EverythingPeople This Week!

23

May

2017

Can Drug Tests Be Multiple Choice?

Author: Chance,Susan

Kurt Rambis, former NBA champion and coach, is quoted as saying, “I’m in favor of drug tests, just so long as they are multiple choice.” There are many different types of drug tests available for screening applicants and employees for drug use, but can they be multiple choice? In a way they can. How? Well I’m so glad you asked.

16

May

2017

Michigan Appeals Court Looks to Handbook Language to Settle Compensation Claim

Author: Michael Burns

A recent Michigan Appeals Court decision (unpublished) again affirms that courts regularly and purposely use employee handbook policy language to determine what the employer means when a dispute arises about payment of wages or fringe benefits. In the case of Robert E. Heine v. Mack 1 Global Services, Inc. (No.328964) 4/25/2017, the issue for the court was whether the organization’s incentive plan was properly followed in the payment of monies allegedly earned under the employer’s...

16

May

2017

Bullying Doesn’t Just Happen on the Playground

Author: Heather Nezich

School bullying is now a household term recognized widely, but what about workplace bullying?  Workplace bullying has affected 27% of workers according to a survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute.  The majority of workplace bullies are bosses, and 72% of employers deny, discount, defend, or rationalize the bullying.  61% of victims wind up losing their jobs as a result.

9

May

2017

Stay Interviews Help to Avoid Exit Interviews

Author: Heather Nezich

Stay interviews are the best defense against employee attrition.  While exit interviews can have value, you are finding out the information too late.  By conducting regular stay interviews, you’ll discover exactly what employees like and don’t like about their job and the workplace.  This allows you to make changes before employees leave, resulting in reduced employee turnover.

9

May

2017

Defending Equal Pay Act Claims Becoming More Difficult

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Under the Equal Pay Act (EPA), courts have generally allowed employers to prove that some “factor other than sex” justified the pay differentials.  However, a recent Federal 8th Circuit of Appeals case narrowed the parameters that employers can use to defend EPA lawsuits and allowed broadening of testimony to show the employer is committing systemic discrimination.

9

May

2017

Best Practices for Auditing I-9 Forms

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Immigration issues are high priority for the current administration, and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) has indicated that it will be increasing their enforcement activities this year.   As a result of this intensified focus on immigration compliance, employers should be wary of potential ICE inspections of employer I-9 Employment Authorization Verification records.  In 2016, employer penalties for I-9 form infractions and paperwork errors increased...

2

May

2017

Is it Legal to Pay a Woman Less if Based on Salary History?

Author: Heather Nezich

Solely based on Federal law…yes.  A federal court ruled last week that it is legal to pay female employees less than men if it is based on past salary history.  This decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturns a previous ruling that stated that pay differences solely on past salary history were discriminatory, based on the Equal Pay Act.

2

May

2017

Does Title IX Apply to Co-ops and Interns?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Summer is approaching and many employers hire co-ops, interns and work study students during that time period.  When employing a student and the student is the object of harassment, the question is whether the student can seek relief under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act (Act), Title IX of the Act, or both.  A recent case from the federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals answered affirmatively that both could apply.  

2

May

2017

Federal Compensatory Time Off Legislation Introduced

Author: Michael Burns

One of the more frequent questions ASE receives from private employers is about how to practice compensatory time off. Compensatory time off is the practice of “paying” overtime worked through paid time off at some later time. ASE frequently advises that most compensatory time practices are illegal. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires payment to non-exempt employees (hourly and salaried) of time worked over 40 hours in a week at time and one-half pay. Therefore, if an...

18

Apr

2017

Pay Equity Plays Important Role in Employee Engagement and Retention

Author: Jason Rowe

Do you worry about hiring the right people? Do you worry about retaining and engaging your current workforce? All in an effort to drive business performance?  Maybe it is time to look at your organization’s pay equity.

11

Apr

2017

Ohio Most Recent State to Pass “Parking Lot” Gun Law

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

On March 21, 2017, the state of Ohio was the most recent state to approve a gun law that allows individuals with a valid concealed handgun license (CCW) to possess firearms in their vehicles on their employer’s property.  This type of gun law is commonly referred to as a “parking lot" gun law, and Ohio has joined a growing list that now totals over 20 states that have enacted such a law.  The intent of these guns-at-work laws is to protect an individual’s right to...

11

Apr

2017

You Want the Truth

Author: Chance,Susan

“You want answers?” “I want the truth!” This was a passionate exchange that took place between Tom Cruise as Lt. Daniel Kaffe, and Jack Nicholson as Col. Nathan R. Jessup, in the 1992 film A Few Good Men. When you run a background check you don’t just want answers, you want the truth, but are you getting the whole truth?

