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Are You Terminating Employees “By the Book?”

    The unpleasant take of discharging an employee should follow a time-tested protocol to put you in a defensible position should your decision be challenged in a proceeding or in court. You need to review and investigate any issues in which a supervisor wants you to terminate an employee. The possibility of an employee being “fired on the spot” for any offense should not even be a possibility. The maximum authority any supervisor should have is to suspend an employee pending further investigation. Immediate supervisors should be given the right to recommend termination but should not be permitted to fire an employee. Frequently,… Read More »Are You Terminating Employees “By the Book?”

    Why We Need An FMLA Review

      The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has been in effect for employers with 50 or more employees for decades. While the number of obvious cases of interference has declined, the number of claims investigated by the Department of Labor over employers who get “too cute” with the Act, now make up the lion’s share of its investigations. Investigations, of course, can land you in court. Instances in which companies were found to have skirted the Act include: Drafting and using a FMLA policy that does not comport with the Act to the detriment of employees. Assessing attendance points and terminating an employee… Read More »Why We Need An FMLA Review

      Organizing Without Unionizing

        Did you know that your employees can organize without “unionizing” to get protection under federal labor laws? The National Labor Relations Act provides this alternative as a way to give employees more clout on the job by permitting workplace committees engaged in “protected concerted activity” to negotiate with an employer over wages and other terms and conditions of employment. The Act (enacted under President Franklin Roosevelt in 1935) prohibits employers from retaliating against workers who join together to improve their working conditions. Employers typically think of the Act as a means of formal union organizing. It is, however, much more… Read More »Organizing Without Unionizing

        Your employee handbook, Your best defense

          An employee handbook presents an excellent opportunity for you to educate employees about your organization, its history, and its origin. It also allows you to establish a positive employee relations philosophy, to let your employees know that they are an essential and valued part of your organization, and to instill in them a loyal, positive, and favorable attitude toward you. It is also your best defense at an unemployment compensation hearing, before an administrative agency, or in court. Every union-free organization that wants to remain that way should consider a clear statement explaining management’s preference for a direct, personal employment… Read More »Your employee handbook, Your best defense

          Your Company’s Need for a Medical Communications Policy

            Your workplace is governed in part by administrative agencies when it comes to medical communication with employees.  Employers are constantly running the risk of asking, saying or doing the  wrong  thing when it comes to making inquiries of an employee’s medical condition. Prevent your company from charges and lawsuits with a Medical Communications Policy. When you hire an applicant, you need a policy which provides for medical examinations to determine whether they can perform the essential functions of the job. Employees may be required to have an examination on other occasions, such as transfers or promotions, or whenever management determines that the… Read More »Your Company’s Need for a Medical Communications Policy

            Title VII Now Prohibits Sex Discrimination

              A ground breaking ruling was announced by the federal appellate court with jurisdiction over the Indiana readership of Business People, holding that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects workers against discrimination based on their sexual orientation. Title VII makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate on the basis of “race, color, religion, sex or national origin…”  The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission began to assert the position that Title VII prohibits “sexual orientation” discrimination, but its position is not binding law since it is an administrative agency. In a matter involving a state community college and a part-time adjunct professor… Read More »Title VII Now Prohibits Sex Discrimination

              NLRB Handbook Do’s and Don’ts

                To assist employers in drafting and crafting handbooks that do not violate the National Labor Relations Act, the National Labor Relations Board issued a compilation of common work rules it has determined to be violative of the Act. The main area of concern for the Board is that employees be allowed to participate in “concerted activity” to help improve their terms and conditions of employment. It is on the lookout for rules that 1) explicitly restrict protected concerted activity, and/or 2) could be construed to restrict such activity (Section 7 of the Act). Obviously, what an employer trying to make… Read More »NLRB Handbook Do’s and Don’ts

                Sexual Harassment in Your Workplace?

                  High profile people in many industries have recently come under scrutiny and attack for allowing or perpetrating sexual harassment and assault. A review of what sexual harassment is, how to manage it in your workplace and supervisory training are keys to keeping you and your company out of harm’s way. Sexual harassment and the creation of a “hostile work environment,” are forbidden by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The Act is overseen by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission which has published guidelines which state that harassment on the basis of sex is a violation of Title VII. Locally,… Read More »Sexual Harassment in Your Workplace?

                  How to Avoid Human Resources Errors

                    Successful small business owners find that as their businesses grow, they are not thinking long term. Many are happy to survive while others think that because they are small, they are largely immune from the problems big companies face. If you employ 500 or fewer employees, let’s look at some practical and cost effective measures to increase your odds of survival: Inconsistency in the application of discipline is a serious problem and can cost you money. Two questions you must ask are: 1) what actions have we taken in the past under similar circumstances? and 2) are there circumstances that… Read More »How to Avoid Human Resources Errors

                    Employee Mental Health: An Employer’s Rights and Obligations

                      The National Institute of Health has determined that roughly 1 in 4 Americans experience mental health issues, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or clinical depression. Naturally some of these people work for you. Moreover, uncounted millions are on the cusp of a mental health condition. The effects of these medical conditions can have an adverse impact on your bottom line because of absenteeism, tardiness, doctor’s appointments and medical leave. Naturally, you need a productive workplace but how do you balance it with your employee’s legal rights? All employees have legal rights regarding mental health under the Americans With Disabilities Act… Read More »Employee Mental Health: An Employer’s Rights and Obligations