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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 […]

Interactive Process

What Is the Interactive Process, Anyway?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to reasonably accommodate the disabilities of their employees and to engage in an interactive process when a request for accommodation is made. What is the interactive process? The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission describes it this way: the employee and the employer “communicate with each other about the […]

Did You Know I-9’s Are To Be Kept Separately?

It is strongly recommended that you keep all I-9s in either a separate master file or a three-ring binder. Because I-9 files are subject to unique record retention laws, a separate master file or three-ring binder will help ensure that you retain these forms for as long as necessary and that you can readily discard […]

Attracting Talent

Attracting Talent

A good economy is good for employers, but it has a downside—the decreased supply of skilled and talented labor. The lower the unemployment rate, the harder it is for businesses to attract and retain talent. To compete for workers, some employers will offer higher wages and more enticing benefits. Employers who can’t afford to spend […]

Reduce An Employee's Salary

When You Can Reduce An Employee’s Salary For An Exempt Employee

Question: We have an exempt employee who only worked one day this week, but claims he needs to be paid for the whole week. Is this right? Answer:  Quite possibly. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), most exempt employees need to be paid their regular salary each pay period, regardless of the number of hours […]