HR News & Trends

HR News & Trends

Weekly Wrap: With Employees, Does Personality Trump Skills, Competence?

© ratch0013 - Fotolia

A long time ago, I worked with a company that valued managers with great personalities over just about anything else.

There was one particular guy who corporate management viewed as a superstar because he had such great “presence.” He had been lauded with all sorts of company honors, and although he certainly did make a great impression when you met him, it was hard to tell just what it was he did well.

A guy who worked closely with him (who later worked for me) started talking about this superstar manager one night over a drink. When I asked him what made ‘Tom” such a star, this guy rolled his eyes and said, “Tom can be really difficult to work for. Yeah, he has great  presence, but he also has the attention span of a gnat.” Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

House Committee Grills NLRB Leaders on “Quickie” Union Election Rule

nlrb

By Michael J. Lotito

This week, National Labor Relations Board Chairman Mark Pearce and General Counsel Richard Griffin, Jr. came under fire from a sharply divided group of House members during a budget subcommittee hearing.

Members pressed Griffin and Pearce on the recent string of NLRB policies that will have a significant impact on labor policy and the ability of employers to manage their businesses.

In their opening statements, Pearce and Griffin reiterated that the NLRB has had to do more with less in recent years, and that the work they do is critical to ensuring that labor groups and employers treat each other appropriately. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Supreme Court Clarifies Rules Against Pregnancy Discrimination, Sort Of

© chasingmoments - Fotolia.com

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court kinda, sorta clarified pregnancy accommodation rules at work.

I’ll do my best to sort it out for you.

Let’s assume that you have a pregnant employee who tells you that she has a lifting restriction. In the past, you have accommodated employees with disabilities who had similar lifting restrictions. You’ve also done the same for folks who got injured on the job and others who lost their U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) certifications.

If you don’t provide the same accommodation to the pregnant employee, have you violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)? Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

English-Only Work Rules May Discriminate – and Violate Labor Law, Too

english-only-zone

By Eric B. Meyer

A few years ago, I posed this question: Is a workplace “English-only” rule legal?

Yadda, yadda, yadda, sometimes.

That is, in this Compliance Manual, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission confirms that employers may adopt English-only rules under certain circumstances, insofar as it is adopted for non-discriminatory reasons (e.g., safety, business necessity) and not to discriminate on the basis of national origin. Read more…

Global HR, HR News & Trends

Studies Show the Shaky Educational Foundation of Our Gen Y Workforce

Photo by istockphoto.com

It’s the definition of a counter-intuitive statement: The Millennial generation has attained the highest levels of education of any previous American generation, yet on average demonstrates weak skills in literacy, numeracy, and problem solving in technology-rich environments compared to their international peers.

This is a tough realization to stomach for a number of reasons.

Not only is it disheartening to hear, and confusing considering the exorbitant and rising costs of education in the U.S., but Millennials are estimated to make up 50 percent of the employee population by 2020 and will shape the economic, political and social landscape for years to come (so their skills are important, to say the least). Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Can You Get Into an Employee’s Messages on a Company-Issued iPad?

© Robert Lehmann - Fotolia.com

By Eric B. Meyer

Does a company invade an employee’s privacy by accessing personal texts on a work-issued iPad?

This “invasion of privacy” question is the lynchpin of a new lawsuit from two former employees of one of the largest beer companies in the world. The complaint (Nascimento v. Anheuser Busch), which began in state court, has been removed to federal court in New Jersey.

David Gialanella, reporting for the New Jersey Law Journal, summarizes the facts of the case: Read more…

Benefits, HR News & Trends

Study: Obamacare Has Little Impact on Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage

Illustration by istockphoto.com

There has been much hand wringing over the health law requirement that large employers this year offer insurance to workers who put in 30 or more hours a week or face penalties for not doing so.

The new rules would cost employers a bundle, some fretted, as part-timers clamored for company coverage previously unavailable to them. Others worried that employers would cut workers’ hours to get under the cap.

A new study found that so far there’s little cause for concern: Average enrollment in company plans was essentially unchanged between 2014 and 2015 at 74 percent of all workers. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Can Just Cashing a Paycheck Waive an Employee’s FLSA Overtime Claim?

No-overtime

By Eric B. Meyer

I’ve gotta hand it to the company in this recent federal appellate court opinion in Beaufort v. ActionLink, LLC. The company almost — soooooo close — avoided several claims for unpaid overtime.

Let me set the stage for you. Back in 2011, the U.S. Department of Labor began investigating a complaint that a marketing company had misclassified some employees and failed to pay overtime. Read more…

HR News & Trends

Weekly Wrap: Too Many Companies Have a Talent Pipeline Problem

© patrimonio designs - Fotolia

There are a lot of things that drive employees crazy, but here’s a big one: When management goes outside the organization and bypasses internal candidates when there is a position to fill.

For some reason, business leadership fails to see how damaging it is to morale and company culture when everyone feels that people inside the organization are consistently passed over, for promotions or more interesting assignments, in favor of outsiders.

In other words, somebody from the outside is better than anybody on the inside. Read more…

HR News & Trends

March Madness? The Other Crazy Things Employees Are Betting On

march-madness-on-demand

By Eric B. Meyer

Got a busted bracket in your HR Department’s NCAA Men’s Tournament bracket pool?

Well, according to this CareerBuilder.com survey, 1 in 7 U.S. workers planned to fill out a bracket in an NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament office pool. Most likely to participate would be the folks in IT (40 percent), with senior management 50 percent more likely to participate than entry-level employees. Read more…