Summer Internship Program

Thu, 05/25/2017 - 17:33
If you're considering bringing on a summer intern this year, the time is now to get that effort rolling. Getting the most out of an internship program requires careful planning and some knowledge of the pitfalls to be avoided. Here's some guidance to help you set up an effective program.

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.