Recognizing signs of violent behavior

Every company needs a good workplace violence policy, but having a policy is just a small piece in crafting an effective workplace violence plan, because a single piece of paper will certainly not guarantee your employees’ safety. This week, explore the warning signs of violent behavior so you have the tools you need to prevent violence before it starts. 

Click here to read “Dealing with Workplace Violence: Warning Signs of Violence” by the U.S. Department of Personnel Management.


Recharging or relaxing?

According to a study by Microsoft, the average American worker spends 45 hours a week at work, with 16 of those hours being described as “unproductive.” That amounts to two days a week where your employees are doing nothing. But are those frequent breaks really wasting time? Lisa Belkin of the New York Times suggests that these breaks, perhaps to browse Amazon or check personal emails, are recharge times, when the real work gets done. Like an elite athlete, we work most efficiently in “concentrated bursts” and need that down time to ready the body to make the game-changing plays.

Whether she’s right or wrong, it brings up the point that we should focus more on results and less on time spent in the office. Longer hours does not mean you’re working harder. Help your employees prioritize their projects to meet their deadlines and keep them motivated!

Click here to read “Time Wasted? Perhaps It’s Well Spent.”


Wages and hour spotlight: tipped employees

If you have employees who earn tips, pay attention! The Department of Labor has recently added over 600 investigators to its ranks who consider this a red-flag issue. Among other things, you will have a working definition of:

  • Who is a tipped employee?
  • When does an employee who handles many duties (only some of which are tipped activities) cease to be a tipped employee?

Tip credit and tip pooling cases are continuing to come into the courts so if you don’t know the answers to these questions, it’s time to find out. You can learn more about this topic by reading “Are Your Tipped Employees Doing Tipped Work?” by our partners at Ogletree Deakins LLP. Click here to read the article.

AllBusiness.com HR podcasts

Seminars, conferences, and in-house tutorials are all great ways to learn more and expand your skill set. But continuing education has a price. Why not learn more for free? AllBusiness.com has some great human resource podcasts that are a zero-cost way to increase your knowledge and add value to your company. Best of all, there’s something for everyone! Listen online, download it to your iPod to take it on the go, or read the full transcript (for those who love their quiet time). Recent podcasts include:

  • “Employee Theft: How to Investigate”
  • “Decontaminate the Toxic People in your Workplace”
  • “How to Prevent and Correct Sexual Harassment in Your Workplace”
  • “Online Payroll Services: Should You Make the Switch?”

Click here to view the AllBusiness podcast library.

H-1B: Getting in compliance

In a 2008 report issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), it was revealed that 20% of the reviewed H-1B petitions contained fraudulent information or technical violations. As a result, the USCIS has stepped up their monitoring and you need to be prepared.

Our partners at Squire Sanders LLP have put together a helpful resource: “Immigration Site Visits: What to Expect and How to Prepare.” In it, you will find answers to the following questions:

  • Why should you be prepared for a site visit?
  • Can USCIS do this?
  • What happens during a site visit?
  • What should you do before and during an H-1B site visit?

Click here to read the article.

If you need a brief background on what an H-1B is, click here (LINK!!) to download a section from Employment Verification: An Employer’s Guide to Immigration, I-9, and E-Verify. You can learn more about this book by clicking here.

Who pays for employee training?

Your company needs to remain competitive and one way you do that is by educating your employees. That might mean attending conferences, seminars, classes, and more to stay current on changing technologies, new skills, and new ways of thinking. But who pays for employee training? Does training count as “hours worked” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)? There are four key points you must consider when determining if an employee’s training is compensable. Find out what they are by reading Jon Hyman’s “Do you know? Pay for Employee Training Time” by clicking here.

Chronic complaining in the workplace

Do you have employees that suffer from Chronic Complainitis? Symptoms include complaining about pay, their responsibilities, other employees, you – the boss… the coffee you make available free of charge… You name it and they’ve got a problem with it. And even worse, their bad attitude is contagious.

However, if you discipline the employee for being disruptive, it could come off looking like a personal attack, opening up the floodgates for claims of discrimination and harassment. What you need is a comprehensive code of conduct in your employee handbook. Once this is in place, you will have a fair standard to hold people to and deal with complainers quickly and decisively. Learn more about it by reading “Managing Whiners and Complainers: How to Handle Disruptive Employees” by our partners at Fisher & Phillips LLP. Click here to read the article.