March madness or good, clean fun?
What HR needs to know about office gambling
(March 4, 2015)
For many sports fans, March means March Madness and hour upon glorious hour of college basketball. There’s a good chance that some of your employees are planning office pools, just waiting for Selection Sunday, the day the official brackets are released. While they view office pools and other office gambling as a harmless distraction from their typical duties, employers usually pay the price with decreased productivity and potential legal exposure.
Ruling goes against Nebraska's
same-sex marriage ban
(March 3, 2015)
In a ruling that wasn’t a surprise, a federal judge has ruled against Nebraska’s ban on same-sex marriage. But the fate of the state’s constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage awaits an appeal to the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.
New York tipped minimum cash wage
to rise to $7.50 an hour
(March 2, 2015)
Tipped workers in New York will see the minimum cash wage rise to $7.50 an hour on December 31, 2015, following a February 24 order by New York State Acting Commissioner of Labor Mario Musolino.
Keeping leave legal: Escape bias claims related
to time off for new parents
(February 27, 2015)
Many employers interested in promoting a family-friendly workplace want to offer new moms and dads paid time off for parental leave. But they need to keep discrimination concerns in mind if they plan to offer moms more “parental” time than dads. Recently, a group of attorneys was asked about the legality of an employer’s idea to offer new moms 80 hours of paid leave while offering new dads just 40 hours of paid time. The attorneys advised the employer that it had better be careful.
Right-to-work bill on the march in Wisconsin
(February 26, 2015)
Wisconsin is on its way to becoming a right-to-work state. A right-to-work bill passed the state senate on February 25 and is expected to pass the assembly after that body takes it up on March 5. Governor Scott Walker is expected to sign the bill as soon as it passes.
To dock or not to dock? That is the question
(February 25, 2015)
One of the most common questions I hear from employers involves when they can or can’t dock employees’ paychecks. It’s very tempting to use an employee’s paycheck as a way to recoup losses you’ve incurred because of her actions, especially when, as a practical matter, there will never be any other way to collect the debt from her. However, you should exercise caution when docking an employee’s paycheck because federal and state laws limit the deductions that can legally be made.
Spouses of certain H-1B workers
now eligible for employment authorization
(February 25, 2015)
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has published final regulations that will extend employment authorization eligibility to spouses of certain nonimmigrant workers who are in the United States on H-1B visas.
New rule extends FMLA rights
to more employees in same-sex marriages
(February 24, 2015)
More employees in same-sex marriages will be able to take leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) as a result of a new rule taking effect March 27. And while employers in states that recognize same-sex marriage already have been operating under a definition of spouse that includes legally married same-sex partners, employers in other states will need to change their practices.
Trying applicants on for size: Know the limits of job tryouts
(February 20, 2015)
Ever been fooled in a job interview? Some applicants interview well but then turn out to be disappointments on the job. Others might seem iffy during the interview process but become star employees. The uncertainty inherent in the hiring process has led many employers to devise ways to test candidates in real world situations, either with job simulation programs from vendors or by developing their own tryouts.
Honesty in HR matters: It really is the best policy
(February 18, 2015)
According to one of Billy Joel’s many great songs, “Honesty is such a lonely word, everyone is so untrue. . . . Honesty is hardly ever heard, but mostly what I need from you.” Sure, honesty is admirable and virtuous, but it’s also the best policy for handling employment matters. Even though it seems like common sense, it’s often hard for HR managers and supervisors to tell the truth about employees when it matters. And that often gets them into trouble. Let’s make sure that honesty is what’s heard at your workplace.
Judge's actions sparks more uncertainty on Obama's immigration orders
(February 17, 2015)
A temporary injunction against President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration is adding to the uncertainty surrounding immigration reform and its impact on employers. On Monday, a federal judge in Texas issued a temporary injunction blocking Obama’s orders issued last November that would have eased deportation concerns for millions of undocumented immigrants that have been in the country for years. The orders had not yet begun accepting applications.
Legal issues associated with dating in the workplace
(February 13, 2015)
According to a 2012 Stanford University sociology study, 10 percent of people meet their spouses at work. Coworker dating is common. Unfortunately, not all relationships end well, and when they don’t, employers can face harassment and retaliation claims. Although most businesses have no rules about office relationships, now may be the time—while the office is awash in hearts and the fragrance of flowers—to decide what’s best for your workplace.
A practical look at dating in the workplace
(February 11, 2015)
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s a good time to review the problems that can arise from office romances and outline some steps you can take to prevent them from occurring at your workplace. It’s no secret that workplace relationships can lead to trouble, particularly when they sour.
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