HR Soapbox

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How would your employees respond if you took away their desks and, instead, told them they could plop down anywhere each day with their laptops and phones. Conversion to such an “untethered” office isn’t a concept sweeping the country, but it is being tested in some locations. How would your office respond?

A new breed of business-related apps aim to copy SnapChat, making self-destructing online discussions popular in business, too. The goal: become the digital equivalent of behind-closed-doors meetings and off-the-record conversation, with no written record of the discussion. But the trend carries some legal risks for HR ...

The Monday after the Super Bowl has become "the biggest unofficial holiday of the year, with 1.5 million people calling in sick as a result of the game and about 4.4 million people will show up late for work.” How many of those late/missing workers will try to tap into their job-protected allotment of FMLA leave? And what can you do to help combat this kind of FMLA abuse? Here’s a 9-step program:
The legal wall criminalizing marijuana has begun to crumble and, in major turnaround from past decades, a majority of Americans now support legalizing pot. But for employers (even in those pro-pot states), this new legality trend doesn’t have to alter your policies. Here's more advice, and a link to a sample policy ...
Employment law can be confusing. But at what point does a manager actually think it's legally wise to make a chart predicting the pregnancies of his female employees? That's what happened in a recent case. Step inside and learn from their mistakes ... 

Retail giant Target grabbed HR headlines recently when it announced it was removing from its job applications any questions about applicants’ criminal backgrounds. Reason: Minnesota (where Target is based) passed a law that forbids private employers in the state from asking criminal background check questions on job applications. Minnesota is one of 10 states and 50+ cities to change their laws in response to a grassroots campaign called “Ban the Box.” Many employers are also changing their applications on their own ...

Charges of job discrimination (race, age, sex, religion, disability, etc.) by U.S. employees spiked during the Great Recession. However, an improving economy had employees in a less litigious mood during fiscal year 2013. Here are the just-released numbers ... 

So you've checked Grandma, Uncle Charley and Cousin Tyler off your Christmas list. But have you thought about putting anything extra in your employees' stockings this holiday? Most employees say they’d prefer cash, but padding paychecks isn’t the only way your organization can say “Happy Holi­­days!” Consider these wise alternatives ...

The period between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day typically finds employees distracted, absent or doing things that require extra management scrutiny. For HR, that means more hassles, more drama and more legal concerns. You can head off those problems by planning for these additional risks and clarifying (or creating) smart HR policies. Four issues to watch out for ...

When we think about bullying, we think about kids on the school playground or hallways. But a high-profile act of adult-size bullying this week thrust the issue into the national conversation. And the story carries several lessons for HR ...
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