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Symmetry Video Series


Motivating Employees: HR tips for getting employees motivated and engaged with your company.

Challenging Unemployment Insurance Benefits

No business is immune from employee turnover. Losing an employee, whether the separation is voluntarily or not, can be costly in claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. The financial impact may not be felt right away because an unemployment benefit is not money that an employer pays directly out of pocket (except for a non-profit organization). But rather, employers must pay both state and federal unemployment taxes that are deposited into the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund from which benefits are awarded and those rates can be affected.

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What Does an Employer Do When An Employee Steals?

It seems somewhat evident on what you should do when an employee steals – but is it really? Employee theft is an unpleasant reality in the workplace, but when the employee is still on the job, at least the employer can easily confront the worker. But what’s an employer to do if the theft is discovered after the employee leaves the job and moves out of state? Does the errant worker get off scot-free?

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Comp Time, Training time & Overtime Explained

One of the most misunderstood and misapplied sections of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) deals with overtime and comp time. To illustrate the confusion, consider this example: you have a nonexempt salaried employee who will be working an extra six hours each week for additional training for her position. The extra hours will result in overtime hours each week. The employee is requesting comp time instead of overtime pay. Can you let her track the hours she works (including the training time) and ask her to sign a form indicating her desire to waive overtime pay and instead receive comp time? If so, should the comp time be given to her at time and a half?

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Correcting an Attendance Problem

Attendance problems can lower workplace morale and significantly disrupt employee productivity as all employers depend on employees arriving for their scheduled shifts. Failure to arrive to work may present an especially difficult problem if the employee with an attendance problem is an otherwise excellent employee. Nonetheless, employee attendance is an issue that must be dealt with and following the guidelines below will make the process much easier, and help to ensure that all employees are treated equally.

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Sick Leave Coming to Your State Soon

Love it or hate it, paid sick leave is an idea gaining momentum across the country. A handful of states and local governments have passed laws in the last five years guaranteeing the leave for a good many private-sector workers. It is projected to be on the ballot in the next major election cycle in 25 states.

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Legally Manage Your Exempt Employee’s Tardiness

With all the talk of moving the exemption status, we are seeing an up-tick in calls about managing issues with those employees who are exempt who struggle with employees straggling in late or not coming in at all is often at the top of the list of employer frustrations. The problem can lead employers to devise creative solutions, such as requiring management employees to clock in and even docking their pay when they’re late. But a solution that’s legal is more important than one that’s creative.

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What Should Employers Keep in an Employee Personnel File?

It's a good idea for an employer to maintain a personnel file for each employee. Documentation of employment history, records of contribution and achievement, disciplinary notices, promotions, performance development plans, and much more, belong in a personnel file. Smart employers keep more than one personnel file, too. The employer has good reasons to keep several personnel files - some legal and some for employment best practices purposes. Documentation is needed so the employer has an accurate view of an employee's employment history. Documentation supports the employer's decisions and may protect the employer in a lawsuit - preserved correctly.

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Overcoming Bad Attitudes and Complaints

It’s no secret that it doesn’t take much to poison the workplace atmosphere. Everyone gets bad-tempered at work sometimes. Chronic negativity is a different story. Co-workers who are consistently nasty and complaining can sap the very lifeblood out of your workplace. Here are six solutions for handling problem employees’ bad attitudes and unprofessional behavior before morale suffers.

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Making your Company Uninteresting to Plaintiff Attorney’s

Want to avoid lawsuits? Make your own case in advance so you can be more confident a law firm won’t want to take your ex-employee’s case. Plaintiff attorneys assess the opportunity before choosing to represent a client: your company’s policies and practices can discourage their interest. You can make sure it would be a bad investment for the attorneys.

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8 Ways to Avoid Disastrous Discipline Mistakes

How many times have you encountered these mistakes: • Employees disciplined for doing something they have a legal right to do-like take intermittent FMLA or make an EEO complaint • Inconsistent discipline that appears to be discrimination • Discipline without hearing the employee's side of the story • Overly harsh discipline to show "who's boss" • Overly lenient discipline for a well-liked worker • And-just as bad-failure to discipline when it is clearly called for. All these mistakes are understandable in untrained supervisors, but that doesn't mean the mistakes aren't expensive. Here are some basic tips for supervisors that make discipline easier to manage from day one.

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