Can we ban visible tattoos and piercings in the workplace?

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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? 

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Workplace Violence….Are you prepared?

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Employees who are unhappy in their job or are angry with their manager oftentimes resort to violence. Do you know how to recognize warning signs of violent behavior? Would you be prepared if something did happen? These conversations should exist in your workplace and managers should be trained so they can recognize signs of danger and/or violence. Listed below are some things you can do to create awareness in your workplace. (more…)

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Communicating Summer Dress Code Expectations and PTO Guidelines

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With the changing of seasons comes changes in the workplace along with changes in summer 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.

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Now that spring has sprung are you considering hiring an Intern for the summer? Should your Intern be paid?

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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.

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Handbook Revisions

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When was the last time you up-dated your Employee Handbook? Not only are state, federal and local laws changing rapidly, so too is the technology shaping how people work today. It’s essential for employers to be pro-active and stay ahead of changes while allowing employees controlled freedom to do their job. Finding this balance can be difficult. If you regularly review and revise existing policies/procedures and freshen up your Employee Handbook it will define employee expectations and desired behavior.

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When should you offer severance?

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The idea behind a severance agreement is that an employee agrees to take something of value to which he/she is not otherwise entitled. Paying severance is above and beyond what an employer is required to do. However, it is thought by most that a severance agreement that includes a full release of claims is the only way an employer can be reasonably sure it won’t be dealing with the terminated employee again. Of course…. this peace of mind comes with a price!   (more…)

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