News You Can Use

New Rules for Certain Investment Advisers

Sun, 05/29/2016 - 23:52
Some investment advisers will be subject to higher ethical standards once newly finalized U.S. Department of Labor regulations kick in. Employers must ensure that retirement investment advisers who work with them and their employees comply with the new standards. Though the exact time frame is yet uncertain, some of these changes may take effect by next year. This article provides more information.

EEOC Takes Aim at Gender-Based Pay Discrimination

Sun, 05/22/2016 - 23:59
Unequal pay based on gender is under fire on two fronts. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is moving aggressively to combat this kind of discrimination by enforcing existing law, and also with a controversial proposal. If passed, that proposal will greatly increase the reporting burden on employers. Here are the details.

Despite Expiration Date, Employers Should Continue to Use Form I-9

Sun, 05/15/2016 - 23:58
If you're hiring employees, you may have noticed the outdated expiration date on a form required by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The agency recently announced that employers can continue to use the current Form 1-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, despite the expiration date. This article explains.

Is Your Business Subject to a “Ban-the-Box” Law?

Sun, 05/15/2016 - 23:58
If you aren't doing business where a "ban-the-box" law is in effect, you soon may be without moving an inch. These laws limit when employers can ask prospective employees whether they've ever been convicted of a crime. The idea is to not dismiss an otherwise qualified applicant too soon. But the laws are proliferating so rapidly that many companies may not be aware of them. Here's the latest.

Fighting a Claim of Age Discrimination

Mon, 05/09/2016 - 00:08
What makes a charge of age discrimination stick? More than you might think. A recent ruling by a federal appeals court offers some insight into the standards a company might have to meet to defend against such charges. Here's what the court had to say when a man in his late forties filed an age discrimination claim against his long-time employer.

Watch for New Paid Sick Leave Rules for Some Workers

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 00:21
Paid sick leave benefits may be expanded soon, at least for employees of federal contractors. Eligibility for this leave could extend to caring for people "whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship under newly proposed Department of Labor regulations.

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.