The HR Specialist

Issue: Must you pay employees for time spent changing into protective gear and walking to (and from) their workstations?
Benefit/risk: The Supreme Court finally answered this long-running question, but the …

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Holiday bonuses are becoming less of a holiday tradition, as 59 percent of employers won’t award them this year, says a new Hewitt Associates survey. “Employers recognize that the value in …

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If you mail HR-related info to applicants and employees, budget higher costs in 2006. The Postal Rate Commission last month approved a 2-cent increase in first-class stamps, pushing them up to …

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Starting Jan. 1, employers can offer Roth 401(k)s, which are a hybrid of the basic 401(k) plan and the wildly popular Roth IRA accounts. With Roth 401(k)s, employees invest taxed dollars …

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To persuade employees to switch from expensive brand-name prescription drugs to generics, some employers are eliminating co-payments for generic drugs. Others are waiving the first two or three months of generic …

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Issue: Courts are cracking down on employers that tolerate customer harassment of foreign-born employees.
Risk: Supervisors sometimes are more lenient with harassment by customers than by employees. That’s a big …

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Issue: Scheduling employees during the holidays can cause logistical and legal headaches.
Risk: At the least, hurt feelings and dampened morale. At the worst, a messy religious-discrimination lawsuit.
Action: …

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Issue: The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) makes it illegal to punish employees for discussing pay, benefits or working conditions.
Risk: Many employers believe that such NLRA restrictions apply only …

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Issue: Safety-conscious companies look beyond the bottom line.
Benefit: In addition to reducing costs and boosting morale, safety can be promoted as a recruiting tool to applicants.
Action: Reduce …

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Issue: More employers are offering voluntary supplemental medical insurance, and insurers are offering more products.
Benefit/risk: Such plans can fill gaps left by medical coverage cutbacks, but the strategy can …

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