Human Resources

From employment law to compensation and benefits, FMLA and hiring and firing and more, Business Management Daily provides comprehensive Human Resources updates.

Discover how your colleagues – and competitors – are dealing with discrimination and harassment, employment law, benefits programs, and more.

Q. We are a nonunion company and obviously would like to stay that way. We gave a very modest wage increase six months ago, and we just learned that another company in the same industrial park got hit with a union organizing campaign. I think we should be proactive. Normally we review wages every 12 months, but I want to recommend to my management team that we break that cycle and do a wage increase now. Can we get in any trouble by going ahead with a wage increase now, even though it’s not in keeping with our regular practice? —C.O.

Many employers have run afoul of federal discrimination law by requiring all employees to speak only English at all times. The EEOC has said employers can only set such “English-only” rules if they can show a clear business need ...

Q. More employees are asking to telecommute, as are prospective hires for difficult-to-fill positions. If we have such a policy, what should be included to ensure there isn’t any favoritism among workers?

If your organization has opted not to participate in the Texas workers’ compensation system, but you still authorize treatment for work-related injuries, make sure you track how and when you give employees permission to seek treatment ...

If you get wind of a possible lawsuit over unpaid overtime, make sure all your payroll records remain intact and available. Don’t crank up the shredder. If you dispose of related documents, the penalties under Ohio law can be especially harsh ...

Execs in your organization constantly look for ways to reduce labor costs and improve work force productivity to keep up with competition. Most likely, those bosses don’t ask your advice ... and you don’t give it. To start playing a role in improving productivity, take the following steps ...

Q. One of our male supervisors fired what we in HR thought was a poor-performing female employee. During the exit interview, the terminated employee told us that her supervisor fired her because he was sexually harassing her and she threatened to report him if it didn’t stop. It turned out that her claim was legitimate. We immediately called her back to work.

We thought we had dodged a bullet but, unfortunately, we’ve been contacted by her attorney, who threatened a lawsuit unless we agree to settle her claim for a lot of money. We will contact an attorney to represent us, but we want to know if the fact that we brought her right back to work is going to make a difference? —L.W.

Do you worry you may be courting a discrimination lawsuit when you turn away an applicant or toss an unsolicited résumé in the trash? Rest assured that turning away applicants when you don’t have an opening isn’t likely to get you in trouble ...

Q. One of my staff showed me an Internet link to another employee’s personal blog, which included racial and offensive comments about our company and employees. Can we reprimand the employee for the racial slurs?

Texas House of Representative member Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) recently withdrew a measure that would have penalized employers that hired undocumented immigrants ...