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?
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…)
The best way to avoid a potential employee lawsuit is to conduct an internal HR audit. Internal audits don’t have to create fear rather they should provide a comprehensive review of your current policies, procedures and strategies. They can be done by yourself or directed by your HR Professional.
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.
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.
An offer letter (written correctly) is your next step! An offer letter helps identify pay, position, exemption status, start date, benefits and other special circumstances or compensation arrangements. An offer letter confirms interest and acceptance of the position and can be very helpful when trying to recall special work arrangements. (more…)
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.