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November 25, 2019

Five reasons for employers to give thanks this holiday season

Many plan for friends and family to gather this week for the annual Thanksgiving meal. Some employees must work on Thanksgiving Day, including health care professionals, first responders and retail employees. But many workers enjoy the time away from their jobs. Even though this is a week for many workers to take a break and […]

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November 18, 2019

Can you legally deck the workplace halls?

Employers typically begin decorating for the holidays this time of year, and many have questions about appropriate workplace decorations that support a diverse work environment. Not all signs of the holidays implicate a religious expression. In 1989, the U.S. Supreme Court clarified which symbols would be considered “religious” in a case related to public-sector buildings […]

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November 11, 2019

English-only workplace policies can be discriminatory

Establishing a rule that employees can speak only English, even when not working but on premises, likely violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act in that it negatively targets individuals based on their national origin. The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently announced that San Antonio-based La Cantera Resort and Spa agreed to settle […]

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November 3, 2019

Employers should make it a priority to evaluate whether pay gaps exist

The Equal Pay Act prohibits discrimination in pay based on gender. Despite the law, a recent PayScale survey said women earn just 98 cents on the dollar to men when comparing men and women with the same job and qualifications. The concern around violations of equal pay are a hot topic in 2019 and on […]

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October 28, 2019

Coworker dating can cause problems

A video taken in September of two airline employees brawling in the jetway at the Denver airport was reportedly precipitated by an intimate relationship between them. The video captured the male and female co-workers spitting, throwing punches and slapping each other. Both were terminated, according to Republic Airways. Although we don’t know what led to […]

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October 21, 2019

Prohibit Halloween costumes at work; have a fall celebration instead

As we approach the celebration of Halloween, how should employers encourage or discourage the celebration at work? There remains a dialogue in society that Americans have become too politically correct and are triggered by minor things and that these triggers are taking all the fun out of the workplace. This will be the complaint when […]

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October 14, 2019

Employers should establish internal protocols to make sure ADA requirements are met

Employers must provide reasonable accommodations to workers with a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which enforces the ADA, recently filed multiple lawsuits against employers who have failed to comply with the law. Employers should establish internal protocols to make sure that managers and employees understand their obligations and […]

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October 5, 2019

With new federal overtime rules coming, now is a good time to make sure jobs are properly classified

With a new federal rule updating overtime pay that becomes effective next year, now is a good time to review all jobs that are currently considered exempt to determine if they are properly classified. The U.S. Department of Labor announced last month the final rules updating the minimum salary basis test for certain exemptions. The […]

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September 30, 2019

Invest management time in developing employees

Every organization needs intentional, effective managers to build a high functioning staff of people who are engaged, productive and happy. Too often, organizations promote to management individuals who are best skilled at their regular jobs, but who lack management training or skill. The best accountant becomes the manager of the accountants; the best engineer becomes […]

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September 24, 2019

Managers have an obligation to prevent and report workplace harassment

Becoming a manager or supervisor creates certain legal duties, including the duty to stop and correct any workplace harassment when being told about it. Too often, those in management fail to recognize their need to stop harassment and/or fail to follow the proper reporting obligations that exist in organizations. There are six statements that employees […]

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