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Don’t cast out a truth teller

By Lynne Curry bio “Morgan” was the one person who took issue with the CEO’s presentation of his new initiative. Before she voiced her concerns, the 12 other managers around the conference table had nodded appreciatively when the CEO made each of his points. Several other managers secretly shared Morgan’s doubts, but no one came to her aid when the CEO looked irritated. Six weeks later, it surprised none of the other managers to receive an email notifying them that Morgan had left the company. It did worry these managers when the CEO’s initiative failed. Nevertheless, the remaining managers knew better than to voice their apprehensions when the CEO and his hand-picked CFO put a good face on the situation. In organizations such as the above, the corporate immune system… . . . read more

ASK THE EXPERT

Must employee notify our office of DUI?

QUESTION If one of our employees gets a DUI, do they have to notify us? ANSWER It depends. EXPLANATION There are at least four factors affecting whether the employee would have to come forward and tell you about the DUI? Your HR policies: What, if anything, do your current policies say about whether employees must notify you of their DUIs? Conviction or arrest? If the employee was arrested but not convicted, he/she may be able to prove innocence (or may have already done so if the charges were dropped or the employee was acquitted). A conviction, on the other hand, would more likely affect job performance and thus require disclosure. Impact on job performance: Notification is required if the DUI has an actual or potential impact on job performance, such… . . . read more

Employment Law Update

Age bias legislation and defamation claims

By Mike O’Brien bio Here is my periodic update prepared for interested HR professionals trying to deal with the complex American employment laws. House passes age bias legislation: The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act (POWADA). The bill, passed in January, would allow an older worker to sue for job discrimination even if age was not the sole cause of adverse employment action, but simply one motivating factor in the decision. Under the ADEA and a 2009 Supreme Court decision (Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc.), an aggrieved worker must show that “but for” age (40 and over), the challenged employment decision would not have been made. POWADA would substantially lower that standard to proof that age was a “motivating factor.” In addition,… . . . read more

EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE

New overtime rule now in effect

By Mike O’Brien bio Jan. 1, 2020 was the deadline to comply with new FLSA overtime rule. At the end of September the Department of Labor issued its long-awaited final rule updating the salary level test for white-collar overtime exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Under the new rule, the minimum salary level for exemption is raised from $455 a week to $684 a week, or $35,568 annually. The change marks the first increase in the minimum salary level to take effect in more than 15 years. It is expected to bring overtime eligibility to over a million employees who are ineligible under the current threshold. Although the DOL released a final rule raising the salary level in 2016, the rule was blocked by a federal district court and… . . . read more

MANAGING STAFF

Yes! You need an employee handbook

By Julie Ellison bio For many employers, the idea of creating an Employee Handbook is overwhelming. But the importance of having one should outweigh that hesitancy given the peace of mind it can provide you while you are busy running your law firm or business. An Employee Handbook is your road map for what your employees can expect from you and what you expect from your employees. It should be simple, straightforward and relevant. Not having one in place can create huge headaches that are completely avoidable. Here are five good reasons to have an employee handbook: 1. Handbooks Set Employee Expectations Handbooks allow you to clearly set forth everything from job responsibilities to disciplinary procedures, thus keeping employee expectations consistent with the employer. Experience teaches us that employees are… . . . read more

FIRM’S FINANCES

Is Profit on Your Radar?

Practicing law is a tough gig. There is always so much to do to ensure your practice is successful. Focusing on your clients is your first priority, but are you also keeping an eye on your firm’s financial health? After all, staying profitable is not only crucial to your success, but is also important to your clients’ success.

MANAGING STAFF

How to delegate better

Boost staff performance by communicating more clearly
Not pleased with what staff are doing? It may not be their fault. Look at the directions they are…


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MANAGING THE OFFICE

The importance of recognizing your employees’ hard work

Happy Administrative Professionals Week! What have you got planned to acknowledge your hard-working support staff? If you’ve decided to do nothing this year, you may want to…


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RISK MANAGEMENT

4 bad financial habits that may increase your policy premiums and your malpractice risk

Ineffective billing and collections practices affect more than the bottom line. They ultimately may determine what the firm has to…


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READER TIPS

How to let clients know you take their work seriously, without saying a word

As the saying goes, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” What’s the first impression your clients get when they…


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