Symmetry provides outstanding human resource advice, support, and advocacy to start-up and small companies who do not have an in-house human resource team.
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Everybody’s heard the office party horror stories—some merrymakers get drunk, unfortunate comments are made, even more unfortunate outfits are worn, and sometimes somebody even gets hurt. It’s enough to make the human resources department want to retreat to the North Pole until mid-January. Solutions to party woes do exist, however, and even if the party already has been planned, it’s not too late to make a few tweaks designed to ward off trouble.
A federal district court in Texas temporarily blocked the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) new overtime rule on November 22, just days before it was scheduled to take effect. The judge who issued the order called the regulation “unlawful” and said such actions should be left to Congress. The temporary stay was granted an emergency injunction halting the regulation, which would have required employers to pay overtime to employees earning less than $913 per week ($47,476 annually) beginning December 1.
What supervisor or human resources professional hasn’t asked the question: Why can’t people work together without deliberately making the working environment insufferable? Why don’t people use their energy to solve differences instead of lashing out in anger? There may be no easy answers to those questions, but understanding why conflict occurs and following a strategy can ease the hard times.
This summer, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) indicated that under new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations issued in May, it might be necessary for various employers to change some workers’ overtime exemption. In a blog post on the DOL website, the agency also indicated that employees would be thrilled with the exemption change. The post appears to have been written by little pink fairies who were primarily interested in scattering pixie dust on the problem. However, it was an interesting counterpoint to news coverage with a clearly post-apocalyptic vision of the changes, more like a scene from Mad Max than your standard business environment. It is possible that employees could be thrilled, and it could all be cupcakes and roses. But it’s also possible that they could be incredibly upset about losing the “flexibility” that goes along with being an exempt employee. Time will tell. Regardless, here is what you should do to implement the changes.
As election season heats up, we thought it would be worthwhile to remind you about important issues to consider when you’re dealing with discussions about politics in the workplace. We hope our readers will relate to the experiences of Penelope, the fictional small business owner featured in this article.
As many employers know, the list of potential plaintiffs who may sue an employer for alleged employment discrimination extends beyond current and former employees and includes rejected job applicants. We want to take the time to remind you of that unfortunate fact and offer five easy steps to minimize the risks associated with the hiring process.
A regulatory change expected to make some 5 million more employees eligible for overtime pay will take effect on the 1st of December, but employers are urged to plan now how they will cope with the change. Employers are wondering how they will be affected by the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed new rule dramatically altering which employees can be classified exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) guarantee of overtime pay.
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.
If you’ve ever spoken to someone on our team you will have heard: Document, document, document. But just writing things down isn’t enough. We all need to recognize and avoid common documentation mistakes. Although the purpose of documentation is to minimize risks, it can come back to haunt if it’s done wrong. And if it’s not done at all, the employer is almost certain to be seen as the “big, bad employer” and a litigating employee is likely to be seen as the “poor, innocent employee.
Employers have long used paid vacation policies as a compensation benefit and a means of enhancing employee productivity. To keep pace in a competitive hiring market, many start-ups offer employees the right to take “unlimited” paid vacation. While “unlimited vacation” policies do offer certain benefits, the law on such policies is currently undeveloped, and employers must pay careful attention to implementation and administration to minimize legal risks.