Encourage Your Employees to Take Breaks

Many states require that employees are allowed breaks for rest and/or meal periods (see our previous blog post here for information on your state’s requirements, if any).  But even for employers in states with no requirements, there are many reasons you should encourage your employees to take regular breaks.

While taking breaks may seem counterproductive when you want your employees to be as productive as possible during their work time, there are actually several benefits, both for the employee and the employer, when employees take breaks.

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New York – New Sexual Harassment Training Required

With sexual-harassment allegations on the rise, states are moving towards reform of their laws and the complaint process. One of these states is New York, which recently passed a law that will go in effect October 9th requiring companies to provide annual sexual-harassment training for all employees.

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All training must meet or exceed the standards of the state, either by using a program set forth by state agencies or the company’s independent training program. Continue reading

Stay Interviews: A Valuable Retention Tool

Most managers are familiar with exit interviews – a series of questions asked of employees who are terminating their employment with the company. The purpose of the exit interview is to gather information about the employee’s opinions of their employment with the company – how did the employee feel about training, management, their pay and benefits, what types of obstacles or challenges did the e1438752_91149422mployee face, why is the employee leaving employment with the company, etc. This information can then be considered when deciding whether to make any changes at the company for the remaining and future employees.

While very useful information can be obtained from exit interviews, they are done too late. By the time an employee is completing an exit interview it is too late for the employer to make changes for that employee. Instead of exit interviews (or in addition to) employers may want to consider doing “stay” interviews with their existing employees. Find out how the employee feels about their position, their pay and benefits, their supervisors. Learn about what challenges employees are facing. Ask for suggestions to improve the workplace. Get a better idea of what is working and what employees do enjoy about working there. What keeps the employees coming to work for you every day?  Continue reading

Can We Require Our Employees to Have Flu Shots?

drugs-20250_1920Now that flu season is upon us many employers question whether they can require their employees to have a flu shot. As a simple answer, yes, generally employers can require their employees to have a flu shot unless the employee has a religious objection or cannot receive the vaccine due to a disability.  There are a number of factors an employer may want to take into consideration before requiring the flu shot for all employees. Continue reading

Caution: Some Employee Conduct is Protected

Fire an employee for the wrong reason — or in the wrong situation — and the employee could claim retaliation and file a lawsuit.

Several activities by employees are off-limits to retaliatory actions such as firing or disciplinary action.  Any retaliation by the employer could spell potential legal trouble, such as a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Here are three areas of protected employee conduct:

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Flexible Work Schedules Can Trap You

1378002_16584036You want to be a good employer.  You realize some of your employees need some flexible hours and flexible days because of the demands of young children.

So you adopt a flexible schedule policy for working parents.  You allow employees with young children to arrange with their supervisors for flexible schedules.

You’ve just created a potential swamp of quicksand to get trapped in.

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Managing Remote Employees: Five Issues to Consider

Allowing employees to work from home can provide significant benefits for employers and employees. It can improve morale, reduce real estate and facility costs — office-620817_1280and even reduce traffic congestion and make the environment cleaner. However, when the appropriate oversight is lacking, fraud and abuse can result and wipe out many, if not all, of the benefits associated with a work-from-home program.

Before allowing employees to commute to desks within their homes, consider the following issues to minimize the risk and maximize the returns associated with a work-from-home-program:

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