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  • Rules on Pay After a Resignation

    Do Voluntary Resignations Require Advance Notice?

    When you’re watching your labor costs, it is important to know how to handle an employee resignation, compensation-wise. If you require employees to provide two weeks’ notice of their resignation, you may have to pay them for that full period even if you release them earlier. But, even if you only request the advance notice, it still may be better employee relations to pay for that full two-week period.

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  • FLSA Compliance - "11 Main Test" for Independent Contractors

    FLSA Series Part 2: Independent Contractor or Employee?

    5357085004_5906faca53_bThis is the second of a series of articles explaining the Fair Labor Standards Act, FLSA, or the Wage and Hour Law. Since the FLSA only applies to employees and not independent contractors, it behooves you to know how to make the distinction. I attended a recent continuing education class where the employment lawyer suggested anywhere from 10 percent to 30 percent of independent contractors paid on 1099s should really be classified as employees.

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  • Holiday Pay for Employees

    Answers to 7 Holiday Pay Questions

    6394869841_b9d954ef90_bDo you have to provide paid holidays? What about for new employees? And do you have to pay overtime to employees who have to work a holiday? We’re officially heading into the holiday season with Thanksgiving coming up next week and Christmas and the New Year just around the corner. If you are like most employers, you may be dealing with holiday pay issues. To help you out, here are the answers to seven common holiday pay questions.

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  • Take Caution When Terminating Older Employees

    Terminating Older Employees: OWBPA Q&A

    Release agreements can help prevent lawsuits when employees are terminated. But, if you want to protect against age discrimination claims, your release must meet eight specific criteria. The following question and answer transcript covers the basic issues you may run into when terminating older employees.

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  • FLSA Exemptions Explained

    FLSA Series Part 1: Exempt or Non-Exempt Classifications

    This is the first of a series of articles explaining the Fair Labor Standards Act, FLSA, or the Wage and Hour Law. It is the FLSA that defines at the federal level the distinction between exempt and non-exempt employees. Non-exempt employees are covered by the FLSA rules while exempt employees are not. Exempt employees are exempt from being paid for over time worked and are instead expected to perform their required work, regardless of the time needed to do it.

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  • How to End At-Will Employment

    Tread Lightly When Ending At-Will Employment

    Have you ever been tempted to terminate an at-will employee without providing him with a reason? Maybe you did not properly document the employee’s performance problems or are so fed up with his attitude that you feel like you have to take action immediately. After all, the “at-will” concept, simply put, allows you to terminate employees at any time, for any legal reason, or for no reason at all.

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  • Update on EEO-1 Filing and VETS Forms

    EEO-1 Filing Due But VETS-100 and 100A Delayed

    The deadline is approaching for many employers to report to the federal government the ethnic, racial, gender, and veteran composition of their workforces. Specifically, if you are a covered employer, you must file the Employer Information Report, Form EEO-1, by September 30, 2011. But, thanks to a technical glitch, the VETS-100 and VETS-100A forms are not due until November 30, 2011.

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  • More Time Off? Tricky Pay Decisions

    Vacation Issue: Partial Days for Exempt Employees Q&A

    Nonexempt employees only have to be paid when they work, so they may take partial unpaid vacation days any time an employer authorizes the time. But what about exempt employees? Find out how the FLSA exemption regulations limit unpaid time off of less than a day for these employees.

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  • Beware of Verbal Discrimination Complaints

    FLSA: Supreme Court Rules Oral Complaints Valid

    An employee, Aziz, continues to complain about off color jokes during his staff meetings. He feels that his colleagues poke undue fun at his religious head cover, but at no time puts his concerns in writing. However, week after week, he calmly but directly looks his boss in the eye and reminds him that the jokes are offensive and obviously a show of disrespect for him and his religion. Aziz is clear with the boss that he feels uncomfortable in his job given the jokes.

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  • Meal and Break Laws: Be Smart and Beware

    Your Meal Break Policy: Six Topics to Cover

    Meal breaks are a necessary component of every employee’s day and may be required by your state. Find out the six topics you should consider to make sure your meal break policy is legally compliant and effective.

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  • HR Approach to Harassment at Work

    How to Deal with Workplace Harassment

    One of our human resources responsibilities is to proactively assure we work in environments free from unlawful harassment. No harassment of any kind is positive in a work place culture, but not all is illegal. For example, if you insist on wearing polka dots with plaids, the more fashion conscious in your group may harass you for your fashion taste. While you may find that annoying, especially since you are clearly the more fashion forward one, it is not illegal.

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  • Employee Benefits Plans Communication

    Responsibility Rests on Both Sides in Health Benefits Communication

    A May 2011 case before the U.S. Supreme Court, Cigna v. Amara, centered on whether critical information about Cigna’s pension benefits were properly communicated in the company’s Summary Plan Description (SPD), a federally required summary of plan benefits that must be distributed to employees, retirees and beneficiaries. At the heart of the case is the employees’ contention that Cigna failed to fully and clearly disclose a change in its pension plan which, if employees had understood it, might have spurred them to retire or take another job.

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  • How to Avoid EEOC Complaints in Hiring

    Employing The Right Way

    Many employers these days have countless ways they conduct the recruitment and hiring processes. And, I’m willing to bet many of those employers have forgotten that they are bound by Federal law on discriminatory practices, starting at the very beginning…recruitment. Discrimination is a very costly mistake that can bring an employer both financial penalties, as well as a poor public image. The following are some important things to remember when it comes to recruitment and hiring practices.

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  • Summer Dress Code at Work

    Is Your Dress Code Ready for Summer?

    It is summertime, and you know what that means – it is the season when your employees bare arms, legs, and maybe more than you want to see. Find out five tips you can you use to get everyone to dress appropriately in the warm weather.

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  • FLSA on High School Summer Interns and Volunteers

    Paying Summer Interns Less Than (or No) Minimum Wage

    It’s summer intern season, and you may be tempted to hire a high school or college student who will work for less than the minimum wage or even for “free.” But, the Department of Labor (DOL) has very specific requirements for unpaid interns and volunteers, and allows only certain employees to be paid a subminimum wage.

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  • Where Does NLRA Apply?

    Prohibiting Pay Discussion May Trigger NLRA Issues Q&A

    Discussing compensation is considered a “concerted activity” and is protected under the NLRA, so rules limiting employees from talking about their pay may violate that law. Find out what the NLRA protects and how you can address this sensitive issue.

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  • FLSA Compliance for Non-Work Time

    Non-Working Time: Do You Know When It Must Be Paid?

    You know that nonexempt employees must be paid for all hours they actually perform work. But what about time when they are not really working? The FLSA requires you to pay some of this time, too.

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  • Meal Breaks Required by Law to Employees

    Meal Breaks: Issues When Employees Work Through Q&A

    How should you deal with nonexempt employees who want to work through meal breaks to shorten their workdays? Should you allow this practice, or is it better to enforce your meal periods?

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  • COBRA Health Insurance Plan Update

    COBRA Qualification and Duration Revisited

    You have to provide employees and other qualified beneficiaries with between 18 and 36 months of health care continuation coverage under COBRA. Find out the proper duration of each qualifying event and how to handle multiple qualifying events.

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  • Employee Snow Day Policy

    Snow Days and Pay Q&A

    Do you know what your obligations are to employees who cannot get to work on bad weather days? See what attorney Robin Thomas has to say about your obligations snow day pay and what you can expect from your employees.

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