EverythingPeople This Week!

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...

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.

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...

26

Jun

2018

Employee Non-compete Agreement Developments Continue in 2018

Author: Michael Burns

ASE is following judicial and other developments in the areas of employee non-compete and no -poaching (also known as No-Collusion) terms normally used to restrict employee job hopping activity. As addressed earlier this year in ASE’s EPTW articles, the USDOJ continues to update its Anti-Poaching Agreement Position (4/18/2018) and Know Your Restrictive Covenant’s Terms and Definitions (4/23/2018).  The courts and the government (both state and federal) are attacking...

19

Jun

2018

Use of Employee Personal Devices for Work

Author: Michael Burns

Allowing employees to use their own personal electronic devices for doing work presents compliance concerns. From the human resources compliance perspective, employers’ concern is often focused on non-exempt employees being paid legally for working off the clock by responding to emails, texts, and phone calls after hours. Other compliance concerns include performance management, discrimination, harassment, privacy, and safety.

22

May

2018

Smartphones Require BYOD Policies

Author: Keisha Ward

Bring your own Device (BYOD) is an area that all organizations are having to address more today then ever before.  According to SHRM, in 2017 86% of employees used their personal smartphones for work. As we grow more and more reliant on technology and more accustomed to having information readily available, the desire to use one’s own personal device increases. 

22

May

2018

Automated External Defibrillator Use and Liability – What’s Happening Now?

Author: Michael Burns

The number of companies choosing to install Automated External Defibrillators (AED) has grown considerably over the years. ASE’s 2017/18 Michigan Policies and Benefits Survey showed over 73% of employers have one or more AEDs on-site. AEDs are life savers. There are over 350,000 cardiac arrest incidents each year. OSHA reported that about 10,000 of these occurrences happened at work.  It is estimated that 95% of those persons die before reaching the hospital. However, if a person...

15

May

2018

Make Sure Your Substance Abuse Policies are Up to Date

Author: Michael Burns

It is recommended employers (and their HR professionals) check their substance abuse policies to ensure they are up to date given some ongoing regulatory and judicial developments. Three developing substance abuse areas Michigan employers need to be aware of are:

24

Apr

2018

Tornado Season is Here – Is Your Organization Prepared?

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Spring has finally seemed to make its way to Michigan, but as the weather turns warmer along with it comes spring storms and the possibility of tornados.  While tornados can occur any time of the year, they are especially common during the late spring and early summer months in Michigan. As one of nature’s most violent storms, they can devastate homes, businesses, and property in just seconds.  The most violent tornados may have wind speeds of 250 mph or more and may last for...

24

Apr

2018

Types of Restrictive Covenants Available to Protect Your Organization

Author: Michael Burns

Employers are faced with many concerns over the acts of employees and former employees that conflict with employers’ best interests. From starting a competing enterprise to stealing customers or clients, employers can address most of these situations with a good employment contract.  The following outlines the various types of restrictive covenants employers can put in place to address these concerns.

17

Apr

2018

U.S. Department of Justice Continues its Anti-Poaching Agreement Position

Author: Michael Burns

In January the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it would pursue anti-poaching agreements as a violation of antitrust law.  The Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division made it official last week by issuing an announcement about its case against several companies in violation of the law.  The DOJ announced it had filed a complaint against Knorr-Bremse AG, Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation, and Faiveley Transport for conspiring to not compete for...

27

Mar

2018

Harassment by Emojis – The Newest Headache for HR

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Several weeks ago, in EverythingPeople This Week!, we reported on studies that showed that when an employee uses emojis in their work communications it can actually make them look less competent.  Aside from the impact to an employee’s reputation, there is a more sinister issue HR needs to be aware of.  Emoji use has now become another potential avenue for sexual harassment.

13

Mar

2018

Drug Testing Laws Vary by State

Author: Susan Chance

Drug testing laws vary from state to state, and sometimes from city to city. It seems almost every day something is in the news about marijuana laws, and those laws are not always as simple as medical vs. recreational marijuana. New legislation has been passed in several states in 2017, and if your company has offices in other states, it is critical that you know the laws for each of your locales. Following are some of the updates from 2017:

13

Mar

2018

Brace Yourself for the March Madness Productivity Drop

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

The highly televised Olympic games just ended and over the course of 2½ weeks in February, NBC live streamed all 1,800 plus hours of the winter games.  For employers, this provided plenty of distractions as employees often diverted their attention to track their favorite sports and athletes.  Now that the calendar has flipped to March, employers should be prepared for the next productivity drain – the March Madness NCAA college basketball tournament.  

6

Mar

2018

Workplace Monitoring Technology Getting Too Close for Comfort

Author: Michael Burns

For each advancement in work monitoring technology, personal privacy dissipates, and legal concerns grow. Security cameras, computer software that monitors keystrokes and computer use, and key fob sensors are now considered old compared to what is now available.

13

Feb

2018

Love Contracts in the Office?

Author: Heather Nezich

Many employees have signed non-disclosure agreements or non-compete agreements, but a love contract?  With all the recent news around sexual harassment in the workplace, employers are taking a new, stricter stance on romance in the office.

30

Jan

2018

Avoid Your Own HR Horror Story

Author: Susan Chance

While more and more companies are conducting background checks and drug screening, there are still many employers who don’t want to spend the money it takes to complete a thorough background check.  Penny wise, pound foolish is an old British saying that means to be extremely careful about small amounts of money and not careful enough about larger amounts of money.  Failing to complete a full background check on new employees may be a pound foolish decision especially when...

30

Jan

2018

US Department of Justice Continues its Pursuit of Naked No Hire or Poach Agreements

Author: Michael Burns

“Naked” no poach agreements – what are they? Naked wage-fixing or no-poaching agreements among employers, whether entered into directly or through a third-party, are illegal under the antitrust laws.  That means that if the agreement is separate from or not reasonably necessary to a larger legitimate collaboration between the employers, the agreement is deemed illegal without any inquiry into its competitive effect.
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