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
The Minimum Wage, FMLA and Other Leaves sections of the Employment Law Manual have been updated after the San Diego City Council overrode a veto of its new minimum wage and paid sick leave ordinance.
The retaliation provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) do not apply outside the US, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled. With this decision, the 2nd Circuit has joined the 5th Circuit in determining that, although other Dodd-Frank provisions do apply outside of the US, the retaliation provisions do not.
An employer must go to trial on a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) interference claim because an employee denied receiving an FMLA designation notice sent via first class mail. Without evidence of actual proof of delivery, a jury must decide the case, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals held in Lupyan v. Corinthian Colleges, Inc.
Tennessee is the first state to pass an antibullying law aimed at addressing abusive workplace conduct.
New Hampshire recently enacted the Paycheck Fairness Act, making significant amendments to New Hampshire equal pay law.
In-depth review of the spectrum of New Hampshire employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to interviewing and selecting job candidates.
Rhode Island has enacted the 2014 Student and Employee Social Media Privacy Acts.
Courts in Colorado, Indiana and Virginia have held that state laws banning same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. However, each decision has been stayed and same-sex couples in these states currently cannot get married.
Legal considerations for employers regarding managing employees through HR. Employee management tips and support for the human resources professional.