The challenges facing HR managers can be daunting. Amendments to the law, new and changing federal and state administrative policies, and a diverse workforce all contribute to the difficulty of appropriately resolving employee issues. As we enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday, here are some things for which every HR manager should be thankful.
Busy human resources professionals can easily get caught up in the day-to-day and lose sight of the path they want to be on, but an assessment can guide the HR team out of the weeds and back on the road to reaching an organization’s goals.
Lori Kleiman, a Chicago-based HR consultant, recently conducted a webinar for Business & Legal Resources titled “HR Assessments: How to Develop an Effective Plan for Measuring Your Department’s Strategic and Compliance-Based Goals” in which she explained why an assessment is worth the time and trouble.
The debate over how employers should handle time off for the Thanksgiving holiday is taking a new twist this year. While the last few holiday seasons have seen more retailers expanding Black Friday to include all or part of Thanksgiving day, this year the backlash is heating up as a number of major players gamble that a nobody-has-to-work policy will produce enough goodwill to offset sales lost to competitors choosing to open during hours traditionally set aside for turkey and football.
The parent company of Marshalls and T.J. Maxx explains its decision to close by saying, “We consider ourselves an Associate-friendly Company.” A GameStop statement says it will close “out of respect for our store associates and their families and friends.” Other holiday-shopping leaders have made similar statements.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued a final rule that makes significant changes to its Occupational Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting regulation, effective January 1, 2015. Although the revisions bring increased financial and administrative costs, the new requirements may also provide an opportunity for employers to be more aware of, and therefore more able to prevent, workplace hazards.
Much of the country suffered through punishing storms this past winter, and it has already started again. While fresh snowfall on a crisp winter day can be a beautiful thing, snowy and icy driving conditions are usually a little less charming, especially for employers whose employees aren’t able to get to work.
The return of LeBron James to the Cleveland Cavaliers riveted the sports world and reinvigorated Cleveland. For employers, however, James’ “going home” has prompted conversations about boomerang employees—i.e., employees who leave an employer only to return later. This article looks at this relatively new concept and outlines what factors employers should consider before rehiring a boomerang employee.
Ebola may be grabbing headlines, but it’s the old familiar flu that’s more likely to cause headaches and chills for employers this winter. Flu.gov reports that nearly 111 million workdays are lost as a result of flu each season. That puts the tab at approximately $7 billion per year in sick days and lost productivity.
Want to save your share of that $7 billion? Federal health officials advise encouraging your workforce to take an influenza vaccination. Encouraging sick employees to stay home is another way to lower the risk of illness. Regardless of an employer’s strategy for protecting health and productivity, employers need to keep legal issues in mind.
It’s no secret to employers that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has taken a more provocative and confrontational approach to investigating and litigating claims of employment discrimination. But the EEOC’s treatment of Case New Holland, Inc., takes “pushing the envelope” to a new level. To make matters worse, a federal court has OK’d the agency’s tactics.
It starts with break room tables laden with bowls of candy corn and “fun-size” chocolate bars. Then come turkey and Pilgrim decorations, which quickly give way to workstations sporting menorahs, Nativity scenes, Christmas trees, tinsel, and eventually New Year’s party hats and streamers.
With the kickoff of the fall-winter holidays, employers need to consider not just festive celebrations but also potential pitfalls of the season. Whether it’s accommodating all the people who want time off, issues related to holiday parties, or employees offended by religious décor, employers need to know what they’re up against and focus on ways to ward off trouble.
by Mark Flora
Recently, I realized that my desk was covered with recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decisions (and articles about those decisions) I needed to review. The problem is, the Board is intruding into nonunion workplaces with such ferocity that it is impossible to keep up. The self-described Rip Van Winkle of government agencies has obviously awakened to the fact that unless it dramatically expands its sphere of influence into nonunion workplaces, it will soon experience death by irrelevancy.