POLICIES / HANDBOOKS

Do nonexempts really need noncompetes?

04/22/2015
In recent years, a few employers have begun requiring even nonexempt employees to sign noncompete agreements. It may well be a short-lived trend.

What constitutes an essential job function?

04/21/2015
Q. I hand a brochure titled “Job Information and Requirements” to each new hire I bring on board to my construction company. With the addition of new positions, I need to draft new brochures with job descriptions, but am having trouble determining the essential job functions. Is there a specific method that I can use to decide whether a job function is essential?

How should we provide required posters for employees who work from home?

04/13/2015
Q. We have a number of employees who work solely from home. For them, is electronic delivery or posting of the notice required by the new Women’s Economic Security Act sufficient? Do we need to have the employee acknowledge receipt?

Vodafone maternity leave policy sets gold standard

04/01/2015
Starting April 1, Vodafone employees may take up to 16 weeks of paid maternity leave—and be able to work 30-hour weeks at full pay for six months after they return to work.

Do we need to accommodate smokers?

03/11/2015
Q. We currently have a designated smoking area outside our building. Recently, an employee who is extremely sensitive to certain odors complained that smoke was drifting through our ventilation system into her work space. May we prohibit smoking in certain areas outside our building? If so, do we need to provide another location for our employees to smoke?

Avoid the pitfalls of social media: The FCRA and EEOC angle

03/09/2015
You may think you're using social media for quite innocent puposes, but the law may state otherwise.

It's spring, so love must be in the air ... and at the office

03/09/2015
Hone your workplace relationship rules now before spring romance brings September grief.

March Madness: Deal with office betting pools

03/09/2015
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.

Drop the cellphone! Set an anti-distracted driving policy

03/09/2015
Most states have laws against texting or talking on a handheld cellphone while driving. Absent a clear, tough, enforced policy against distracted driving, employers risk losing millions of dollars in jury verdicts—and contribute to crippling and fatal carnage on the road.

What is the most effective way of keeping a former employee from giving away trade secrets?

03/03/2015
Q. As an employer, what can I do to avoid unauthorized disclosure of sensitive company information when an employee departs?

Why you need a workplace gambling policy

03/03/2015
Most employers fail to specifically prohibit workplace gambling, and many sanction the behavior as harmless fun. Don't bet on it.

Follow these guidelines to protect your trade secrets

02/09/2015
As the economy heats up and employees start exploring greener pastures, it’s more important than ever to ensure that you implement iron-clad confidentiality agreements to make sure your intellectual property doesn’t walk out the door with them if they change jobs.

More than a matter of style: Grooming rules can differ based on gender

02/05/2015

If you have a dress and grooming policy that sets out different rules for men and women, you aren’t necessarily setting yourself up for a sex discrimination lawsuit. As several court rulings have shown, you can have different rules based on gender—as long as you enforce those rules even-handedly.

Pregnancy Discrimination Act

01/30/2015

HR Law 101: The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978 prohibits discrimination on the basis of "pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions." Employers can't deny a woman a job or a promotion merely because she's pregnant or has had an abortion ...

New NLRB ruling shows risk of prohibiting 'loud, disrespectful' speech

01/16/2015
During an all-staff meeting at an Amazon.com warehouse in Arizona, an employee loudly voiced concerns about an on-site safety issue. After the meeting, he was called in the HR office and told he spoke too loudly and disrespectfully, both of which violated company policy. The employee countered by saying he had to speak loudly to be heard—and he objected to Amazon’s heavy-handed response.
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