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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The challenges of the crazy weather has something in the air that has brought several employees and clients to call and ask about Hostile Work Environments. Some employees believe that a bad boss, an unpleasant work environment, a rude coworker, or the lack of perks, privileges, benefits, and recognition can create a hostile work environment. But, the reality is that for a workplace to be hostile, certain legal criteria must be met.
Jill does her job, but just barely. However, Jill has a lousy attitude which is affecting the entire team. You would like to fire Jill, but she isn’t quite doing enough to get fired. Does this sound familiar? It happens in almost every environment – sometimes Jill was one of your first employees and she was so valuable when you started but hasn’t adjusted to all the change as you’ve grown. Other times it I as simple as that pessimist attitude. So what are you to do? The good news is, you can fire for attitude, but it requires identifying the attitude and addressing the actual behavior.
Many federal employment laws can apply to the hiring process. Even if you are a small business, it’s always recommended that you follow legally compliant policies from the start. When hiring an employee, you should consider both your application and your interview process.
There are two ways to classify an employee: exempt or nonexempt. Nonexempt employees are typically paid hourly (though it’s not required) and are eligible for overtime. Exempt employees are usually paid on a salary basis and are not eligible for overtime. Many employers like to classify their employees as exempt, pay a set salary, and avoid overtime. However, it is not that easy. In fact, classifying an employee incorrectly can result in massive fines and penalties for the employer.
Dedicated, hardworking—and maybe even long-suffering—employees deserve rewards. Sometimes the appropriate reward is a well-deserved raise, but money isn’t always the best solution. And in today’s world of tight budgets, it’s often not even a possibility. But employers wanting to show appreciation have other options for inexpensive rewards as well as here are a few tips on how to make a nonmonetary program effective.
Misclassifying employees as independent contractors is the subject of a growing list of court cases, government agency investigations, and legislative initiatives. Numerous state and federal agencies have been cracking down on misclassification, and for good reason: Misclassification is blamed for putting worker rights in jeopardy and for being the source of billions in lost tax revenue. So what should employers do?
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.
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?
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?
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.