EverythingPeople This Week!

9

Jul

2019

Hygiene in the Workplace: An HR Dilemma

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Bad news for consumer product suppliers, it appears that deodorant use is declining in the United States.  Approximately 40% of people ages 18 to 24 years old haven't used deodorant or antiperspirant in the last month. 48% say they haven't bought those products in the past year. 31% of those 25-34 are also not using deodorant. The data comes from polling company YouGov, which surveyed more than 52,000 people on the issue. When asked why not use deodorant, respondents generally stated...

25

Jun

2019

Employers – Ensure Your Grooming Policies Aren’t Discriminatory

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Most employers have policies that outline requirements regarding dress and appearance.  These can range from business vs. casual dress, if body piercings or visible tattoos are allowed, and some outline grooming standards.  Some employer grooming standards not only require a neat appearance but may also detail whether certain hairstyles or certain hair colors are prohibited or whether male employees must be clean shaven or have short hair.  As employers define their dress code...

11

Jun

2019

JP Morgan Chase Settles for $5 Million in Largest Paternity Leave Lawsuit

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

In May 2019, JP Morgan Chase reached a tentative settlement of $5 million dollars to resolve a class action lawsuit alleging the bank’s parental leave policy was biased against dads.  It is the largest recorded settlement in a U.S. parental leave discrimination complaint. 

28

May

2019

ASE Reasonable Suspicion Training Provides Supervisors and HR Professionals Information to Address Potential Drug Use on Site

Author: Michael Burns

In response to Michigan becoming only the tenth state to legalize recreational use of marijuana, ASE is now sponsoring a class to train supervisors, managers, HR professionals, and others to address reasonable suspicion behavior. Despite marijuana use being legalized in Michigan, employers have control to prohibit an employee from being under the influence of marijuana, just like alcohol, at work.

30

Apr

2019

Job Offers in Michigan can be Rescinded for Medical Marijuana Positive Testing

Author: Anthony Kaylin

According to a recent (April 23rd) case from the Michigan Appellate Court located in Ingham County, a job offer may be revoked if the applicant tests positive for marijuana, even if it is considered medical marijuana.

26

Mar

2019

Spring Clean Your Background Screening Process

Author: Susan Chance

It’s hard to tell by the weather we had last week, but it is spring. Spring is that time of year when we start to see that change from everything being gray and dirty, to becoming green and colorful with the flowers that start to grow. It is also time for spring cleaning. Most people think of giving their home a thorough cleaning, putting the winter accoutrements away, and generally getting things in order for the new season. But when is the last time you gave your background process a...

12

Mar

2019

Can a Reduced Work Week Increase Productivity and Engagement?

Author: Shannon Reed

Recently, there’s been lots of discussions about the average work week of an American worker.  As an industrialized nation, work-life policies in the U.S. tend to lag behind other industrialized nations.  Nowhere is this more clearly seen than in the basic construct of our work week.

26

Feb

2019

Another Court Decision Affirms Importance of Documentation and Record Keeping

Author: Michael Burns

One of the most basic supervisory/human resource responsibilities should be documentation of performance and disciplinary actions; however, it is often the most neglected. Notes and write-ups as well as formal performance reviews need to be consistently conducted and maintained on record by the employer.

19

Feb

2019

Paid Time off for Parental Leave is on the Rise

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

While Michigan employers are preparing for the new Michigan Paid Sick Leave Act that takes effect on March 29th, another paid leave benefit is on the rise.  Employers offering paid parental leave benefits rose significantly between 2016 and 2018 according to SHRM.  Employers offering paid maternity leave increased from 26% to 35% in 2018, and paid paternity leave increased from 21% to 29% during that same time period.  Paid adoption leave increased from 20% to 28%, foster child...

19

Feb

2019

Developing or Integrating Your Organization’s Paid Time Off to Comply with Michigan’s New PTO Law

Author: Michael Burns

With the passage of and impending enactment date (March 29, 2019) of Michigan’s new Paid Medical Leave Act, employers that are covered are hastily reviewing their existing vacation, sick, and personal time, as well as formal Paid Time Off benefits and policies to see how far off they may be from compliance with the new law.

12

Feb

2019

Do You Have an Office Valentine?

Author: Heather Nezich

One out of every three American adults currently are or previously have been in a workplace romance, according to a new poll released by SHRM—the Society for Human Resource Management.  To help deal with the complications of workplace romance, many organizations implement love contracts.

12

Feb

2019

Limitation of Actions Agreement – A Somewhat Obscure but Sometimes Very Effective Employment Term

Author: Michael Burns

Does your company effectively limit an employee’s right to sue? Michigan employers have the right to restrict the time an employee can bring wrongful employment practice claims under Michigan law. This may be accomplished through the use of a simple Limitation of Actions clause. The typical Limitation of Actions term states:

5

Feb

2019

Record Setting Polar Vortex - What is Your Inclement Weather Policy?

