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MANAGING STAFF

Making hybrid work: Charting a new playbook for a future-ready workplace

By Lynne Curry Employers thought employees would want to come back to their offices, where they had easy access to equipment, coworkers, and managers. They were wrong. COVID-19 untethered us from our traditional workplaces and many employees don’t want to return. Employees enjoyed the flexibility and freedom, sometimes from micro-managing supervisors, they had when working from home. They discovered they could better balance home and work when they didn’t have to commute or leave home for eight hours daily. When the C-suite consulting firm McKinsey & Company surveyed more than 5,000 employees, it reported three-quarters of them want to work from home two or more days per weekly, with more than half of them wanting to work from home at least three days a week.1 Given this disconnect, if employers… . . . read more

HIRING

That glowing reference? It’s fake

By Lynne Curry It isn’t fair that honest, hard-working, quality applicants lose out on job opportunities to individuals who fake resumes and references. But they do. The reality: you can’t believe resumes A stunning number of applicants lie on resumes. According to a February 2021 article posted on one of the country’s top hiring sites, indeed.com, 40 percent of applicants lie on their resumes.1 The most common lies include lying about technical abilities, inflating titles, exaggerating accomplishments and previous salaries and falsifying dates of employment.1 A CareerBuilder survey reports an even higher percentage, noting that 75% of human resource managers have caught lies on applicants’ resumes.2 According to Business News Daily and HireRight’s 2019 Employment Screening Report, 87% of employers worry candidates misrepresent themselves on resumes and applications.3, 5 An estimated 71% of employees state… . . . read more

EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE

“Long COVID” looms ahead as leading ADA claim

By Mike O’Brien Legal commentators are already predicting that the condition now known as “long COVID” may displace back conditions as the leading impairment asserted in charges brought under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). CNN recently reported, “A large study has revealed that one in three Covid-19 survivors have suffered symptoms three to six months after getting infected, with breathing problems, abdominal symptoms such as abdominal pain, change of bowel habit and diarrhea, fatigue, pain, anxiety, and depression among the most common issues reported.” To date, COVID-19 has infected some 43 million Americans. The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) already has opined here that “long COVID can be a disability under” the ADA. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) agrees, citing the HHS paper. Guidance issued for federal contractor vaccine mandate… . . . read more

TERMINATION

Firing documentation that makes sense

By Lynne Curry As an expert witness (qualified in court in management best practices, HR, and workplace issues), I’m often handed documentation by attorneys or employers who ask, “What do you think? Will it convince a regulatory agency or jury this employee needed to be fired?” My most frequent answer: “This documentation doesn’t make the case.” Here’s why. It doesn’t convince Many supervisors confuse their opinions with facts. Their documentation consists of statements such as “he didn’t show initiative,” “she demonstrates a poor attitude,” “he doesn’t play well with others.” While those statements provide the supervisor’s view, they fail to convince. Well-written documentation provides the facts that will lead a third-party to reach the conclusion the supervisor holds. For example, “When Tish came to the staff meeting 45 minutes late,… . . . read more

EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE

Watch for vaccine mandate and outcome of remote work lawsuit

By Mike O’Brien  Watching for OSHA’s new vaccine mandate rule President Joe Biden has instructed the United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to develop an emergency rule that will require private-sector employers with 100 or more employees to mandate that their employees be vaccinated or receive a weekly negative COVID-19 test. Employers who fail to do so will face fines. In addition, regardless of employee headcount, OSHA will require all federal contractors to mandate vaccinations for their employees with no option for employees to receive weekly testing instead. Similarly, OSHA will require all employers in healthcare settings that receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement to mandate employee vaccinations, with no weekly testing option. President Biden’s announcement was welcomed by many business leaders but criticized by Republican… . . . read more

HIRING

We should have waited for the reference checks

By Lynne Curry Question: When a long-term staffer passed away, we suddenly had a hard-to-fill position in our firm. We advertised, and when we got an acceptable candidate, offered him the position before completing reference checks. He’s already worked four days for us. What we’re learning from his references makes us worry we’ve selected the wrong candidate. Several describe him as arrogant, abrasive, and a superstar who believes his own press releases and doesn’t care who he ticks off. We’re stunned. None of this behavior showed up in the interview. He was confident, but courteous and professional with us.   We’ve talked about this as a management team and have decided to give him a chance, as he quit his former job and moved across the state to work for… . . . read more

EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE

All private-sector employers with 100 or more employees must mandate vaccination or a weekly negative COVID-19 test

By Mike O’Brien President Biden spoke from the White House Sept. 9 to announce his new Path Out of the Pandemic Plan. Among other things, President Biden has instructed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to develop rules that will require private-sector employers with 100 or more employees to mandate that their employees be vaccinated or receive a weekly negative COVID test. Employers who fail to do so will face fines. Some media outlets report that such fines could be up to $14,000 per violation. Along with President Biden’s spoken remarks, the White House also issued this statement: The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing a rule that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated… . . . read more

Employment Law Update

Paid leave for vaccine tax credit updated & employer ups premiums for unvaccinated

By Mike O’Brien Update to the paid-leave tax credit expansion—paid leave for employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine  As previously described in these updates, the Treasury Department and the IRS announced that eligible employers could receive paid-leave tax credits under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for providing leave for each employee receiving a COVID-19 vaccine and for any time needed to recover from the vaccine. Generally, the tax credits are available for qualified leave wages an eligible employer provides with respect to leave taken by employees beginning on April 1, 2021, through Sept. 30, 2021, if the leave would have satisfied the requirements of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, as amended for ARPA. An eligible employer is generally an… . . . read more

MANAGING STAFF

We suspect our employees gave us phony vaccination cards

By Lynne Curry Question: Our senior leadership team couldn’t believe the hostility that erupted when we told our employees if they weren’t vaccinated by Sept. 15, we’d consider they had voluntarily resigned. Several of them emailed lengthy rants to every member of the management team. Others came into our offices crying and went home in tears. Then, like magic, the protests stopped. We thought it might have to do with the FDA approving Pfizer, or someone talking sense to the 11 employees who hadn’t wanted to get vaccinated. We breathed a sigh of relief. A few days ago, our office manager got suspicious. She looked up phony vaccination cards. Is this really a thing? If so, this torques us. What can we do about it? Is it best to let… . . . read more

HARASSMENT

How managers can help victims of revenge porn

By Lynne Curry When “Paula” broke up with “Rob,” he vowed she’d regret ending their relationship. She thought Rob meant she’d miss him. She didn’t realize he planned to destroy her reputation, nor that the drama would cost her a job and perhaps her career. Three days later Paula sat in shocked silence looking at nude photos where she lay asleep half on, half off a blanket laid on the grass. Her manager told her, “I’m sorry. These have spread like wildfire through the office. I don’t know that we can keep you. I can’t imagine you’ll want to stay.” Two months earlier, Rob had talked her into sex in his backyard, pointing out the tall fence shielded them from his neighbor’s windows. She had been uneasy but had gone… . . . read more


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