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COMPLIANCE

What does FMLA require of a law office employer?

One of the employment laws that affect how you manage your staff is the The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This is a federal law that requires certain employers to provide their employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for certain qualifying reasons. These reasons include the birth or adoption of a child, the care of a family member with a serious health condition, and the employee’s own serious health condition. In terms of what this means for a law office employer, you are required to provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for the reasons outlined above, without fear of retaliation or job loss. The employer would also be required to maintain the employee’s health benefits during… . . . read more

MANAGING THE OFFICE

Are you considering a pet-friendly office?

The working world is accustomed to seeing everyone’s pets on video meetings. And some physical offices also allow pets on the premises. Pets in the office workplace can be a controversial topic, as they may be seen as either a positive or negative influence on productivity and the work environment. Here are a few points to consider when it comes to pets in the office: Benefits of pets in the office: Increased morale: Pets in the office can help to improve morale and create a more positive and enjoyable work environment. Research has shown that interacting with pets can help to reduce stress and improve overall well-being. Improved productivity: Some studies have suggested that pets in the office can lead to increased productivity and job satisfaction. For example, having a… . . . read more

Characteristics of a modern compensation plan for lawyers

By Brenda A. Barnes and Camille Stell A successful compensation plan should reflect shared goals and values. A successful plan also requires trust among the members of the firm. A winning compensation plan aligns the values of the law firm with relevant, up-to-date market data. Here are additional components of a modern compensation plan. Evergreen Compensation plans must be constantly evolving. What worked 10 years ago is likely not working well today and what works today may not work five years from now. The legal system has faced as much change in the past 10 years as in prior decades. Everything about the system has changed, from the amount of law school debt that the majority of young lawyers have, to the changing face of legal competition. Continually reviewing and… . . . read more

MOTIVATING YOUR STAFF

Praise is nice but a year-end bonus is better

A year-end bonus can be a powerful tool for reminding your staff their hard work and commitment and the company’s overall growth and success are closely intertwined. And according to a survey of employers, 50% of companies plan to award year-end bonuses in 2022. While this is down from 63% last year, it’s a sign that staff retention remains top of mind for many employers, says Robert Half, the specialized talent solutions and business consulting firm which conducted the survey. Presenting employees with a financial reward—whether it’s to acknowledge individual, departmental or companywide success—can help bolster retention and even help with recruitment efforts. It can also be a motivational tool for driving team productivity and engagement in the year ahead. A year-end bonus can help employees feel like they make… . . . read more

MANAGING STAFF

Inflation’s impact on employees and the workplace

By Lynne Curry What keeps your employees and coworkers up at night, and what does it mean to you as their employer or colleague? According to the U.S. 2022 Inside Employees’ Minds Report conducted by the HR consulting firm Mercer, which surveyed 4049 employees between Aug. 26 and Sept. 9, 2022, it’s financial worries, https://www.mercer.us/content/dam/mercer/attachments/private/us-2022-inside-employees-minds-report.pdf. The number one issue for many employees in 2022—can they cover monthly expenses given skyrocketing inflation—ranked only ranked ninth in 2021. As no surprise, employee satisfaction with their employers has declined markedly from last year in the areas of compensation and benefits. Further, two years of continued crises—the pandemic, layoffs and labor shortages, supply chain challenges, political and racial polarization, the war in Ukraine, and the looming recession—have changed how employees view work. Employees who once… . . . read more

BLOG

Employee morale and your firm’s productivity: 6 easy ways to boost both

By Elizabeth M. Miller  bio
Employees’ attitudes have changed over the years. Good, loyal employees want more than a paycheck and…


. . . read more

WORKPLACE WELLNESS

Five essentials to support employee mental health and well-being

As reports of quiet quitting and the Great Resignation have shown, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the nature of work for many and the relationship that some workers have with their jobs. In response, the United States Surgeon General has released the Surgeon General’s Framework for Mental Health & Well-Being in the Workplace, outlining the foundational role that workplaces should play in promoting the health and well-being of workers and communities. With more than 160 million people participating in the United States workforce and with the average full-time worker in the United States spending about half of their waking life at work, workplaces play a significant role in shaping mental and physical well-being. Employers have a unique opportunity not only to invest in the mental health and well-being of their workforce, but… . . . read more

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

Staff continuing education: Must you or should you pay for it?

By Paul Edwards QUESTION: I’m looking to hire a new employee and they asked me about my policy on paying for employee CE. I normally don’t pay for employee CE but it sounds important to this potential new employee. What is the best way to handle this? ANSWER: Many individuals have annual continuing education (CE) requirements they need to meet in order to maintain certain credentials. Meeting that requirement is an obligation on the individual, not on the practice. Of course, you should keep track of whether your employees have the credentials; otherwise it does become a problem for the practice. While you may not be required to help pay for the cost of license renewals or CEs taken specifically for an employee’s license, offering that type of a benefit… . . . read more

HUMAN RESOURCES

5 ways to help your staff cope with inflation

By Paul Edwards CEO, CEDR  Solutions Inflation is on everyone’s minds right now, and understandably so. Most Americans are aware that the purchasing power of a dollar is always decreasing to some degree, but rarely does the rise in the cost of living have such a powerful impact on our daily lives or feature so prominently in the public discourse. As you may already know, financial pressure on American consumers reached an all-time high this year. Based on The Consumer Price Index—the best-known indicator of inflation—inflation rose to 8.6 percent in the 12 months ending in May 2022, marking the most extreme spike in that figure in over 40 years. The Impact of Inflation on You and Your Team Employees are justifiably concerned by this sudden and dramatic hike in the cost… . . . read more

WELLNESS

Staff well-being a priority, but wellness programs falter

Over the last year, workers around the world have been struggling with mental health issues—particularly burnout and isolation. As employers move into a post-COVID-19 world, a more holistic view of worker well-being is key to helping employees at all levels manage stress and remain engaged. A recent report from The Conference Board, Holistic Well-Being @Work, examines what organizations are doing to implement more comprehensive well-being initiatives and offers recommendations for building healthier, resilient work environments. As the report details, while organizations recognize the importance of a holistic well-being strategy, many struggle to build a fully integrated approach, with low program participation and limited resources cited as the top barriers to success. Featured in the report are results from two surveys, including one of more than 200 practitioners responsible for their… . . . read more


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