21

Mar

2017

No Man is an Island - But Your Authorization and Disclosure Forms Must Be

Author: Chance,Susan

No man is an island entire of itself . . . In Meditation XVII John Donne writes of how we are all connected to one another.  As human beings, connection with others is essential to our well-being. However, when it comes to Authorization and Disclosure Forms, it is being an island that is essential to being in compliance with FCRA requirements. 

28

Feb

2017

What’s in a Name?

Author: Chance,Susan

“That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” is a beautifully poetic line uttered by Juliet to Romeo in Shakespeare’s famous play. It is a romantic notion that a person’s name is of no importance, and in the romance department perhaps that is true.  But not with background checks.

28

Feb

2017

Does Your Organization Properly Pay Overtime on Bonus Payouts to Non-exempt/Hourly Employees?

Author: Michael Burns

As the “books” close on 2016, final incentive plan/bonus payments are being made to eligible employees in many organizations. Today variable pay in the form of incentive pay and bonuses is not just for executives. ASE’s 2016/17 Salary Budget Survey results show that almost 50% of employers have an annual bonus for non-union hourly employees and 45% of employers have an annual bonus for salaried non-exempt employees as one form of variable pay. And this is just one type of...

21

Feb

2017

The Prevalence of Mental Illness in the Workplace

Author: Mary Corrado

I was recently surprised to find out that an estimated 1 in 5 employees suffers from some form of mental illness.  This led me to dig a little deeper into this topic and find out what is causing this and what corporate leadership can do to prevent it and handle it when it happens.

21

Feb

2017

Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals' Decisions Continue to Roll in Favor of Employers

Author: Michael Burns

Some of the most frustrating and expensive lawsuits are where employees run up medical related absences without seeming end. When the employer terminates them, they sue. Last week EPTW reported on the Sixth Circuit upholding an employer’s discharge of an employee that failed to properly give notice under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The Court deferred to the employer’s proper execution of its attendance notification policy and upheld the discharge. This week the Sixth...

14

Feb

2017

Office Romance is in the Air

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

According to Career Builder’s annual Valentine’s Day survey, office romance is in the air in the workplace and at a 10 year high.  The 2017 survey results reveal that 41% of employees have dated a co-worker, up from 37% percent last year and the highest rate since 2007.  Close to one third (30%) of those office relationships led to marriage, which is keeping on par with last year’s findings.  

14

Feb

2017

Failing to Follow Notification Requirements Kills FMLA Claim

Author: Anthony Kaylin

It has long been an issue of whether an employee must follow a process to report absenteeism, in particular for FMLA purposes.  The question for many FMLA retaliation cases revolved around whether the employee gave timely sufficient notice to the employer even though the notification policy was not followed.   For example, a manager may know of an employee’s need for FMLA leave and fail to tell HR.  Later, the employee is disciplined for absenteeism.  The fact...

31

Jan

2017

Employees Engaging In Political Activism – Employer Guidelines

Author: Michael Burns

What, if anything, can an employer do if politics and political discourse begin to disrupt the workplace? Post-election anxiety and tensions continue to run high and corresponding political discourse is winding its way into the workplace in one form or another. Can an employer squelch political discussion? Should they? What about employee political action outside the workplace?

31

Jan

2017

Bullying in the Workforce

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Workplace bullying is way more common than it should be.  Research from the University of Phoenix revealed that over 75% of employees surveyed have experienced workplace bullying – either as a witness or a victim.  It’s important to be aware of the signs within your organization so that you can recognize when bullying is occurring and stop it in its tracks.

17

Jan

2017

When Joint Responsibility Causes Problems for Employers

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Joint responsibility hits employers at times in what seems to be very mysterious ways.  The obscure issues that can arise are not always considered or planned for in the joint employer relationship.  For example, in a recent court case out of the Federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, a question arose about whose liability insurance covers a staffing agency provided temporary nurse at a hospital.  More specifically, the question the court had to review was whether a nurse...

17

Jan

2017

US Supreme Court Agrees to Settle the Use of Class Action Arbitration Waivers

Author: Michael Burns

In what could be the judicial heavyweight match of the year (in at least the employment law realm), last Friday the Supreme Court agreed to examine three petitions to determine whether employers can require employees to arbitrate a dispute individually rather than through a class or collective proceeding.

20

Dec

2016

HR Trends to Expect in 2017

Author: Heather Nezich

2017 is right around the corner, and the HR industry is ever changing.  The war for talent continues to evolve, performance reviews as we know them are disappearing, and just when we figured out the Millennials, Generation Z is entering the work force.  Let’s look at some trends being predicted for 2017.

13

Dec

2016

With the New Administration, What HR Rules are on the Chopping Block?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

With the election of Donald Trump and the control of both houses of congress by the Republicans, the question has been asked many times – what Obama Administration rules will be on the chopping block?  There have been many new rules initiated, including FLSA Overtime, Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces, OSHA and more.   

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