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How do we know if our managers are performing well?

Managers are doing a good job when both the teams they lead and the individuals they manage are thriving.  Simply stated, teams thrive when they consistently deliver quality products or services while staying within budget. Individual team members thrive when they’re advancing in their careers, learning new skills, showing initiative, taking on additional responsibilities, getting promoted, and adding value to the company.  If a team is getting its work done, but the individuals on that team are not developing professionally, then the manager in charge of that team may not managing as well as they could be. Perhaps they aren’t coaching employees, clearly outlining expect

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EEO-1 Reporting Requirements Finalized

The hotly contested issue of what exactly needs to be filed for EEO-1 reporting this year has been resolved—at least for now. Pay data for both 2017 and 2018 must be reported to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) by September 30, 2019. The data that has been required in years past is still due by May 31, 2019. An appeal of the latest decision has been filed, so it's possible that there could be yet another change to the requirements, but employers should plan to comply with these deadlines, as described below.  Does my business even need to file the EEO-1 report?If you have fewer than 100 employees and no federal contracts, you are not subject to EEO-1 re

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DOL Adopts New Unpaid Intern Test

The Department of Labor (DOL) adopted a new test for unpaid interns. Employers should use this test—called the primary beneficiary test—when determining if a worker can be properly classified as an unpaid intern or if they need to be classified as an employee and paid minimum wage and overtime. The test adopted by the DOL has already been in use in four federal appellate courts, most recently the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The DOL’s switch to the primary beneficiary test creates a nationwide standard. Balancing v. All-or-Nothing Previously, the DOL was using a six-question all-or-nothing test. An employer needed to be able to say “yes, the internship does that” to all six

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DOL Adopts New Unpaid Intern Test

Last Friday the Department of Labor (DOL) adopted a new test for unpaid interns. Employers should use this test—called the primary beneficiary test—when determining if a worker can be properly classified as an unpaid intern or if they need to be classified as an employee and paid minimum wage and overtime. The test adopted by the DOL has already been in use in four federal appellate courts, most recently the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The DOL’s switch to the primary beneficiary test creates a nationwide standard. Balancing v. All-or-Nothing Previously, the DOL was using a six-question all-or-nothing test. An employer needed to be able to say “yes, the internship does that”

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Four Misunderstood Terms in the Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to a lot of organizations—all public employers and any private employer with 15 or more employees. Nevertheless, there’s a lot of confusion about what the law requires and what its terms entail. A big reason for this confusion is the language of the law itself; the ADA speaks of nebulous concepts like undue hardship and reasonable accommodation. Words like undue and reasonable are by their nature open to some interpretation, which is not exactly a comfort to employers. Fortunately, while there’s no getting completely around the inherent ambiguity of the ADA, employers can feel confident in their application of the law by reviewing an

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We have an employee who is joining the Army Reserves. What are our responsibilities as their employer?

In short, your responsibilities are to not discriminate because of their service and to offer them their job back after military-related absences.  The rights of applicants and employees who serve in the uniformed military services are protected by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act (USERRA). Under this act, it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate in hiring, reemployment, retention, promotion, pay, or any benefit of employment due to a person’s military service or intent to apply for military service.  You should allow the employee to take unpaid leave to attend deployments, scheduled drills, and annual training. When the employee returns, they s

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HR Tip of the Month

The importance of documenting performance problems as they occur cannot be overstated. Although this requires meeting with the employee and discussing the issue, which will almost certainly be uncomfortable, it’s your best defense to a wrongful termination claim should the employee feel litigious after termination. Too many employers rely on the concept of employment at-will to protect them, when the reach of this concept is actually quite limited. The problem is that if an employer has little to no documentation and relies on at-will employment—and the theory that legally no reason is required—the terminated employee, their attorney, and possibly a jury of their peers will fill the

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Reminder: OSHA 300A Forms Must Be Posted by February 1

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates that all employers with more than 10 employees—except those in exempt low-risk industries—maintain a record of work-related injuries and illnesses. Those who are required to maintain these records should use OSHA’s Form 300: Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses or an equivalent state-specific form. Those same employers must then post OSHA’s Form 300A: Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses each year between February 1 and April 30. As its name implies, Form 300A summarizes (and sanitizes) the information logged on Form 300. OSHA Form 300A must be certified by a company executive and posted in a cons

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How to Reduce Absenteeism

Taking time away from work is good for the health and morale of employees. When they can rest during an illness, recuperate after an injury, or tend to affairs in their personal lives, they’re better able to focus at work and engage in the tasks at hand. Too many absences, however, can be costly for employers and frustrating for other employees who have to pick up the slack. A lot of absences may be sign of absenteeism, which occurs when employees skip work for no good reason. You may not be able to prevent the illnesses, injuries, or family emergencies that keep employees from coming to work, but you can and should do something about absenteeism. Fortunately, there are a few steps you

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Overtime Rule Doubling Minimum Salary for While Collar Workers Officially Dead

On August 29th, Judge Mazzant in the Eastern District of Texas issued his ruling on the Department of Labor’s overtime rule changes. The rules, which were slated to go into effect on December 1, 2016, have been on hold since he issued an injunction last November. As anticipated, the Judge ruled in favor of the Plaintiffs, finding that the DOL had overstepped its authority by making the new minimum salary so high. The DOL will not be appealing the decision, but labor or employees’ rights groups could theoretically take their place in the lawsuit. However, the DOL has said they would not enforce the 2016 rules, so any further action toward implementation will ultimately be ineffective.

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