Picture this: A manager calls his subordinates into a conference room and asks them to write down their salary and pin it to a board for everyone to see. The thought of that may make some of you cringe worse than many of the moments on reality TV. In fact, this idea was the premise of the 2012 British reality television show Show Me Your Money. Recently, National Public Radio checked in on how the company that was involved in the show was doing two years after implementing that policy.
Dedicated, hardworking—and maybe even long-suffering—employees deserve rewards. Sometimes the appropriate reward is a well-deserved raise, but money isn’t always the best solution. And in today’s world of tight budgets, it’s often not even a possibility.
But employers wanting to show appreciation have other options. In the Business & Legal Resources webinar “Small Budget, Big Employee Rewards: How to Successfully Reward the Workforce When You Can’t Stretch that Shoestring Any Further!” Barry L. Brown, a principal at Effective Resources, Inc., offered ideas for inexpensive rewards as well as tips on how to make a nonmonetary program effective.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will now refer all untimely retaliation claims to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to determine whether an employer engaged in an unfair labor practice (ULP) under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court finished one of its most interesting terms in recent memory when it comes to employment law. While it’s difficult to find a consistent pattern in the multiple waves of rulings that were issued, one theme emerges: a limitation on governmental authority in areas that have traditionally enjoyed wide latitude.
Union issues addressed
Two of the decisions will have a great impact on unions, a continuation of the Court’s hostile stance toward organized labor. In NLRB v. Noel Canning, the Court invalidated President Barack Obama’s appointment of three members to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) as an improper use of the “recess appointment” power―and with that ruling put into question scores of subsequent NLRB decisions and orders. Then, in Harris v. Quinn, the Court revisited―and limited―the rule that a public employee can be forced to pay the equivalent of union dues even if the employee doesn’t want to join the union.
Ahh, the human resources department. The place where compassionate, friendly people solve problems in the workplace. A place filled with intelligent professionals uniquely qualified to turn conflict into comfort.
Or maybe that’s not what the HR department should be at all. Maybe HR should empower others to handle certain workplace issues on their own rather than getting pulled into every dispute. Cynthia Schuler, director of human resources at the Sterne Kessler Goldstein Fox law firm in Washington, D.C., falls into this camp.
by Brandon Long
It’s rumored that President Ronald Reagan once referred to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) as “Every Ridiculous Idea Since Adam.” ERISA serves important purposes in our society, but it also presents tremendous challenges and potential liabilities for good-intentioned employers that merely want to provide nice benefits to their employees.
More and more employers are suffering from a shortage of talent at the same time jobseekers are struggling to find work. That seemingly implausible situation has become the reality in many fields as the world of work deals with a still-struggling economy and epic change brought on by rapid technological advances.
A study from workforce consulting firm ManpowerGroup offers some explanations—as well as ideas on the role human resources can play in solving the problem.
If it’s not review season at your organization, you probably aren’t thinking about performance evaluations. Often review time comes around just once a year, and it’s not top of mind any other time—possibly because so many people dread the process.
For human resources professionals, that process can be even more stressful than it is for others because HR often is tasked with making sure managers give thoughtful time and attention to reviewing their subordinates—a tough job since many managers and supervisors consider time devoted to performance reviews as time lost for what they consider their real work. In addition to being review enforcers, HR professionals also may bear the responsibility of designing—and defending—their organization’s performance review process, a thankless task.
by Jason R. Mau
Since 1993, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has provided eligible employees with job security for unpaid leave related to certain family and medical issues, including serious health conditions and the care of a newborn baby, a newly placed foster child, or an adopted child. The serious health condition protections extend to employees who care for a parent, spouse, or child. The FMLA also provides protections for caring for injured military servicemembers.
The Act provides eligible employees with 12 weeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period (or 26 weeks to care for a covered servicemember). An employee is eligible if she has worked (1) for an employer that has at least 50 employees in a 75-mile radius for at least 12 months and (2) at least 1,250 hours in the last 12 months.