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.
You’d think employees would be eager enough for their paychecks that they would make sure to turn in time or reports submitted promptly. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, and employers may be tempted to withhold pay as a not-so-gentle reminder for workers to submit on time. That’s temptation best avoided as it could spell trouble for your business and you personally.
Significant time, money, and resources often go into developing client relationships, so it is only natural that businesses take steps to protect those intangible assets. Many employers require employees who have significant contact with clients to sign nonsolicitation agreements. However, executing and enforcing nonsolicitation agreements are two different matters. Like traditional noncompetes, nonsolicitation agreements are considered restraints on trade, and most courts will enforce them only if they are “reasonable.” In considering reasonableness, courts will typically assess three factors: (1) the employer’s interest in protecting its business, (2) the employee’s right to earn a living, and (3) the public’s interest in competitive markets. This article provides practical guidance to increase the likelihood that your nonsolicitation agreements will be enforced.
Perfume, air fresheners, even soap and shampoo are supposed to make the world more pleasant. But that’s not always the case, and those scented products can even present legal risks in the workplace. With many employees claiming an allergy or some other sensitivity to scented products, you may be tasked with solving an invisible, yet serious, problem that threatens the ability of employees to work together and, even more importantly, implicates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
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.