News You Can Use

Follow the Rules When Hiring Holiday Season Workers

Mon, 12/05/2016 - 00:09
Bringing seasonal help on board enables you to get through crunch periods without driving your year-round employees to exhaustion. But are seasonal workers covered by the same labor laws and regulations that apply to the rest of your workforce? Yes and no. Here's why.

What Can You Do About Employee Misbehavior After Hours?

Mon, 11/28/2016 - 00:06
What your employees do on their own time isn't any of your business until it is. The right of privacy is treasured in the United States and none of us want to be monitored when we're not at work. But what we do in our private lives certainly can affect the workplace. Here's an overview of what after-hours employee activities should be of concern to you and what you can do about it.

Overtime Rules Are Scheduled to Change in December

Sun, 11/20/2016 - 23:37
The U.S. Department of Labor's higher income requirement for the "white collar exemption" from overtime is scheduled to kick in December 1. The DOL recently explained how certain bonuses can be applied to the income requirement for regular workers as well as those classified as "highly compensated employees." Here's what employers need to know.

EEOC Seeks Enforcement of Pregnancy Discrimination Laws

Sun, 11/20/2016 - 23:37
Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace is illegal, but it still happens. That's why the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission continues to initiate litigation on behalf of victims of pregnancy discrimination. In one of the latest examples, the Commission has filed a lawsuit in the interest of a pregnant woman who was forced to take a leave of absence. Employers and employees alike should take note of this action.

Help Avoid Legal Pitfalls When Withdrawing a Job Offer

Sun, 11/13/2016 - 23:32
What happens when you make a job offer, and shortly thereafter decide that you need to withdraw it? Perhaps you learned too late the applicant wasn't honest. Or maybe your company hit an unexpected business snag. Whatever the reason, rescinding a job offer could spell trouble or not, depending upon the circumstances and, equally important, how you handle the situation. Here's what you need to know.

Can You Require Psychological Exams for Some Employees?

Mon, 11/07/2016 - 00:21
Can you require an employee to undergo a psychological exam? Under some circumstances, yes but, among other requirements, you must strictly adhere to the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Here's a rundown of information about the hoops you need to jump through to help avoid adverse legal repercussions.

Federal Contractors Get a Small Minimum Wage Increase in 2017

Mon, 10/31/2016 - 00:09
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 five cents per hour, effective January 1, 2017. This article reveals the new minimum wage rate, and lists what non-federal contractor employers must pay staff members and tipped employees in various states.

Keep Heated Political Debate in Check in the Workplace

Mon, 10/31/2016 - 00:09
The emotionally charged 2016 presidential election has the potential to disrupt your workplace, especially as voting day draws nearer. What steps can you take to encourage workers to keep calm and carry on without strife? Read on for some answers.

Making the Most of Staff Meetings

Mon, 10/24/2016 - 00:09
Some work events and tasks become so routine that it's easy to forget their purpose, or to think about how to make them more effective. Prime example: routine staff meetings. Here's a fresh look at how to make this workplace fixture more worthwhile.

Got Questions about the New Overtime Rule?

Mon, 10/17/2016 - 00:18
Time is running out for employers to understand what will be expected of them on December 1, when the new federal overtime rule kicks in. The Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division recently released some Q&As about the new rule and how it affects employers in certain industries and in special situations. Here are some highlights.

Your Company May Benefit from a PTO Bank

Mon, 10/17/2016 - 00:18
Do you really want to be in the business of determining whether an employee's paid sick leave or personal day is legitimate? Many companies are switching to a plan that combines sick leave, vacation and personal leave into a "paid time off" bank or allowance. Here are the latest trends.

Are You Ready for the New Overtime Rules?

Mon, 10/10/2016 - 00:10
In May, the U.S. Department of Labor released a new final overtime rule, and it recently published additional guidance to flesh out certain details. The new guidance, which goes into effect on December 1, 2016, is expected to significantly reduce cash flow in many industries, including retail, manufacturing and not-for-profits. Here are the highlights, including possible implementation strategies to consider.

The PIP: A Powerful Tool to Improve Employee Performance

Mon, 10/10/2016 - 00:10
Performance improvement plans aren't new. But all too often they're used more as a warning to nonperforming workers than as a sincere effort to help them improve. In the end, that can be counterproductive. When, on the other hand, a PIP is effectively executed, the employer might not only get the nonperforming employee on track but also reap other benefits. Here's more.

Retaliation Rule and Other Changes Coming from OSHA

Mon, 10/03/2016 - 00:05
The definition of "retaliation" has been confusing for employers at times. That's why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is seeking to clarify its meaning by issuing an anti-retaliation provision that will take effect in November (instead of August, as planned). Other changes are also on the way that employers need to prepare for. This article gives an overview of what's ahead from OSHA.

Avoid Inadvertent Hiring Discrimination

Mon, 09/26/2016 - 00:14
Seemingly innocent hiring practices can lead to discrimination charges and costly settlements for the unwary. Some employers haven't changed the way they hire in many years and without realizing it, may have held onto practices that now are considered discriminatory. A recent case, involving a chemical company selling products to the U.S. Government, highlights the issues involved.

Employer Complaints Pour in as EEOC Wants More Data

Mon, 09/19/2016 - 00:17
Next year, many employers could face a substantial jump in the effort that will be required to complete the EEO-1, the half-century old annual survey of workplace demographics. But the matter isn't settled yet. Employers have flooded the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission with concerns about its proposed requirement that pay data be added to the form. Here's more.

Onboarding Employees: Do It Right and Reap the Rewards

Sun, 09/11/2016 - 23:26
The first few weeks on the job with your organization could be crucial to a new employee's ultimate success or lack of it. Busy employers sometimes adopt a sink-or-swim approach, but often that's a prescription for high turnover, if not worse problems. Here's a look at the elements of a successful onboarding program.

Avoid Giving Birth to a Pregnancy Discrimination Charge

Sun, 09/04/2016 - 23:32
It's a good news/bad news story: The nation's birth rate has rebounded after a drop that followed the 2008 financial crisis. The bad news is pregnancy discrimination charges are also on the rise. This is a touchy area and one that employers need to keep a close eye on. This article describes new standards that clarify what's discriminatory, and what isn't.

Overtime Pay Rules: Avoid Making Costly Wrong Assumptions

Mon, 08/22/2016 - 00:05
Overtime pay has been in the news a lot lately because of upcoming changes in the income threshold for exempt status. Those changes take effect in December. But even as employers are gearing up for that development, many are getting tripped up by long-standing overtime pay rules. This article discusses some recent examples.

Employer Proved COBRA Notice WAS Mailed to Employee

Sun, 08/14/2016 - 23:47
Certain employers must offer continued health coverage to participants who leave their jobs in "qualifying events." This is required under COBRA. Employers are also required to notify employees about coverage. In a recent court case, an employer proved it sent required notices even though a participant said she didn't receive them. Here are the details of the case and the basics of COBRA.