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Attorney-Client Privilege – What HR Needs to know

18 June 2024

Attorney-Client Privilege – What HR Needs to know

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Attorney-client privilege is one of the most important tools for HR when dealing with risk. This privilege is a foundational legal principle for centuries and allows clients to discuss all legal issues without worrying that the conversation may come back to haunt the client. By having honest conversations, it allows the lawyer to best represent the client. However, the privilege does not protect the underlying facts that may be contained within the communication, just the communication with...
If Marijuana is Reclassified, What Jobs Might It Impact?

28 May 2024

If Marijuana is Reclassified, What Jobs Might It Impact?

Author: Michael Burns

The U.S. Department of Justice has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that would reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I narcotic down to a Schedule III drug. Schedule I controlled substances are in the “mean street neighborhood” including heroin, LSD, and other drugs with “no currently acceptable medical use or treatment.” Schedule III drugs, on the other hand, where it is proposed marijuana be moved to is in a “friendlier neighborhood” of classified...
The Work-Life Revolution: How Line Managers Can Drive Change

14 May 2024

The Work-Life Revolution: How Line Managers Can Drive Change

Author: Heather Nezich

Organizations can improve the work-life balance of their employees by training line managers in work-life support. This training reduces burnout in employees who have little control of when or where they work and increases family engagement of employees who have high work-life flexibility.

The Benefits of Outplacement Services: An Approach to Employee Transition

20 February 2024

The Benefits of Outplacement Services: An Approach to Employee Transition

Author: Emily Price

Companies often face the challenging task of workforce optimization, which may involve layoffs or downsizing. While these decisions are never easy, offering outplacement services can provide many benefits for both employers and employees. There are advantages of embracing outplacement services as a beneficial approach to employee transition during layoffs.

The Election Year is Upon Us - Be Prepared for Workplace Political Discussions…or Worse

23 January 2024

The Election Year is Upon Us - Be Prepared for Workplace Political Discussions…or Worse

Author: Michael Burns

While it seems like elections and politics have been on-going rather than every two or four years, we are now entering the actual election year, and employers should prepare themselves to address possible employee dissent, rancor, or worse.

Changes to Marijuana Testing Laws

23 January 2024

Changes to Marijuana Testing Laws

Author: Susan Chance

As more states and cities make marijuana legal in some format, we can expect drug testing laws to change, and they are. It should not be a surprise that California has already put a new law in place as of January 1, 2024.

Family-Friendly Policies Increase Employee Productivity, Health, Loyalty, and Motivation

28 November 2023

Family-Friendly Policies Increase Employee Productivity, Health, Loyalty, and Motivation

Author: Heather Nezich

A recent report from The Best Place for Working Parents® and Southern Methodist University's Center on Research and Evaluation (CORE) highlights the advantages of family-friendly policies, revealing their positive impact on both working parents and businesses' overall performance.

Employers Can Address Employee Speech Made Outside of Work

14 November 2023

Employers Can Address Employee Speech Made Outside of Work

Author: Michael Burns

ASE has advised on this in the past but with the current state of social media use and the growing rancor and divisiveness in society we remind employers again: employers do have rights when it comes to its employees’ off-work verbal and social media communications.

Should Employers Surveil Employees?

24 October 2023

Should Employers Surveil Employees?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

In the past, employers did not actively surveil employees except in two major areas.  First, the internet.  Employers had to make sure that employees were not going to illicit sites.  Second, on factory floors.  For many, insurance coverage played a role in filming employee activity in case of accidents and other like activities.  There is also recording of calls for customer service, for example, that are stated to be used for training purposes. 
How to Review Employee Handbook Policies Under New NLRB Scrutiny

24 October 2023

How to Review Employee Handbook Policies Under New NLRB Scrutiny

Author: Michael Burns

Employers are advised to review certain employee handbook policies to ensure they will not be found to violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). As we have reported, the pro-labor National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is issuing new Board decisions that are decidedly pro-labor and challenge some long standing employer policies as a violation of a worker’s right to engage in protected concerted activity.

To Test or Not to Test for Marijuana

24 October 2023

To Test or Not to Test for Marijuana

Author: Susan Chance

Now that marijuana has been legalized for recreational use in Michigan and 23 other states and all 50 states have legalized some form of use – from CBD oil only to medical marijuana to fully legalizing use – employers are wondering if they should continue to have applicants/employees submit to drug tests.

Benefits of a Paperless Onboarding

24 October 2023

Benefits of a Paperless Onboarding

Author: Linda Olejniczak

HR professionals are continually seeking ways to cut expenses, enhance operational efficiency, and uphold productivity. When it comes to onboarding procedures, the transition to a paperless approach emerges as a strategic way to realize these objectives. Below, we examine the advantages of paperless onboarding.

