Benefit Open Enrollment meetings happen once a year and many employers go through this process bracing themselves for (what can be) dreadful news. Usually the message is, “your health premiums are going up”! Do you customize your benefits to fit the needs of your staff? Take the time to find out what your employees really want!
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers to grant up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year to individuals recovering from a medical condition, caring for sick family members, or following the birth or adoption of a child under the age of 18. This act covers private sector companies with 50 or more employees. Although this law seems to be so confusing, many answers are found within the FMLA regulations found at www.dol/fmla.
With the changing of seasons comes changes in the workplace along with changes in dress code. This is the time of year when employees typically stretch the dress code policies to try new styles and wardrobe trends. Consistent and uniform enforcement not only reduces potential liability exposure, but also prevents the slow deterioration of your dress code policy in the workplace.
Personnel files should be treated as private company records belonging to you and your individual employees. You don’t want to allow just anyone in the company to rummage through the performance evaluations, salaries, and job applications of coworkers. Keep employee files in a locked cabinet. Make them available only to those people in your company who have a legitimate business need to access the files.
Some employers think it’s not necessary, reasoning that Interns are still in school, live with their parents, receive valuable experience and may even drive their own new cars to work. These employers believe using unpaid Interns is a smart financial move that allows their companies to save money on wages. However, this line of thinking has become risky based on recent court decisions and the filing of new lawsuits.
If you don’t know the rules of the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) then it’s time to refresh yourself with the law. In the state of Iowa, breaks are not legally required, employers must pay employees for time they spend working and for shorter breaks (less than 20 minutes) during the day. An employer that chooses to provide a longer meal break, during which the employee is relieved of all job duties, does not have to pay the employee for that time.
Stop and think about all the things we can do with our smartphones. How did we ever live without them? Isn’t it crazy to think how much our phones have become a part of our lives? In many ways cell phones are great, but for employers, they can cause more grief than what they are worth. (more…)
Tattoos and body piercings are forms of pure expression. For some individuals, these can hold personal meaning and/or emotion. It can be a way to express one’s religious faith, cover a scar, remember a deceased loved one, or symbolize a cultural rite of passage. Since these forms of art are fully protected under the Constitution First Amendment, can you legally make your employees cover them up?