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HUMAN RESOURCES

How to retain high potential women during The Great Resignation

By Rosina L. Racioppi In the age of The Great Resignation, how can you retain the rising leaders in your organization? One solution is to build a culture that supports women’s advancement by using key strategies and resources as a hedge against career dissatisfaction. We are seeing many women who are shouldering an extra burden, taking on additional responsibilities at home and at work (where it is not unusual for women to take on additional projects). In truth, high potential women often try to take on just about everything. This is a major reason why women are leaving the workforce. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 2.2 million fewer women in the labor force in October 2020 than October 2019. With this new reality, HR executives can… . . . read more

RISK MANAGEMENT

Your keycard could be your office’s top security threat

By Todd Burner The days of tumbler locks and keys are fading, especially in high-traffic areas. Proximity cards—those credit-card-sized, contactless devices that grant users access to a variety of areas—have largely taken their place. But for too many facilities that card represents one of its biggest security gaps. Proximity cards (also known as keycards) are incredibly convenient—and certainly have some security and financial benefits. With personnel changes, there’s no need to physically rekey the office or change the locks. That can all be handled electronically without replacing the hardware. The problem is: Security protocols in many of those cards are nowhere near as secure as many security and property managers believe them to be. Instructional videos on how to clone the technology are easily found online—and the equipment to do… . . . read more

COMPLIANCE

A staffer hands you a two-week notice: What’s next?

By Paul Edwards It’s 4:30 on a Friday afternoon, and one of your employees knocks on your door asking to come in. They’re avoiding eye contact, they’re fidgety, nervous… This can’t be good news. You imagine accidentally shredded payroll reports, stolen laptops full of client information, or something equally catastrophic. But when the employee tells you what’s going on, it’s the last thing you expected: They’re putting in their 2 weeks’ notice. Now what do you do? Before you can decide, you’ll need to know what your options are. In any at-will employment arrangement, you can let an employee go at any time for any reason that’s not unlawful (although there are factors you should consider first), and the employee can also quit at any time, with notice or not. At-will employment… . . . read more

Employment Law Update

Did your employees move out of state during the pandemic?

By Mike O’Brien Here’s a growing concern for employers over the last couple of years: discovering that an employee has moved from one state to another while working remotely during the pandemic. This situation presents a number of problems and challenges for employers. Imagine the situation where you are a state-based company and hire someone who lives in the state. Unless the job duties outline something else, in this situation there is at least an implicit agreement that the employee will live and work in your state and stay here while employed. Based on this agreement you, the employer, apply your state laws to the relationship, pay your state taxes, report the new hire in your state, etc. If, however, the employee moves to another state and works remotely from… . . . read more

Cybersecurity

Tips to keep your law office data in the cloud secure

By Ron Slyker As manager of a law office, the security of data in the cloud is one of your many responsibilities. The trick to avoiding a cloud data security breach is to pay close attention to your cloud applications and user behavior. While analyzing the software and looking at user behaviors takes time, the benefits of reducing cloud and data security breaches make it worthwhile. Consider these tips and pass them on to your IT team. Examine user activities It is vital to know not only which apps you use, but also how they use your data. Determine which apps the employees use to share content and whether they have a sharing feature. Knowing who is sharing what and with whom will assist you in deciding the right policies… . . . read more

Risk Management

Don’t write a positive reference for a problem employee; instead do this

By Lynne Curry Question: After an investigation, we fired one of our employees for threatening and stalking two co-workers. He now demands a positive letter of reference, which I’m writing. I tried to appease him with an innocuous letter that gave the dates on which he’d worked here along with what his job duties were.  He refused to accept this, and frankly he scares me. Can you give me any pointers for writing a reference letter that sounds positive but not too positive? Answer: Don’t. If you write a falsely positive or even neutral reference, you can be sued for “negligent referral,” defined as “the failure of an employer to disclose complete and factual information about a former or current employee to another employer.” True story When Allstate Insurance Co…. . . . read more

HIRING

Summer associate diversity gains but challenges remain

Overall gains have been made at the summer associate level in the representation of women, summer associates of color, and LGBTQ summer associates at major U.S. law firms in 2021 as compared to 2020. The annual Report on Diversity at U.S. Law Firms, released this month, is based on the 2021-2022 NALP Directory of Legal Employers (NDLE). The percentage of summer associates of color grew by nearly five percentage points in a single year, the largest gain in the 29 years that the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) has been tracking this information. In addition, women made up more than half of all summer associates for the fourth year in a row, and the proportion of LGBTQ summer associates increased to 8.41%, also a historic high. “Without doubt, this… . . . read more

EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE

Supreme Court to hear challenges to OSHA & CMS vaccination mandates this week

By Mike O’Brien On Dec. 17, 2021, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals dissolved the stay of OSHA’s vaccine mandate for employers with 100 or more employees in a split 2-1 decision. Wasting no time, OSHA published a compliance update to provide new deadlines. Covered employers have through Jan. 10, 2022, to adopt and publish a vaccination policy, to ascertain and record employee vaccination status, and to implement a masking requirement for all unvaccinated employees. Employers have through Feb. 9, 2022, to begin collection of negative weekly COVID tests from unvaccinated employees. You’ll find that compliance update, and compliance resources, on OSHA’s website. Opponents of the vaccination mandate filed immediate challenges with the United States Supreme Court. On Dec. 22, 2021, the Supreme Court issued an order that it would hear oral arguments… . . . read more

HIRING

Job descriptions have hidden powers

By Paul Edwards When it comes to hiring practices, the job description is usually not top of mind for small practice entrepreneurs. In fact, it’s usually one of the last things on the HR to-do list of small medical offices. Still, if small business leadership understood how much heavy lifting a good job description can do, they would likely be seen as the first thing you need to do. To get the most out of job descriptions: Job descriptions certainly have hidden powers, but only if you get the process right. To get the most out of your job description, follow these four steps: Write two Each new hire will require both a job description and a job ad. You will use the job ad to advertise the position, similar to what you… . . . read more

COMPLIANCE

What to do if an employee defies your mandatory vaccination policy

Mandatory vaccination policies have become a touchstone issue for employers in just about every industry. And all of this begs a question of crucial importance: What should you do when employees defy your law office’s mandatory vaccination policy? Your choices: Terminate them immediately Accommodate them immediately None of the above The answer is C, none of the above. It’s not that termination and accommodation aren’t valid options; it’s the word “immediately” that makes them the wrong choice. The 2 things to do when employees refuse mandatory vaccination Here’s what you should do if one of your employees refuses to comply with your mandatory vaccination policy. Step 1: Find Out Why They Won’t Get Vaccinated Before the pandemic, mandatory vaccination policies were rare and limited to sensitive sectors like health care… . . . read more


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