EverythingPeople This Week!

25

Jul

2017

Non-Compete Agreement Battle Continues Around Country

Author: Michael Burns

Non-compete agreements are a common employer approach to protecting their business from customer poaching, losing business process secrets, and losing valuable employees. These agreements have always been somewhat controversial because they can be used to restrict employment opportunities. 

11

Jul

2017

To Ask or Not to Ask

Author: Heather Nezich

The salary history question has become quite controversial in recent months, and some cities and states have created laws around it.  It used to be an expected question during the interview process, but there is debate over whether the question is a fair one and could cause pay inequality to prevail as women progress through their careers.

11

Jul

2017

Amazon Prime Day – The Latest Cybershopping Headache for Employers

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

If Cyber Monday during the holidays isn’t bad enough with on-line shopping distracting employees and impacting productivity, now employers have to deal with the latest online shopping “holiday” mid-year with Amazon Prime Day.  For those who aren’t familiar with Amazon Prime Day, it is the mid-summer sales equivalent of Christmas in July.

20

Jun

2017

Website Title III ADA Violation Impacts Employers

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Although seemingly far-fetched, a lawsuit which hit grocer Winn-Dixie concerning accessibility to its website should make HR take notice.  A federal trial court in Florida ruled that Winn-Dixie violated Title III of the ADA by having a website that was not useable by plaintiff Juan Carlos Gil to download coupons, order prescriptions, and find store locations.  Mr. Gil is blind and uses screen reader software to access websites.  The judge ordered injunctive relief, including a...

20

Jun

2017

Lights Out! Now What?

Author: Jason Rowe

Summer is here, the sun is out, the wind is blowing and there is not a lot to worry about. That is until the next summer thunderstorm rolls in and the office loses power. Do you know what your next steps would be or how other businesses react in a similar situation? ASE’s 2017 Business Disruption and Disaster Planning Survey reveals how local companies handle business disruptions like the power outage event this past March or more recently the boil water event in Livonia.

13

Jun

2017

Failure to Communicate Leads to FMLA Liability

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Under FMLA regulations, employers are required to provide multiple types of notices to the employee, when the employee requests FMLA leave.  One of those notices is to provide the employee with information about the amount of time available under FMLA leave.   Failure to do so could lead to unintended consequences for the employer.

13

Jun

2017

Independent Contractor Guidance Withdrawn by US Department of Labor – More Freedom or More Potential Liability?

Author: Michael Burns

Signaling the start of the Trump Administration’s rollback of employment and labor Obama era regulations, the Department of Labor announced it is withdrawing its two guidance letters that further defined the restrictions on engaging a worker as an independent contractor. 

6

Jun

2017

Orlando Workplace Shooting Serves as Wake-Up Call for Employers

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

On Monday, June 5, John Neumann, Jr., a former employee of Fiamma Inc. located in Orlando Florida, went on a fatal workplace shooting spree killing six employees before he killed himself.  He was fired in April by his former employer.  According to Orlando County Sheriff Jerry Demings, Neumann targeted his victims and had a “negative relationship” with at least one of them.  While we all want to think something like this will never happen to us, it can, and...

6

Jun

2017

No Jerks Allowed

Author: Heather Nezich

It’s likely fair to say that we’ve all come across a jerk or two in our work lives.  In a recent survey by Connectria Hosting, 83% of respondents said they’d worked with one or more jerks during the past five years.  Connectria and others have now created “No Jerks Allowed” policies for their workplaces.

6

Jun

2017

Employer Policy Provisions Hold Up Against FMLA Violation in Court

Author: Michael Burns

Most employer Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) policies restate the notice requirements and other information mandated by the FMLA posting rules. In addition, they should state any company-specific policies regarding FMLA leave.  If certain issues are not specifically addressed in the policy, it may end up in the court’s hand to decide during a law suit.

 

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...
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American Society of Employers

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