From the archive: Halloween The Carnival of HR

I thought it was apropos to replay this Carnival of HR on Halloween. Enjoy these scary stories from last year. For the Halloween version of the Carnival of HR, the host, Mike VanDervort, asked us to submit “scary tales of HR.” Mike said: I suggested that people share a story about a scary HR practice …

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How are lactating mothers protected in the workplace?

For some reason, there has been a spate of articles posted in various outlets about lactating mothers. I am not sure what the cause for this is, perhaps some employer is engaging in wrongdoing or some untrained manager has denied someone the opportunity to express breast milk. Who knows? Whatever the reason, it is a …

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Are you losing that much money that you dock people if they take more than 90 seconds in the bathroom?

I read about a court case that made it past the U.S. Court of Appeals, for consideration by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) but was rejected by them. The case involves a telemarketing firm that gives 90 seconds as the appropriate amount of time to go to the bathroom. If the employee …

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Opinion letters flowing from the Wage and Hour Division to help employers

In a blog post from last July, I mentioned that Department of Labor Secretary Alex Acosta had announced that the Wage and Hour Division would start administering opinion letter again. They have lived up to their word. Initially, they reviewed and reissued opinion letters from 2009, such as one on permissible salary deductions from exempt …

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Do you have to give compensated breaks under the FMLA?

In a recent opinion letter administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, the determination was made that 15-minute rest breaks necessitated by an employee’s medical condition were NOT compensable, at least not all of them. Here is the situation. FMLA covered An employee, covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act, had a personal medical …

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Another Pink Observation: Lunch is the most important meal of the day for workers

Last week I talked about Daniel Pink’s book When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing and described the case for When is the best time to make important decisions? In this week’s installment is about lunch and the evidence that it is the most important meal of the day if you expect productive workers. Breakfast …

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Courts weigh-in on whether or not breaks are to be paid

I find it amazing sometimes the extent to which employers go to try to get around rules. The Fair Labor Standards Act says that, while breaks are not required for nonexempt hourly employees, if an employer allows breaks then they must be paid if they are twenty minutes or less in length. The concept is …

Read moreCourts weigh-in on whether or not breaks are to be paid

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