News You Can Use

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.

Promote From Within Successfully: A Management Cookbook

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 23:37
When vacancies occur on your supervisory staff, promoting from within may be a win-win for your employees and your company. Knowing that advancement is possible can motivate your workforce, and allow you to choose from people with whom you have history. However, when promotion happens prematurely or if there isn't coaching in place for new positions, this move could backfire. Here's information to help you avoid that outcome.

A Fresh Look at Incentive Compensation

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 23:37
Maximizing employee productivity on a sustainable basis can be an elusive goal. But a properly designed incentive compensation plan can play a big part in making it happen. The trick is to not go overboard. Balance what you give and how you give it with what you're hoping to encourage, such as increased accuracy or enhanced production. This article gives some details.

Court: Outsourced Employees Count for COBRA Purposes

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 23:37
A U.S. Court of Appeals recently rejected arguments that a staffing company and its owner were exempt from requirements under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). Therefore, they were both liable for the penalty for failing to notify a former employee about COBRA rights. This article explains the details of the case.

Revised OSHA Regs Have Kicked In

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 23:37
Newly revised OSHA regulations took effect January 1, and so far, they remain intact. The changes revolve around the timeline and method of reporting for various size companies, and also some guidance regarding employee drug testing following an accident. When is this testing permissible, and when might it appear to be retaliation? Here's the latest.

EEOC Prioritizes Sexual Orientation Discrimination Claims

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 23:37
Although employment discrimination based on sexual orientation is not explicitly banned by the U.S. Civil Rights Act, the federal agency that helps to enforce the law the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is moving full speed ahead to address such allegations. Here's the latest.

Separation Agreements May Provide Peace of Mind

Sun, 03/19/2017 - 23:25
You may have done absolutely nothing wrong in terminating an employee. But if you want some assurance that the former employee won't decide to sue you or cause you other harm, consider a separation agreement. While this type of agreement isn't foolproof, it can give you a measure of support if needed. Here's how they work.

Leverage Benefits to Recruit and Retain Talent

Mon, 03/13/2017 - 00:10
Retaining good employees and recruiting new ones are two tough issues that many employers deal with regularly. With unemployment rates fairly low in many parts of the country, these challenges are magnified. Accordingly, employee benefits are being used in different ways to address the problem. Here's how.

Employers: You Are Now Required to Use the New Form I-9

Sun, 03/05/2017 - 23:57
Employers must ensure their proper completion of Forms I-9 to verify the identity and employment authorization of their employees. A new Form I-9 was issued last year but employers could still use the old form. Now, they must use the the new version. This article explains.

Employee Assistance Programs May Be Valuable Resources

Sun, 03/05/2017 - 23:57
Depression. Stress. Strained personal relationships. Money problems. These are among the debilitating challenges many of your employees face. Employee assistance programs (EAPs) today can help workers with these worries, and much more. Here's some background on EAPs and some guidance going forward.

DOL: Civil Penalty Increases for Willful FLSA and FMLA Violations

Sun, 02/26/2017 - 23:51
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.

Train Employees to Avoid Cybercrime

Sun, 02/26/2017 - 23:51
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. When it comes to cybersecurity, the weakest link could be any one of your employees which is why establishing cybersecurity policies and staff training are critical. Here are some tips to get you started.