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Many organizations found themselves unprepared for the record cold that gripped the Midwest for days last week.  Inclement weather can have a serious impact on an employer’s productivity, be it managing employees who can’t make it into work due to heavy snowfalls or school closings, or trying to figure out whether to send employees home early due to an approaching blizzard or closing the office and allowing telecommuting due to the bitter cold.

8

Jan

2019

Mistakes Managers Make That Can Trigger Lawsuits

Author: Heather Nezich

Employer law suits have increased over the years.  And whether legitimate or not, they cost employers time and money.  Many of these lawsuits are not triggered by blatant abuse of employment laws, but rather simple managerial mistakes.

18

Dec

2018

Pregnancy Discrimination Act Refresher

Author: Anthony Kaylin

In 1978 Congress passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA).  The first clause of the PDA specifies that Title VII's prohibition against sex discrimination applies to discrimination "because of or on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions."  The PDA's second clause states that employers must treat "women affected by pregnancy . . . the same for all employment-related purposes . . . as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or...

14

Dec

2018

Breaking News - Governor Snyder Signs Michigan Minimum Wage and Earned Sick Time Laws

Author: Michael Burns

Late Thursday, Governor Snyder signed the Minimum Wage law (SB 1171) that takes Michigan’s minimum wage to a maximum of $12.05/hr. in 2030 and removed the future indexing of the minimum wage to inflation. He also signed the Earned Sick Time law (SB 1175) that implements paid time off for employee or family member illness, injury, domestic violence, and sexual assault. The new law applies to employers with over 50 employees.

11

Dec

2018

Tis the Season in the #MeToo Era – Fewer U.S. Companies Celebrate with Holiday Parties

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

While the holidays are a wonderful time of the year to let down your hair, blow off some steam, and boost morale within the office, employers must be cautious about legal liability that can result from sexual harassment complaints, drunken driving accidents, and property damage arising out of a holiday party.  According to a recent survey released by consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., fewer U.S. companies are celebrating with holiday parties this year with only 65% of...

27

Nov

2018

Preliminary Survey Results - ASE Drug Testing and Marijuana Legalization Survey

Author: Jason Rowe

Michigan is the first Midwestern state to legalize the use of recreational marijuana by a vote of 56% to 44%. What does that mean for Michigan employers? The preliminary data from ASE’s Drug Testing and Marijuana Legalization Survey provides insight into employers’ first thoughts on where their policies and practices currently stand and what changes, if any, they are considering.

20

Nov

2018

Better Family Policies Key to Fixing Labor Participation Rate

Author: Kevin Marrs

Is your organization struggling in this new era of full-employment?  According to a study from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco the U.S. is now at full employment.  And while most would look at full employment as a good thing, it does bring with it some challenges.  Notably, a lack of qualified talent and meeting the demand to increase salaries in order to attract and retain talent, to name a few.

13

Nov

2018

Reduce Presenteeism – It Isn’t Helping Anyone

Author: Heather Nezich

Flu season has arrived and one of the biggest hazards might be your own employees, or you.  Why? People coming to work sick, otherwise known as presenteeism.   According to an office team survey 70% of workers admit to frequently going to work sick.   

16

Oct

2018

Illinois Employee Reinstated Contrary to Company No Gun Policy

Author: Michael Burns

Last week the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals re-instated an employee terminated because while arguing with his supervisor he allegedly made threatening remarks. It was also known the employee carried concealed weapons on his person or in his vehicle. This would be in breach of the company’s workplace violence policy that prohibits employees from possessing unauthorized weapons in the workplace. Several days later representatives of the company along with a union representative and a...

4

Sep

2018

The Value of Continuous Background Screening

Author: Susan Chance

You run pre-employment background checks on your candidates, and those that pass your company policies for screening are hired. Education and employment information that has been verified won’t change, but criminal records, driving records, and credit reports can change. How do you know if your employees still meet the necessary criteria for their job? Many employers are moving to a continuous screening process to aid in risk management.

28

Aug

2018

Sixth Circuit Court Falls into Line with Right of Employers to Enforce Class Action Arbitration Clauses

Author: Michael Burns

On August 15th the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a ruling upholding an employer’s agreement to arbitrate claims individually.  This decision was in line with the recent Supreme Court decision that determined the National Labor Relations Act’s (NLRA) stated right of collective concerted activity did not supersede the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). In its Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis decision (138 S. Ct. 1612 [2018]) the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) held that the...

7

Aug

2018

Employee Handbook Union-Free Policy Statements

Author: Michael Burns

ASE reviews dozens of employee handbooks each year along with hundreds of individual policies being written or updated by our members. One policy that does not get a lot of attention nor is found in many employee handbooks these days is a statement on union-free status.

24

Jul

2018

Sheriffs Not Entitled Pay for Donning, Doffing, and Travel to Work

Author: Michael Burns

The Portal to Portal Act (1947) was enacted to clarify hours worked wage issues that the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) (1938) did not address. The general rule put in place by this amendment was enunciated in a U.S. Supreme Court decision one year prior (1946).  The rule stated that if the employee was engaging in activities that benefit the employer, he or she should be paid for those services regardless of where the work was performed. It also specified that normal travel to and from...
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