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start a business

Start A Business: Be a Nut, it’s Okay!

  Remember the tallest oak in the forest was once just a little nut that held its ground. Many may tell say you’re crazy for wanting to start a business.  Some might make fun of your service or product.  A few will out right laugh in your face.  Let them.  Always remember the little nut […]

Telecommuting Jobs

Top 15 States with the Most Telecommuting Jobs in 2016

According to a report on Flexjobs.com,  many employers are looking more and more to allowing telecommuting for their employees.  There are many companies where all employees work from home.  There are many pros and cons to this set-up for both the company and the employee. There may be less overhead costs involved with telecommuting employees. […]

Sick Time

Can We Ask About Previous Sick Time Use?

Question: Can we ask references about an applicant’s previous use of sick time? We’d like to get a sense of their reliability. Answer:  We strongly advise against making any inquiries into their history of calling in sick. Asking about absences due to illness or injury could run afoul of the Americans with Disabilities Act and give you […]

Investigating Rumors of Harassment

Investigating Rumors of Harassment

Question: Do we need to look into investigating rumors of harassment even if no one has made a complaint? Answer:  Yes, we recommend that you investigate. A company always has some inherent liability in relation to discriminatory or harassing comments or behavior. The level of liability usually correlates to the nature, severity, and context of the […]

Accommodating Pregnant Employees

Accommodating Pregnant Employees

Let’s imagine a situation. Wendy, who’s been on the job for only four months, informs her employer that she’s pregnant. She requests light duty and asks if temporary leave is an option. Instead of accommodating Wendy, the employer terminates her employment, explaining to her that her employment is at-will and that they don’t have the […]

Ban Cell Phones

Can We Ban Cell Phones at Work?

Question: Can we ban cell phones at work? How about audio and video recordings? Answer:  To answer your first question: yes, you can limit or even prohibit use of cell phones during work hours. Employees can be expected to give their undivided attention to the work you pay them to perform, and if that means […]

cost of living raises

Calculating Cost of Living Raises

Question: We’d like to start giving cost of living raises to employees on their anniversary dates. What’s the best way to calculate these pay increases? Answer: When the information is available, employers typically use the consumer price index (CPI) to calculate cost of living increases. It measures the change in prices consumers pay for goods and services […]

Email Phishing

How Email Phishing Can Affect Employers

Question: Our HR person received an email from the CEO requesting copies of employee payroll records, but the CEO did not send this email. Could this be a phishing scam? Answer:  Yes, this is probably a phishing scam. Inform your IT staff right away, and do not respond to the email. This troubling scam has been […]

OSHA Updates

OSHA Updates

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates that all employers who are required to maintain the OSHA 300 Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses post a summary of the previous year’s log between February 1st and April 30th each year, even if no incidents occurred in the preceding calendar year. The summary (OSHA Form […]