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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.

If you use (or plan to use) Section 529 college savings plans, take note: A few small changes buried in a new law could help you save even more in those tax-advantaged college-savings vehicles.
Business owners frequently clash with the IRS over whether workers should be considered employees or independent contractors. You face a higher tax burden when workers are considered employees. To help you determine a worker’s classification,use this 20-question test, which has evolved from various court cases and IRS rulings over the years. Most questions relate to the degree of control that you exert over the worker.
Sadly, the bonus depreciation rules have expired. That means you’re stuck with regular depreciation deductions under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS), which requires you to write off business equipment over several years. Don’t despair. You still have the Section 179 deduction privilege on your side. And, when used correctly, this not-so-secret tax weapon can help you rescue big current-year write-offs … at least for now.
Brazilian equipment supplier Semco has grown an average 27.5 percent a year for 14 years, despite wild fluctuations in Brazil’s economy. The reason: Semco’s radical use of participative management. Of the employees’ 3,000 votes, CEO Ricardo Semler gets only one.
Randy Nelson, dean of Pixar University, doesn’t like outsourcing, but not for the reasons you might think. He’s not worried about job security; his reasons are all about creativity.
Issue: Employers often set new hires' wages, in part, based on salaries at previous jobs.
Risk: A new court ruling says you could run afoul of the Equal Pay Act ...
Should you allow workers to play music at their workstations? Should you have the radio on in the back­ground for the whole office? Should you let your people use their iPods to get through the day?
Here's a true story that should put a good scare in managers who think they're doing every­thing right and underestimate their chances of legal exposure:
It's hard, but necessary, to terminate employees who commit misdeeds or who just aren't performing, because they keep everyone else from perform­ing as well. But it's equally necessary to make sure that you approach each potential termination systematically and fairly, to stay out of legal danger.
When it comes to an applicant's background, what you don't know can hurt your company.  That's why instead of making excuses for your lack of background checking efforts, make the time to run background checks.  These employers certainly wish they had.