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9th Circuit Rules Salary History Not an Acceptable Reason for Pay Discrepancies

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that salary history is not an acceptable reason for pay differences under the Equal Pay Act (EPA), even when used in conjunction with other factors. The EPA first became law in 1963 and prohibits the payment of different wages to men and women who do work that requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility under similar working conditions. The new reading of the law impacts employers in Alaska, Washington, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, California, Nevada, and Arizona, but since Circuit Courts often rely on one another’s rulings, it’s very possible that the impact of this decision will spread. As written, the EPA allows for pay discrepancies

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News Brief

In February, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals became the second federal appellate court to rule that under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the word sex includes sexual orientation. The first was the Seventh Circuit, which we reported on last April. The Second Circuit Court’s ruling affects only New York, Vermont, and Connecticut. All three of these states already prohibit discrimination in employment because of sexual orientation, so the ruling does not have a significant impact on employers there. It does, however, ensure that it is possible for employees who feel they have been discriminated against based on sexual orientation to sue under both state and federal law.

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Reminder: EEO-1 Is Due by March 31

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requires certain employers to submit a report categorizing their employees by race or ethnicity, gender, and job category. This demographic survey, called the EEO-1, is due by March 31. All employers with 100 or more employees must file the report. Employers also must file if the organization is any of the following: Owned by or affiliated with another company and the entire enterprise has 100 or more employees A federal government prime contractor or first-tier subcontractor with 50 or more employees and with a contract or subcontract amounting to $50,000 or more Serving as a depository of government funds in any amount A f

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Three Tips for Effective Coaching

The performance of your company is directly tied to the performance of your employees, so one of the best ways to develop your company is to develop the people who work for you. While you can motivate your employees by rewarding success and disciplining failure, these incentives and disincentives will only get you so far. If your employees only perform well to get a reward or avoid discipline, they’re not truly invested in your company’s success. A great way to get employees invested is to invest in them. And one way you can do that is through coaching. Coaching is a management style that develops employees by assessing, improving, and tracking their knowledge, skills, and abili

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How to Get Results From Your Team Building Activities

At some point in your career, you’ve probably participated in team-building exercises that made you wonder, “What’s the point?” Maybe they were useless group activities that everyone mocked under their breath. Or maybe they were inconsequential events with colleagues that, while fun, didn’t change the way anyone interacted in the workplace. Team-building activities don’t have to be this way. They can improve a team’s productivity and efficiency. The key is to approach team building strategically. To do that, you have to know what it means to build a team and how to measure a team’s performance. What It Means to Build a Team It would be nice if building an efficient a

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HR Tip of the Month

Messy shared spaces, like bathrooms and break rooms, can be a serious sore spot in any office. Although we’d like to think that adults can be trusted to clean up their own messes, expectations and reality don’t always jive. You may have even found yourself posting notes on the walls with such over-the-top messages as, “Dirty dishes in the sink will be thrown away at the end of the day.” Although the nuclear option cannot always be avoided, ideally, we’d like to get ahead of these problems before they start (or at least before they blow up). Scheduled reminders—like a monthly email or posting on the fridge—can be a good way to communicate your expectations for everyone withou

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What Is Culture, Anyway? (part 1 of 4)

When you belong to an organization, there’s usually a reason, right? Whether the organization is a business, club, or other group, something about it appealed to you, and you chose to associate yourself with it. You personally identified with it and felt like you would fit in, so you joined. Alternatively, you may have considered joining an organization, but decided against it because it didn’t feel like a good fit. Or you joined for a time, but then decided the place wasn’t for you. What creates this sense of belonging or not belonging to an organization is the organization’s culture. Every organization has a culture, and every culture has three components. These are the organiz

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Putting At-Will Employment at Risk

"At-will” employment refers to a common-law rule that the employment relationship may be terminated by the employer or the employee at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice, for any reason (allowed by law) or no reason at all. The intent behind this rule is to allow either the employee or employer to terminate the employment relationship without financial liability to the other. To minimize the risks of wrongful termination claims, every employer needs to understand at least three big exceptions to the employment at-will concept. Illegal Reasons for Termination At-will employment only extends to reasons that are permitted by law. The law allows for pretty much any re

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Preventing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Last year, nearly 27,000 charges of sexual harassment were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This number doesn’t include charges filed with state and local agencies or situations where employees went directly to an attorney, and many employees who are victims of sexual harassment or are affected by it never report the incidents at all. Victims and witnesses of harassment often refrain from reporting because the harasser has the power to retaliate or because the organization has not set up adequate channels for reporting. In other cases, victims report the harassment, but nothing is done about it. The harassment is excused, and the complaints are rebuffed. Wo

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OSHA Reporting Deadline Delayed

On July 24th, OSHA announced that it is launching a new website for electronic injury and accident reporting. Electronic injury and accident reporting was slated to go into effect for certain large employers on July 1, 2017, but was put on hold. OSHA has published a notice of proposed rule making to extend the deadline to December 1, 2017. Employers subject to OSHA recordkeeping should continue to maintain hard copies of OSHA Form 300, Form 300A, and Form 301, as they have in the past. Content provided by TPC HR Support Center.

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