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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This is part 2 of a five part series. In 2015, employers will face a number of challenging issues when it comes to managing, monitoring and maintaining their workforce. An employer that does not comply with its legal obligations faces numerous costs, including the time spent preparing and responding to litigation, investigating potential claims as well as harm to its business reputation. Numerous new laws have been passed on the federal, state and local level which will have a significant impact on the workplace and increase the risk that an employer will be subject to a lawsuit, civil fines or criminal penalties. Over the next few weeks we will explore the top trends in litigation facing business owners.
The task of writing and revising job descriptions may sound dull, but at the same time be daunting. With so much to consider—essential versus nonessential functions, varied job responsibilities, experience and education requirements, etc.—the job can be mind-numbing. Then throw in the legal issues to consider, including things like how to prevent discrimination and wage and hour claims, and the job can get overwhelming.
As the economy and employment rates improve, noncompete agreements are grabbing more and more headlines and seem to be on everybody’s radar. What are they? Do I need one? How can I make sure what I write is enforceable? These are all questions that we frequently get asked by employers. I’m sure many of you have hired your rockstar employee, only to see them go after considerable time and money, training the employee. As a result of situations like this, more and more employers are looking to draft noncompetes to protect both their time and resources. As with most areas of employment law, what’s allowed varies from state to state. In fact, it would be impossible to write a noncompete that is applicable in all 50 states. Which means pulling one from the internet is not going to protect you. With the improvement in the economy, more employers are feeling pressured to have employees sign noncompetes. Increased mobility and greater job opportunities give employees significantly more latitude than in recent years. With the resulting rise in noncompetes, litigation over noncompetes is also on the uptick. There has been 60 percent more litigation over noncompetes than in the past decade alone, making this an extremely topical issue.
When we hire new employees we put them on a 90-day Probationary Period and were told that we shouldn’t do that. We live in an At-Will state. Can’t we terminate someone at any time for any reason?
The start of the new year is a time for reflection as well as rebirth for many organizations. As companies start the new year, managers in many organizations will be meeting with staff to review organizational goals. This is the time to reflect on the good to help strategize for the year ahead. One of the most important discussions is the traditional performance review. Typically, many performance reviews focus less on output and more on behavior.
We have a non-disclosure agreement as part of our handbook, do we really need an employee to sign a second agreement if they sign that they have received the handbook?
Federally, wage and hour laws are governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This law sets out minimum wage and overtime provisions---two issues that frequently arise. Virtually all employers are covered by the FLSA. In additional to federal wage and hour laws, states, and even localities, set forth their own provisions. As an employer, it is important to know which state and local wage and hour laws apply to you and your business.
As employers, we are often working late into the evenings, taking calls on the weekends and missing our kids’ soccer games and the dinner party that our spouse had planned with the new neighbors. We are working our employees’ tails off and their fingers to the bone.
An employee uses his own smartphone to access company email and do work from home. The is on his own initiative and not required by us. Are required to pay any portion of his monthly bill?
Someone told me that the photo requirements for the new I-9 have changed. What are they?