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Pat DiDomenico

Hurricane Sandy is a powerful reminder: Natural (and man-made) disasters can threaten at any time. Smart employers make contingency plans so they can stay up and running even when normal work operations are disrupted. Here are eight key pieces to a crisis-management plan, which you can coordinate with the appropriate departments.

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Political talk in the workplace typically heats to a boiling point about this time every four years. The closeness of the Romney-Obama race is stirring the pot even more. For employers, your goal in these final couple of weeks is to balance employees’ interest in speaking freely with your interest in maintaining order and productivity. Here are some rules to help you minimize distractions …

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Performance review meetings can bring anxiety to both sides of the desk. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With the right planning by supervisors, the meeting can be a productive, morale-boosting exchange. If you’re a manager, here are five steps to help you conduct productive and stress-free reviews …

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In the past decade, two things have definitely grown: Americans’ waistlines and the desire for U.S. employers to reduce their employee-related health care costs. Those two trends have more employers considering a legally risky thought: Can we refuse to hire overweight people? With nearly 36% of adults in this country considered obese, this issue isn’t going away …

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If you’re reading about more employers getting hit with discrimination lawsuits in the past few weeks, it’s not a random trend. We are deep into what’s called the “Red Zone,” the last quarter of the fiscal year (ending Sept. 30) in which the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) traditionally files more lawsuits than any other period. An EEOC lawsuit against an employer typically starts with an administrative charge from the agency. So it’s critical for you to handle them properly. Here are 10 tips to help you prepare to respond …

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When HR or supervisors investigate claims of employee misconduct or harassment, it’s common for them to ask employees to “keep this information confidential.” But an important ruling from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) says that such a blanket confidentiality rule barring workers from discussing ongoing investigations could violate federal labor law …

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Introverts may be less noisy, but they actually outnumber extroverts in the workplace. But in today’s extroverted business world, introverts can sometimes feel overlooked, excluded and misunderstood. Jennifer Kahnweiler, author of the groundbreaking book, The Introverted Leader, suggests managers follow these five tips for supervising their introverted employees …

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The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has proposed some changes to its infamous I-9 employee verification form, but hasn’t made anything official yet. In the meantime, you may have noticed that the form carries an expiration date of Aug. 31, 2012. What if the USCIS doesn’t release a new form before the Aug. 31 expiration date? The USCIS solved the mystery last week …

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It started last week and really picked up steam this week: Calls and walk-in questions to HR departments around the country from confused employees who received letters—or, in some cases, unexpected rebate checks—from their health insurer. The New York Times called it the “Great Health Insurance Giveback”: $1.1 billion in premiums returned to policyholders under a provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). How has your company responded?

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We packed up the Soapbox this summer and trucked down to Atlanta for America’s annual gathering of all things HR … the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) annual conference. In no specific order, here are 10 of the best nuggets of wisdom dished out by the speakers … 

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