EverythingPeople This Week!

19

May

2020

Mask Wearing and Other New Safety and Health Rules – Employees and Customers May Express Their Opinion. Be Ready to Reply.

Author: Michael Burns

Although employers will be implementing many new safety and health practices in the coming weeks and months, there will also be employee relations challenges as a result. Some employees will come back believing that wearing a face mask at work is a request not a requirement. Some may even take rules requiring wearing a face mask as a political challenge or an afront to their personal liberties. Employers will need to be ready to communicate why the employee cannot ignore or refuse to comply...

21

Apr

2020

Contemplating Policy Concerns with Employee Masking

Author: Michael Burns

ASE has turned its Coronavirus resourcing toward returning to work. In the coming days and weeks, ASE will be putting out resources and webinars to help employers prepare for their restart/re-opening. Much of this will be about safety. One safety recommendation is face masking.

17

Mar

2020

Companies Are Scurrying to Implement Virtual Work Policies

Author: Heather Nezich

Employers are taking quick action to keep their employees safe from COVID-19 (Coronoavirus). According to the March study of 1,097 adults, a third of respondents say their organizations have a plan in place they are confident about and 43% have a basic plan—even if it is "hastily assembled". Most plans center on remote work and travel restrictions. Specifically:

10

Mar

2020

FAQ’s for Potential HR Issues Arising from the Coronavirus

Author: Anthony Kaylin

As of March 11, it is reported that the global death toll from the virus is now around 4,300. COVID-19 has infected over 119,500 people across the world and spread to more than 80 countries and territories so far.  There have been 30 reported deaths in the United States with over 1,000 reported cases.  Two cases are now being reported in Michigan (Wayne County – domestic travel identified and currently in isolation; Oakland County – international travel identified and...

18

Feb

2020

Keeping Up With Cannabis in the Workplace in Michigan

Author: Michael Burns

ASE is monitoring Michigan’s experience with recreational marijuana and its impact on the workplace. Though not providing too much in the way of new information a recent article provided by CCH Ideas and Trends puts a finer point on employer compliance responsibilities in states where recreational marijuana use is legal.

17

Dec

2019

Top Benefit Trends of 2019 and Beyond

Author: Sara Sosnowski

As 2019 comes to an end we can look back at how benefit offerings have changed this year and perhaps get a glimpse into what might continue to be a trend into 2020 and beyond. Being in an employee-driven market right now makes for new benefit offerings that cater to candidates and current employees alike. Human Resource Executive classified top five benefit trends of 2019.

19

Nov

2019

Record Setting November Snowfall - What is Your Inclement Weather Policy?

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Snow, snow, and more snow!  Last week Michigan was hammered with a record-breaking November snowstorm that surprised many, closing schools and making work commutes difficult.  The National Weather Service recorded a daily maximum snowfall of 8.5 inches at Detroit Metro Airport on Monday November 11 that broke a record that had stood for nearly 94 years. It was the highest November daily snowfall, topping the previous high mark of 6.2 inches set on Nov. 15, 1925. 

24

Sep

2019

2019 Severance Pay, Policy, and Practices Survey Results Released

Author: Jason Rowe

Michigan employers are offering severance benefits to more employees at all levels. ASE’s recently released 2019 Severance Pay, Policy, and Practices Survey reports increased eligibility in benefit offerings to all employee groups.  Employees in technician roles saw the largest increase in their eligibility for severance benefits at 11%.

20

Aug

2019

Michigan’s New Marijuana Law Does Not Protect Being Under the Influence at Work, But Other Legal Protections May Apply

Author: Michael Burns

ASE is monitoring both Michigan law and employer policy and practices in response to the legalization of marijuana in this state. Though Michigan has joined a growing number of states that have legalized marijuana use, employers do not have to change their policies against the use of marijuana if they are satisfied with how their policies and practices are working.

29

Jul

2019

Legalization of Marijuana Movement Compels Employer Policy Considerations

Author: Michael Burns

Marijuana use legalization continues to sweep across the United States. Michigan adopted recreational marijuana use late in 2018, and the state is awaiting commercial licensing approval for the sale of marijuana. Illinois is expecting to pass recreational marijuana use next year, and the New York Times (NYT) sees New York and New Jersey following suit in the near future.

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: Anonym

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...
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