Up Close and Personnel

Personnel File Documents The importance of having in place complete, accurate, and appropriate employee records cannot be overstated.  Remembering that 25% of court actions are employment-related, the employee file is often a landmine where plaintiff’s attorneys make hay with the contents. Accordingly, creating and maintaining appropriate employee files is a critical first step in establishment of an effective human capital management infrastructure. There is no “one size fits all” approach to what should be included in employee files.  While some state laws impose restrictions on the type of information to... Read More

Reaping What You Sow

Employers are increasingly reflecting on the utility of their performance management programs, particularly in light of a growing trend to do away with such systems entirely.  While it is without question that many traditional programs — typically involving annual merit and bonus systems — aren’t doing what they were designed to do: drive and reward individual performance, it is neither fair nor appropriate to declare the traditional performance management structure the problem.  After all, many shortcomings related to performance management programs may actually result from execution, not design.  That said,... Read More

Covering Your Assets – Why Use Non-Compete Agreements?

Too often, we encounter small business owners who have expressed reluctance to use non-compete and other restrictive covenant agreements.  In addition to expressing concern over the cost of engaging legal counsel to draft an agreement, many believe that their business is too small to worry about non-competes or similar restrictive covenants. The term “non-compete agreement” technically refers to a contract that precludes a person from engaging in certain acts of competition for a prescribed period of time within a prescribed geographic area.  The term, however, is often used broadly to... Read More

Weathering the Storm

With all the talk about weather, particularly the massive storm that recently hit the East Coast, it’s an opportune time to highlight how inclement weather can present “issues” in terms of managing human capital and/or responding to questions about how office closure affects compensation.  Although most issues created by weather-related office closures involve non-exempt employees, the reality is that employers can (and often do) inadvertently create compliance issues when they require, for example, all employees to use PTO when an office closure arises.  Read on to learn why that is not a good... Read More

Get Smart with the New I-9 Form

  “Smart” Form I-9 to be Released in 2016 All employers are required to complete and maintain a Form I-9 for each employee hired, in order to verify identity and authorization to work in the United States.  Form I-9s are regulated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS or Agency), which wants to create a new “smart” version.  The changes are intended to reduce user error by simplifying the form in a manner intended to address some common points of confusion caused by the most recent version. Expected Changes... Read More

A Wrinkle in Overtime

Background Overtime regulations were first implemented as part of the original Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in 1938 to provide minimum protections to American workers.  Although the FLSA deals with worker compensation, it has not been regularly updated, a fact that has drawn the attention of the Obama Administration.  Accordingly, last year the DOL issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, in which it proposed significant changes to the FLSA, with the inten-tion to carry out those changes by January 1, 2016.  The sweeping changes were immed-iately met with opposition by... Read More

Religious Accommodation in the Workplace – 2016

A December 31, 2015 Denver Post article written by Emilie Rusch and Jesse Paul reported that Cargill Meat Solutions terminated the employment of approximately 190 employees when it was unable to resolve a workplace prayer dispute with Somali workers at its Fort Morgan, Colorado meatpacking plant.  Impacted employees allege that the plant changed its religious accommodation policy when the company refused to accommodate a group’s request to pray together.  In response to the company’s refusal, the group of approximately 20 employees, mostly immigrants from Somalia, failed to report to work for... Read More
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