POLICIES / HANDBOOKS

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.

Add a social media policy to your employee handbook

01/07/2015
Social media represents a fundamental shift in how business is evolving. Employers need to establish clear expectations about what employees can and cannot post.

Discrimination: Title VII

01/04/2015

HR Law 101: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination against workers on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. An array of federal and state laws further refine the definition of discrimination ...

Sexual Harassment: Overview

01/03/2015

HR Law 101: Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Courts are increasingly taking a dim view of employers that don't take decisive action to prevent sexual harassment ...

FLSA: Calculating Hours Worked

01/02/2015

HR Law 101: To ensure you’re in compliance with the FLSA, it’s important to understand the definition of “hours of work.” Any hour when an employee’s on duty is considered time worked. The only period usually excluded: when an employee uses the time for personal reasons ...

Workplace Drug Testing

01/01/2015

HR Law 101: Drug testing and substance abuse prevention programs can involve substantial legal liability if employers don't manage and administer them properly. If your organization decides to implement a drug testing program, there are ways to minimize the risk of employee lawsuits ...

Workers' Safety and Health

01/01/2015

HR Law 101: Employers have an obligation to provide a safe work environment for their employees. Those that don’t will pay a heavy price. Their workers’ compensation and other liability insurance costs will rise, workers may sue, and OSHA may impose heavy fines.

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

12/23/2014
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.

Starbucks customers to see a latte more ink

12/23/2014
In response to employee feedback, Starbucks has changed its employee appearance policy to allow employees to show more of their tattoos.

Providing References to Other Employers

12/19/2014

HR Law 101: Despite all the risks, providing other employers with references about your former employees is a good business practice. If you refused to provide references, eventually you would compromise your ability to find out about applicants you’re considering hiring ...

Severance Pay

12/18/2014

HR Law 101: Severance policies are generally considered employee benefit plans entitled to ERISA protection, many courts have ruled. For employers, that means conforming to ERISA’s recordkeeping and disclosure requirements ...

Accommodating Medical Marijuana

12/18/2014

HR Law 101: Currently, 23 states have legalized the use of medical marijuana. Whether employers in those states must accommodate legal medical marijuana use depends on how courts interpret state law.

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