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Workplace Investigations – Part II

Many businesses find themselves having to conduct workplace investigations for a variety reasons, from harassment to violation of conduct guidelines. Knowing how to conduct a thorough investigation is key for reducing employer liability. In this two-part series, we are exploring the best practices for conducting an investigation. Last month, in Part I, we talked about general best practices for investigations. In this installment, we will walk through the actual steps of conducting an investigation. Be prepared. Typical steps in preparation for the investigation: Choose an investigator Come up with a strategy for approaching the investigation and consider all areas of liability (dependin

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Workplace Investigations- Part I

Many businesses find themselves having to conduct workplace investigations for many different reasons—from harassment to conduct-related issues.  Knowing how to conduct a thorough investigation is key for reducing the amount of liability to which employers expose themselves.  In this two-part series, we will explore the best practices for conducting a workplace investigation.  In this first installment, we will talk about some of the things that an employer should know ahead of time, before an actual complaint necessitating an investigation is made. Understand the goal of the investigation. Before conducting an internal workplace investigation, it is important to determine the purpose

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Workplace Bullying

Although workplace bullying may be a new concern for some employers, others are all too familiar with its perils.  Before we discuss facts of bullying, let’s look at its role in the workplace today.  While bullying is not only a company culture issue, it is also a major liability concern for employers.  Several states have litigation pending that would make bullying unlawful; California leads the way with its recent passage of A.B. 2053.  This Assembly Bill requires covered employers to include prevention of “abusive conduct” in their mandated harassment prevention programs for supervisors.  We expect to see many states follow California’s lead in the coming years, so while prev

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Creating a Pandemic Illness Plan

Last year’s Ebola outbreak was a stark reminder that frightening and serious contagious diseases still exist. However, many people and businesses overlook the fact that more common infectious illnesses can also have a significant impact on employee health and business operations, such as the current, and especially virulent, 2014 to 2015 flu season. Pandemic illnesses like influenza pose a variety of workplace safety issues, so it’s critical for employers to implement a workplace pandemic illness plan or ensure their existing plan is up to date. Creating a pandemic illness plan A pandemic illness plan or policy guides an employer in managing an outbreak of pandemic illness in the workpl

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8 Reasons Your Organization Should Have an Employee Handbook

1) Introduces Employees to the Organization’s Culture, Mission, and Values Perhaps the most important aspect of your Employee Handbook is the introduction of new employees to your corporate culture and how they will fit in. This helps to foster a sense of pride and belonging, which studies show will help employees become more productive in a shorter period of time. The introduction section of an Employee Handbook will answer these questions: “What do we do that sets us apart?” “How did the company get here?” “What are we passionate about?” “How can I, as a new hire, become a part of this culture?” The introduction section sets the standard for the employment relationship in

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Choosing Human Resources Outsourcing In Madison WI

Why Human Resources Outsourcing In Madison WI Makes Sense For Your Small Business As the owner of a small business, you already know that you must wear a multitude of hats in order to keep your operations moving forward smoothly. However, while managing a myriad of functions will give you insight into everything going on within your organizations, it does have a potentially significant downside. Spending too much time mired in the minutia of day to day happenings means that you are being dragged away from the most important component of your business: generating revenue. Human Resources Outsourcing In Madison WI Offers Significant Advantages Fortunately, just because you are manning the helm

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FMLA Leave and Administration

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is one of several centerpiece employment laws requiring regular attention and administration for employers with 50 or more employees. Employers with less than 50 employees, who are not covered by federal FMLA, should also be aware of best practices for leave of absence requests.  Undoubtedly the FMLA has seen its share of changes over the years, but it is clear the law is here to stay.  A review of a few key areas can bring an employer a long way toward improved compliance. Ensure You Have Effective State Law Coordination.  Many states have their own version of FMLA and, like other laws, employers are required to assure the most generous

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IRS Clarifies and Partially Delays Prohibition on Individual Health Plan Premium Reimbursements

The IRS recently issued a notice that provides transitional relief to small employers who provide reimbursements for their employees to purchase individual health insurance on the marketplace. With that relief, however, the IRS also clarified that the new interpretation disallowing reimbursements is broader than many realized. Background For the last 50 years or so, based on IRS guidance, employers who did not want to provide group health insurance to their employees had the option of reimbursing the employee for the cost of purchasing an individual plan. Most employers did this by setting up Employer Payment Plans (EPPs), such as FSAs, which allowed these amounts to be reimbursed on a pre-

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Litigation Halts FLSA Exempt Status Change for Home Care Workers

Over the last few years, the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor has crafted the Home Care Final Rule, which would greatly narrow the home health care and companionship services exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This rule, which was originally intended to go into effect at the beginning of 2015, would have made almost 2 million home care workers who were previously classified as exempt eligible for minimum wage and overtime under the FLSA. In two separate orders - one in late December and one in mid-January - a federal judge struck down the two main provisions of the Final Rule (disallowance of third party use of the companionship exemption and a greatly nar

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Using Human Resources Outsourcing

On The Fence About Human Resources Outsourcing? 5 Reasons To Make The Change Now Are you on the fence about human resources outsourcing? Many entrepreneurs initially feel reluctant to make the switch from an internal HR department to a business model that embraces human resources outsourcing. However, knowing five important benefits that human resources outsourcing can deliver to your business may forever change your mind. Using human resources outsourcing in your business offers: More employee bandwidth: The biggest perk that outsourcing your HR function delivers? It instantly creates bandwidth for your current employees to focus on other core competencies in your organization. No longer

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