News You Can Use

Help Veterans on Your Staff Thrive

Mon, 10/23/2017 - 00:03
Military veterans typically have qualities civilian employers seek, including integrity, loyalty, organization skills and a strong work ethic. They can add much to a workforce, yet it's common for veterans to have difficulty transitioning to a civilian work environment and end up frustrated and quickly moving on to other civilian jobs. It doesn't have to be that way. Here's how to avoid it.

IRS Guidance on Leave-Sharing Programs to Help Hurricane Harvey Victims

Sun, 10/15/2017 - 23:50
Employers can set up leave-based donation programs to provide assistance to Hurricane Harvey victims. The IRS recently announced that employees won't be taxed when they forgo vacation, sick, or personal leave in exchange for employer contributions of amounts to charitable organizations providing relief. Employers can also deduct the amounts as business expenses.

A Pair of Key Employer Requirements Put on Hold

Sun, 10/15/2017 - 23:50
Washington's focus on rolling back regulations and employer burdens has led to two recent developments that are generally welcomed by employers. One involves a controversial Equal Employment Opportunity Commission form, and the other centers around the Department of Labor's planned changes to overtime pay eligibility. Here's the latest information you need to know.

Follow the Law When Using Background Checks for Hiring

Sun, 10/08/2017 - 23:31
There are many good reasons to use background checks when hiring. After all, you're giving employees have some degree of access to your company and its reputation. That's not to say you shouldn't hire anyone who's had brushes with the law, but you want as much information as possible when making hiring decisions. Just make sure you know what federal law and the laws in your state say about the legitimate and prohibited use of background checks.

Do You Pay Employees to Be On Call?

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 00:13
If your company's need for manpower ebbs and flows dramatically from day to day, there's a good chance you have employees available on standby. The added flexibility of having on-call workers is a great resource, but knowing how to pay them for the hours they spend waiting might be complicated, depending on the circumstances. Here's some guidance from the Department of Labor on how to handle on-call pay.

Protect Your Company from Immigration Infractions

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 23:57
Employers are required to complete Form I-9 when hiring workers and keep the forms for the requisite period of time. To enforce these requirements, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency performs administrative inspections. Here's what you need to know before you receive a "notice of inspection" that you're about to receive a visit from ICE.

Franchisor Enters Agreement to Help Franchisees Comply with Labor Laws

Sun, 09/17/2017 - 23:37
The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division recently entered into a voluntary agreement with a restaurant franchisor to help eliminate violations of wage and hour laws at its franchisees. This article explains the details of the agreement and why the government is hoping other franchisors will enter into similar agreements to help ensure their franchisees are complying the the Fair Labor Standards Act.

U.S. Treasury to Retire the myRA Program

Sun, 09/17/2017 - 23:37
It's only a few years old, but the "my Retirement Account" (myRA) program, is going away. These accounts were intended to encourage taxpayers to start saving for retirement, but too few people took advantage of the program to justify the taxpayer cost. As part of a plan by the Trump administration to assess and eliminate ineffective programs, myRAs will soon be phased out. Here's information for accountholders about the future of myRAs.

Which Employees or Positions Do You Rely on Most?

Sun, 09/10/2017 - 23:27
Do you know who your most valuable employees are? And are you doing the right things to motivate them? If you're being guided only by the cumulative effect of raises and other upward adjustments in compensation as the benchmark, think again. You might just be operating on autopilot, limiting your potential success. Here's more.

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.