Two News Items of Interest to HR

The arena of human resources is not a static one. Rather, one of the main challenges for people in the profession is the fact that rules, regulations, and practices are changing all the time. In that vein, I have several things in the news of which you need to be aware. Exempt salary level Back …

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Fire that employee for complaining about wages at your own peril revisited

I read an article about a cocktail waitress who was fired for “not getting along with management” because she complained in an employee meeting about uniforms, the cold temperature, a lack of benefits, and reduced pay for special events. Management must have thought she was a pain, so they fired her two days later. That …

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Can you swear in the workplace and get away with it?

I bet it is a sure thing that all of us have heard some vulgar words at work. I certainly have. I worked in a manufacturing plant in Illinois and with some employees every other word was “mother-f**king” this and “mother-f**king” that. The question is can you clamp down on vulgarity and avoid claims of …

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Your nonunion employees are still protected by the National Labor Relations Act

Many employers are unaware of the National Labor Relations Act which provides protection to employees even though those employees do not belong to a union. A recent decision by an Administrative Law Judge shows just how far this can be taken. Walked off the job According to attorneys Robert T. Quackenboss, Kurt G. Larkin and …

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Independent Contractors and the National Labor Relations Board

We all know that the US Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service dislike the use of the Independent Contractor classification. Now the National Labor Relations Board has weighed-in as well and, guess what, they don’t like it either. Improper classification can lead to an unfair labor charge According to Richard J. Reibstein  of …

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Can you ban political discussions in the workplace?

We are but three months away from knowing who will be the new chief executive in the White House. Given the political discourse to date that could end up being a long three months. Both sides have been vocal, physical at times, and most workplaces would not be the appropriate forum for those kinds of …

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Are employees protected from termination for social media posts?

Curt Schilling, former superstar turned ESPN announcer, was prominent in the news last week because he got fired for comments he made about the North Carolina “bathroom” law. (If you are not familiar with what that is you click here.) Many people may have thought that Schilling was protected in his comments, so what is …

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What can you do with a disloyal employee?

It is a safe bet that most companies have, at some time, had an employee or two that they considered to be disloyal. In most cases the penalty for disloyalty most often applied is termination. Unfortunately today the National Labor Relations Board may disagree with you and that may embolden your employees. This was a …

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Can you prohibit employees from taking photos at work?

The answer, like many in HR, is it depends on the circumstances. If you ask the NLRB they will tell you “No” if it interferes with an employee’s rights under the National Labor Relations Act. In fact recording of any kind, photographic or voice, has to be allowed baring some valid legal or business justification. …

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Could temporary workers become a hot bed of union activity?

The National Labor Relations Board recently rendered a decision that has many management side attorneys shaking their heads and wondering if this might open the door to union activity in some companies via their use of temporary staffing agencies. The case Browning-Ferris Industries, or BFI, runs a recycling operation that employees union workers. They also …

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