Overview: Effectively managing employees requires many things from HR. Employee management has many areas of concern. First and foremost, it is critical to draft and implement employee handbooks as well as workplace rules and policies. This sets ground rules for employee conduct and behavior and ensures consistency and uniformity when faced with common workplace issues. With employers under constant scrutiny, it is important to maintain and enforce policies against employee discrimination and harassment and guarantee compliance with equal employment opportunity laws. Employers should also make sure that they know how to properly respond to employee request for leave and time off from work as well as evaluate employee performance and determine advancement and promotion opportunities.
Other challenges employers may be faced with when managing a workforce include monitoring employee activity while protecting the employee right to privacy, providing training to supervisors and employees at all levels, and communicating with employees regarding workplace issues, employer expectations and discipline.
Trends: Federal, state and municipal laws are expanding equal employment opportunity laws to caregivers, pregnant women, transgender workers and others. There is also a growing movement among the states to pass legislation aimed at combating workplace bullying and ensure a healthy workplace.
Further, with an increase in employee use of the internet and social media, there are two issues employers should be keenly aware of. There is a move for legislation to prevent employers from requiring that employees and applicants provide their user names and passwords to social media networks. Second, the NLRB has shown that it is willing to strike down common workplace policies regarding social media, employee communications, investigations and confidentiality claiming such policies interfere with the right of union and non-union employees to engage in protected concerted activity.
Author: Beth Zoller, JD, Legal Editor
Paid sick leave is generally not required under federal or state law (with the exception of Connecticut). However several municipalities require paid sick or unpaid sick leave (depending on the size of the employer) and legislation is pending in a number of jurisdictions. This policy is designed for employers who are mandated by law to provide paid sick leave and who do not already have a paid time off policy that allows leave for the same qualifying reasons and under the same conditions (e.g., amount of leave, permit carry over leave, allow temporary employees to take leave, etc.) as the applicable law.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act (ADAAA), and various state and municipal laws address mandatory leave for qualified individuals to care for qualifying medical conditions. This policy does not address compliance with such laws. Likewise, this policy is not designed to cover sick leave for employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement (CBA). This policy focuses instead on voluntary sick leave for individuals not otherwise eligible for federal, state or municipal leave laws. Although voluntary sick leave is not required by federal or state law, such policies are important for employee morale and for handling occasional absences for sickness. Therefore, employers should adopt written policies regarding voluntary sick leave.
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In addition to federal posting requirements, an employer should ensure compliance with individual state and local requirements for workplace posters. These charts contain information regarding state-specific notice posting requirements, including helpful links to the relevant posters.
In addition to federal posting requirements, a West Virginia employer should ensure compliance with individual state and local requirements for workplace posters. The following chart contains information regarding West Virginia-specific notice posting requirements.
In addition to federal posting requirements, a Wisconsin employer should ensure compliance with individual state and local requirements for workplace posters. The following chart contains information regarding Wisconsin-specific notice posting requirements.
Legal considerations for employers regarding managing employees through HR. Employee management tips and support for the human resources professional.