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HIRING

How pre-hire social media searches save employers

By Lynne Curry You thought the applicant knocked it out of the park with his resume and answers to your interview questions. Do you make the offer? Not so fast. Have you fully checked out the real person behind the resume and interview answers? In addition to reference checks, ninety percent of employers now use social media to evaluate job candidates.1 According to Harvard Business Review, fifty-four percent of employers reject applicants after finding negative information on social media.2  If you don’t believe you need to check social media, remember the candidate that appeared to be a shoo-in for a Board of Regents appointment until her twitter against Senator Lisa Murkowski, “You posturing with a parade of rape victims is doing nothing relevant. Get your sh-t together,” torpedoed her candidacy.3 How… . . . read more

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

MANAGING STAFF

A manager tries to hold it all together during Omnicron surge

By Lynne Curry “I’m overwhelmed,” the manager said when he called. “Senior management pressures us to maintain high levels of productivity, but nearly a fourth of our employees call in sick every morning. On our last all-manager Zoom call, our CEO said our productivity is down and made it clear we’re expected to handle our employees’ anxiety and get them refocused on their work.” “What about my stress? Every time an employee pokes his head in my door, I know I’ll hear a complaint or get handed a resignation. Omicron sent us all into a tailspin. I supervise employees who fear they risk infection every day they come to work. And I’m supposed to convince them to work harder? Do you have a magic bullet?” Supervisors in the vise You’re… . . . 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

EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE

Supreme court blocks OSHA vaccine mandate

By Mike O’Brien In a 6-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has issued its opinion blocking OSHA’s vaccine mandate for employers with 100 or more employees. The majority ruled on Jan. 13 that OSHA had exceeded its authority when it issued the vaccine mandate, concluding that OSHA has authority only “to set workplace safety standards, not broad public health measures.” The court found that COVID presents a “universal risk” not limited to the workplace that is “no different from day-to-day dangers that all face from crime, air pollution, or any number of communicable diseases. Permitting OSHA to regulate the hazards of daily life—simply because most Americans have jobs and face those same risks while on the clock—would significantly expand OSHA’s regulatory authority without clear congressional authorization.” Note: This decision addresses only the stay decisions… . . . 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


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