11.1% of workers belong to a union, membership rate held steady in 2015

The union membership rate—the percent of hourly and salaried workers who were union members—was 11.1% in 2015, unchanged from 2014, according to the latest numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Postpone discipline while awaiting FMLA certification

It can take a long time to process an FMLA request, especially if the employee doesn’t promptly respond to demands to provide medical certification of the need for leave.

Sample Policy: Job Postings

If you want employees to apply for job openings that may occur, you need a policy explaining your process.

Good news and bad news: Workers are back

The latest government statistics show that unemployment is falling as the economy recovers. It’s a trend that both helps and hurts employers.

Office betting pools: Is it time to crack down?

You don’t need to crack down on minor pools, but you should write a policy on habitual gambling at work. The real danger of office bracketology lies in its effect on compulsive gamblers who may be on your payroll.

10 steps: Conducting an internal investigation

Follow these procedures when conducting internal investigations of alleged employee misconduct.

No pay for bathroom breaks costs Pa. firm $1.75M

A federal court last month ordered a Pennsylvania media company to pay more than $1.75 million to 6,000 employees who were docked pay for bathroom breaks and other types of short breaks.

Poll: Bad body language can disqualify job applicants

An impressive résumé and cover letter can help a candidate land a job interview. Bad body language and awkward mannerisms can ensure that there won’t be a second interview—or a job offer.

In the mailbag this month ...


Payroll’s Super Bowl, also known as year-end, is done. Congratulations. Now it’s time to tackle what’s piled up during the last several months.

NLRB ruling: Audio recording at work may violate NLRA


The National Labor Relations Board has assumed an activist posture in the last few years, issuing detailed guidance on everything from how you should word your at-will notice to whether you can tell workers not to discuss their earnings or gossip about work.

Worker takes patient records, university pays HIPAA fine

Lest there be any doubt that employers are ultimately responsible for keeping confidential information under wraps, consider the case of the University of Rochester Medical Center. It is now paying for a security breach that was entirely preventable.

Triborough Bridge & Tunnel Authority settles PDA claims

The Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority has agreed to settle charges it discriminated against female officers by automatically transferring them to less desirable assignments when the officers revealed they were pregnant.

Isolated, mild comments don't add up to legitimate lawsuit

Some terminated employees think that all they need to do to build a winning lawsuit is recall an offensive comment a supervisor once made. That’s not usually true.

Retire or you're fired? Prepare for age bias suit

It’s fine to offer an early retirement buyout. It’s a very bad idea to say that, if not enough older workers accept the offer, they might be fired.

Transfer away from alleged harasser may be an ADA reasonable accommodation

Usually, judges rule it’s not a reasonable ADA accommodation to not have to work for a particular supervisor. In other words, a disabled worker can’t demand a transfer away from a specific supervisor, even if that supervisor may aggravate the employee’s disability.
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