News You Can Use

Know the Evolving Rules Before Terminating an Employee on FMLA Leave

Sun, 01/14/2018 - 23:22
When an employee on a 12-week unpaid medical leave asks for an extension, you may have a tricky judgment call to make. Compassion aside, there's a good chance your business is already feeling the pinch of the lost manpower. A recent pair of federal appeals court rulings might make it easier for employers to decline such requests if necessary.

Large Employers: What Are the Deadlines for Forms 1094-C and 1095-C?

Sun, 01/14/2018 - 23:22
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 these forms with the IRS? There are several requirements for large employers, as described in this article.

Avoid Hiring Mistakes with a Systematic Process

Sun, 01/14/2018 - 23:22
Hiring mistakes are among the most costly errors you can make in managing a business because, among other things, they tend to be long-lasting. While these mistakes can't always be avoided, you can improve your odds of making good hiring decisions by following a few practical pointers and learning from your own experiences.

DOL: Civil Penalties Are Increasing for Willful Violations of Federal Laws

Sun, 01/14/2018 - 23:22
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.

Landmark Tax Reform Bill Passes

Sun, 01/14/2018 - 23:22
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is the biggest tax reform package in over 30 years. With tax filing season right around the corner, business and individual taxpayers, with the help of their tax advisors, are scrambling to understand how the changes will affect them. Here are some key elements of the new law.

Minimize Workplace Accidents with a New Strategy

Sun, 01/14/2018 - 23:22
An accident-free, safe workplace is every employer's goal. Some are more successful than others in making it a reality. With a new year right around the corner, you may want to consider getting a fresh start, improving your track record with a safety training program that is designed with adult learning principles in mind. Here's some guidance.

How the Work World is Changing with Millennials

Sun, 01/14/2018 - 23:22
Millennials may make up an ever-growing proportion of your organization's workforce. Last year, they overtook Baby Boomers as the largest living U.S. generation. By 2020, they could represent nearly half of your employee base. Are you ready?

Employee Financial Education Benefits Them and You

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 00:16
Highly stressed employees tend to be less productive and less healthy than those that are more relaxed. No surprise there. Money often tops the list of stressors, and one way employers can help is to offer financial education programs in the workplace. If this is something your company is interested in, here's what you need to know to develop an effective program.

Accommodating Pregnant Employees: A Refresher Course

Mon, 01/01/2018 - 00:01
Laws, regulations and court precedents involving discrimination against pregnant employees have been on the books for years. But that doesn't prevent some employers and managers from fumbling the issue today, with regrettable consequences. Here are a few practical pointers.

Limit Your Exposure to Costly Whistleblower Retaliation Claims

Sun, 12/24/2017 - 23:27
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

Mon, 12/18/2017 - 00:10
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

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 00:15
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

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 00:11
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

Mon, 11/27/2017 - 00:03
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.