The HR Specialist — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Page 307
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The HR Specialist

Employers know they have to investigate sexual harassment complaints. It’s the only way to avoid liability in some sexual harassment cases. But your investigation doesn’t have to be perfect—just prompt and reasonable …

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Q. We are considering implementing a substance abuse policy. Are there any North Carolina regulations concerning such policies? …

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Q. We require our employees to wear uniforms, and we make employees pay for them. A new employee said the employer must pay for uniforms. Is he right? …

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Plaintiffs’ lawyers are using a new tactic to search for incriminating e-mail messages in corporate e-mail archives—software that seeks out “worry words” in e-mails that could show your company was aware of potential liability earlier than it admits …

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“If you’ve not dealt with unions before, I cannot overemphasize how quickly the world could change this fall,” said Mike Fox, a Texas-based attorney with Ogletree Deakins. “This would be the first time in my life we’d really have a president aligned with organized labor.”

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lthough a poor economy is roiling employers nationwide, they’re managing to maintain the level of employee benefits offered, according to SHRM’s 2008 Employee Benefits study released last month. On average, benefits will cost employers 39% of payroll in 2008, about the same as last year …

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In a case that illustrates just how sensitive some employees are to perceived sexual stereotypes, a woman hired to work as a receptionist tried to claim that refusing to serve her male bosses coffee was tantamount to engaging in protected activity. Then she alleged retaliation …

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Most jobs demand full-time attention. That doesn’t always stop employees from taking second or even third jobs. f you want your full-time employees’ full-time attention, consider adopting a “no moonlighting” policy, plus a clear prohibition against any kind of work for the competition …

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Q. We hire seasonal temps and have them sign a policy that says their employment will end on a certain date. We’re aware of the unemployment responsibilities that come with being the last employer on record. If temps are hired with 1099 status, will our company still be responsible as the last employer on record and held liable for unemployment benefits? If we use a temp agency, are we liable? …

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Q. We’re cleaning up our personnel files and updating emergency contact information. Some employees don’t want to provide their contact information. Is it legal for us to require them to give it to us? …

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