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.

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Q. Is obtaining a legal release from an employee in exchange for severance pay guaranteed to prevent any legal action by that person? —J.S. ...

Lights out signals lunch time at the NRG::Seattle insurance company. Every day at 11:30 am, the lights go off and all employees must stop working. This one-hour break gives employees the chance to eat together and take a breather before the second half of the workday ...

Q. I recently read a report that said drug use among employees actually went up in the past decade. We’re considering starting to do drug tests. What should our policy say? —L.U. ...

Take note if you automatically deduct meal periods from your hourly employees’ total hours worked: Although making those deductions doesn’t violate the Fair Labor Standards Act, it's a dangerous practice ...

The selection process is over, and the newly promoted employee has begun work. Now is not the time for those involved in the hiring process to pontificate on racial balance in the workplace. That’s especially true if the applicants were all qualified for the position and a member of a majority class was selected over minority candidates ...

You’ve heard a rumor that one of your employees is looking for or has already accepted another job. Then you call him into a meeting to discuss the matter. You ask whether the rumor is true. That’s when the employee admits the job hunt, but hits you with the reason: He claims the work environment is so hostile that he has no choice but to look. What’s your next step? Do you fire him since he’s looking for other work? Or do you tell him you will investigate his claims and then follow up? ...

Q. When one of our employees was fired, he demanded his paycheck on that same day. Are we required to deliver final paychecks to employees the day they quit or are terminated? —D.G. ...

If an employee says he or she is being sexually harassed, it’s management’s job to take the complaint seriously. Those who don’t may have to pay dearly—because a jury may order that the victim receive punitive damages, too. The quickest way to earn those punitive damages is to make light of complaints. As the following case shows, that can mean an extra payment of three times the actual damages—or even more ...

Make sure all supervisors who have direct contact with job applicants understand this simple rule: No new employee performs any work until HR approves the hiring and provides a start date. Otherwise the applicant’s time spent “working” may become the basis for a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) claim. Then, it will be your word against the applicant’s as to how many hours he or she actually worked ...

Having trouble finding the best way to explain to employees that it’s in their best interest to maintain a harassment-free environment? Try this persuasive sentence: Co-workers who participate in discriminatory conduct can be held personally liable for damages. Or explain it this way: If co-workers name-call, harass or otherwise discriminate against another co-worker, their assets—house, car and personal possessions—are on the line ...