Posts tagged ‘legal’

Dealing with Politics at Work

This election year is jam-packed with topics that are close to our emotions: healthcare reform, education, same-sex marriage… things that will directly affect our everyday lives.  While we want people to actively discuss and participate in the political process, how do we keep things from getting overly distracting in the workplace?

Fisher & Phillips has two articles out this week that give some great guidelines for the workplace.  And, that clarify some points of free speech that I bet you weren’t aware of.

My quick tips are:

  • Understand both employee and employer rights and boundaries
  • Have a clear policy and educate your employees
  • Focus on work at work
  • Err on the side of caution

When in doubt about a specific situation, contact your attorney.

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October 2, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Compliance Notice – Seattle Paid Leave Law

Employees working in Seattle?  This post is for you.  If you have at least one employee working at least 240 hours in a calendar year, you will have to begin complying with the City of Seattle’s new leave law.  The law takes effect on September 1st.

Here are a few highlights:

  • All employers with Seattle employees – regardless of company location – need to comply
  • Employers with all-inclusive PTO plans don’t have to provide additional leave.  (although plans without carryover options might need to adjust)
  • Employers need to post a notice to employees of their rights under the law (a poster should be available prior to Sept, check the Seattle site)

Here is the accrual rate chart.  If your PTO plan already offers at least this much time, you won’t need to change your accruals.

Employer Size Accrual Rate Based on Hours Worked within Seattle, Beginning on First Day Worked Maximum Hours
5-49 full-time employees 1 hour leave for every 40 hours worked 40
50-249 full-time employees 1 hour leave for every 40 hours worked 56
250+ full-time employees 1 hour leave for every 30 hours worked 72

 

Our Resource page has links to both the Regulations and the FAQ sheets.  The FAQ also includes contact information for questions regarding implementation.

Jackson Lewis LLP wrote an excellent article about the law on their blog here.

 

 

 

 

August 14, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Can Your Employer Access Your Facebook Account?

There has been a lot of media excitement this month about employers asking employees for their social media account passwords.  This has become such an issue that On April 27, 2012, Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., introduced the Social Networking Online Protection Act (SNOPA).

I’m appalled that employers think this is an acceptable practice.  It seems like the modern-day equivalent of tapping your phone, or bugging your apartment.  Are employers really so paranoid that employees are going to say something bad about the company that they feel the need to invade their privacy?

Some employers would justify their actions by saying they need that access to investigate insider trading or harassment complaints.  There are other ways to accomplish those things.  Why not spend their energy making their organizations better places to work and avoid the problems that way?

Some states are even taking the initiative to introduce regulations at their level, and not wait for the federal act.  Maryland, New York, California, Illinois and New Jersey (although NJ postponed their vote) all have something passed or on the table.  So, protection for employees is coming.

In the meantime, employees should consider the following:

  • be sure their privacy settings are restricted to “friends only”
  • be especially careful about friending anyone they work with, or who works at a prospective employer
  • don’t take a job with an employer who requires you to give out your password – that says so much about the work environment
For more information, do a Google News search for “social media passwords”.  You’ll get enough articles to keep you busy for hours.

After you do your reading, tell me what you think about all this…

May 25, 2012 at 2:17 pm 1 comment

Pay For The Job or The Person?

One of my colleagues recently asked me whether it was appropriate to pay a new hire more money than existing employees in the same position because the new hire had more education/experience.  As with most human resource questions, the answer isn’t cut and dried.  Let’s follow a fictional example and see where it takes us.

I’m the CEO of Snail Mail Inc.  I employee stamp stickers and envelope stuffers.  Most of my employees have basic skills and education and do a fine job with those qualifications.  They get paid $10/hour.

Due to snail mail being in vogue, I need to hire another stamp sticker.  I’ve gone through the normal recruitment process, and have found a candidate that I want to hire.  The candidate will be performing the same work as the other stamp stickers.  However, this candidate has a Masters degree in Orchestral Composition from Julliard and 20 years of stamp sticking experience.  I decide to pay this person $20/hour because of these additional qualifications.

Before implementing this decision, I should ask myself these questions:

  • Are the candidate’s education and experience relevant to the job?
  • Will the candidate be using those skills and experience in the job they are being hired for?
  • Will I alter the scope of the position to leverage the candidate’s additional skills and experience?

If the answers to these questions are “yes”, then I may be able to pay them more than the other stamp stickers.

Here are a few cautionary notes to consider because, let’s face it, employees talk about their pay to each other:

  • When the other stamp stickers find out the new person gets paid more, how will that affect their morale?
  • Are the lesser paid people the same gender as the new hire?  The Equal Pay Act (EPA) requires that men and women performing similar work under similar conditions must receive similar pay.  You also don’t want it to appear that you are discriminating against the other employees because of their age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, or other protected status.
  • Will paying the new person more give them an unwarranted sense of entitlement?

In the end, it’s best to pay a person for the work they are performing now, not what they might do, have the potential to do, or have done in the past.

May 22, 2012 at 10:00 am 2 comments

How to Hire If You Want to Get Fired – YouTube

Manpower posted this on their blog recently.  It’s one of the best and most hilarious illustrations of bad interviewing that I’ve ever seen.  Watch the video and check out their blog…

May 11, 2012 at 12:50 pm


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