Understanding the Distinction: Pay Equity vs. Pay Fairness

5 September 2023

Understanding the Distinction: Pay Equity vs. Pay Fairness

Author: Kevin Marrs

In a March report released by the Pew Research Center, it was revealed that in 2022, women in the United States typically earned 82 cents for each dollar earned by men in similar roles. This statistic remained stagnant when compared to the year 2002 when women earned 80 cents on the dollar. The slow pace of narrowing the gender pay gap in the 21st century stands in stark contrast to the considerable progress made in the preceding two decades. In 1982, women were earning a mere 65 cents for...
NLRB Makes Handbook Policies Easier to Challenge as “Unfair” and an NLRA Violation

9 August 2023

NLRB Makes Handbook Policies Easier to Challenge as “Unfair” and an NLRA Violation

Author: Michael Burns

Not unexpectedly, last week the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) changed its work rule test. The NLRB’s work rule test assesses whether particular employer policies (rules) illegally restrict workers’ rights. The Biden labor Board, now comprised of his appointees, and its General Counsel stated that since this Administration came into office, it would be reviewing many Trump-era labor rules and this rule in particular.

Two New Federal Laws Compel Consideration of New Handbook Policies

18 July 2023

Two New Federal Laws Compel Consideration of New Handbook Policies

Author: Michael Burns

With the enactment of both the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) effective June 27, 2023, and the Nursing Mothers Act also known as the PUMP Act, covered employers should consider adding new policies to communicate compliance and inform employees what they are providing them as a result of those laws.

Why Workplace AI Policies are Essential

27 June 2023

Why Workplace AI Policies are Essential

Author: Anthony Kaylin

ChatGPT and other AI tools are being used by employees to perform their jobs.  In one survey, it was found that around 43% of employees use AI such as ChatGPT at work, mostly without telling their boss.  The problem isn’t just the use of these tools, but the fact employees are providing potentially confidential information to the tools to create solutions. Once the confidential information is in the AI tool, which is a generative AI tool, continuously learning, it is...
Are Employer Demands Resulting in a Loss of Engagement and Productivity?

13 June 2023

Are Employer Demands Resulting in a Loss of Engagement and Productivity?

Author: Heather Nezich

About half of workers are not fully engaged in their jobs, according to a study conducted by Gallup. This means they are only doing the minimum required to get by – not good for employers. This drop in employee engagement has happened two years in a row. But why?

Keep Your Handbook Up to Date – Lactation and Remote Work Policies

30 May 2023

Keep Your Handbook Up to Date – Lactation and Remote Work Policies

Author: Michael Burns

With the passage of the PUMP Act last year employers with 50 or more employees should now consider including a policy addressing nursing mothers in the workplace. Employers under 50 in size may have an exemption but only if they can demonstrate that compliance for a particular employee causes undue hardship.

Does Your Handbook Need a 2023 Refresh?

17 January 2023

Does Your Handbook Need a 2023 Refresh?

Author: Linda Olejniczak

Updating your employee handbook is a critical annual initiative for an HR department.  It ensures compliance with industry standards and federal and state laws.  

Check Your Limitations of Action Agreement – If You Use One

17 January 2023

Check Your Limitations of Action Agreement – If You Use One

Author: Michael Burns

What is a statute of limitations agreement? In the employment context, this is an agreement between the employer and employee that states the employee agrees to bring any claims against the employer within a specific period of time after employment.

Instead of Competing with WFH – Embrace It!

1 November 2022

Instead of Competing with WFH – Embrace It!

Author: Linda Olejniczak

Many organizations have had to adjust their return to office plans due to employees revolting. Rather than compete with the home office, try embracing it by creating an office that builds off of what your employees love about working from home.

Cybersecurity – Is your Company Prepared?

18 October 2022

Cybersecurity – Is your Company Prepared?

Author: Linda Olejniczak

Businesses, both large and small, are increasingly reliant on the internet for daily operations, creating attractive and potentially lucrative targets for cyber criminals.  As a new era of work from anywhere is ushered in, traditional in-office firewalls don’t work.  A cyber attack can cripple any size company.

Cell Phones in the Workplace

4 October 2022

Cell Phones in the Workplace

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Cell phones in the workplace are a distraction that employers want to control and employees don’t want them to control.  The common statement by an employee is “what if I get an emergency call?  I cannot be unavailable to my . . .“ And what makes this worse is that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) generally sides with employees without regard to the practicalities involved.

Increase Inclusiveness by Recognizing Juneteenth in the Workplace

4 October 2022

Increase Inclusiveness by Recognizing Juneteenth in the Workplace

Author: Emily Price

As you put together your 2023 holiday calendar, have you considered Juneteenth? Since June 2021, Juneteenth National Independence Day (“Juneteenth”) is recognized as a U.S. federal holiday.  According to a survey performed by Harvard Business Review, only 41% of U.S. workers were aware of Juneteenth prior to 2020.   Why the date, June 19th, you ask? On this date in the year 1865, Union soldiers arrived in Texas to announce that the Civil War was over, and...
Remote Workers and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

20 September 2022

Remote Workers and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Author: Michael Burns

A recent article published in CCH HRAnswersNow Expert Insights looks at the issue of FMLA coverage for remote workers. In this case, a person worked from their home which was well outside what could be reasonably considered within the coverage area of the FMLA.

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