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
Minnesota lawmakers made some important changes to the existing workers' compensation scheme that could affect workers' compensation costs and obligations for employers. Minnesota employers should familiarize themselves with the changes and take action to prepare for the implementation date of the changes: October 1, 2013.
A $240 million jury verdict for the EEOC - the highest verdict in EEOC history - against Hill County Farms d/b/a Henry's Turkey Service, for severe discrimination and harassment against intellectually disabled plant workers in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, has been reduced to $3.4 million.
The Other Leaves: Oregon and the Employee Communications: Oregon sections of the Employment Law Manual have been updated to reflect a relaxed employee eligibility criteria and a new posting requirement under Oregon's amended domestic violence leave law.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Oregon employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to other leaves.
Covered employers in Oregon will need to revise their policies and practices regarding domestic violence leave to account for the relaxed employee eligibility criteria and newly added posting requirements, effective January 1, 2014.
Legal considerations for employers regarding managing employees through HR. Employee management tips and support for the human resources professional.
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