Learning to save money…for free!

Lately it seems that employers across the country are trying to save money. Cutting back on office lunches, keeping an eye on overtime, reducing the two-ply toilet paper to one-ply. Wherever pennies need to be pinched, employers are pinching them. Luckily, our partners at Fisher & Phillips are here to help! They are presenting a FREE webinar on controlling workers’ compensation costs. Here’s the skinny:

  • Who: Employers looking to lower their workers’ compensation costs
  • When: Monday, June 4th 2 p.m. EDT/ 11 a.m. PDT
  • Where: HERE
  • Why: Because it’s free, duh!

Looking for even more ways to save money, here are 78 of ’em


It’s good to be an HR goodie goodie

It may be a lot of work to properly handle employment decisions and comply with each and every law, but here’s a reminder of how it can pay off for employers. In the recent case, Alston v. Microsoft Corp., an employee on disability leave was fired, sued the company under the ADA, and lost. Why? Because the employer did everything right: they followed protocol, documented requests, and exercised their right to request a medical evaluation, with no response from the employee. 

So dot those i’s and cross those t’s, because if someone sues you, and you did everything right, it’ll be worth it. Also because if you don’t, no one will be able to read your handwriting.

 Click here for the full breakdown of Alston v. Microsoft Corp. by our partners at Shawe Rosenthal.

Free webinar – for free! (Even for criminals!)

Is it just me, or does it seem like you can’t even walk down the street anymore without some wide-eyed stranger coming up to you and asking, “Is your criminal background check policy consistent with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC’s) updated guidance?” (I mean, it could just be me. Everyone except my mother has said I’ve been a little off lately.)

But regardless of whether you’re inventing inquisitions from imagined passersby or actually being asked by your colleagues, are you prepared to answer confidently?

On both May 21st, 2012 and June 7th, 2012, the employment law attorneys at Fisher & Phillips LLP will be presenting a webinar entitled, “Is Your Criminal Background Check Policy Consistent with the EEOC’s Updated Guidance?”

The webinar – which will take place at 11 AM EDT on both dates – will bring you up to speed on the EEOC’s “Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964” (which was released on April, 25th 2012 – and I’m told originally had a much snappier title).

Oh, and did I mention the webinar is free?

Click here to learn more about and register for “Is Your Criminal Background Check Policy Consistent with the EEOC’s Updated Guidance?”

No take-backs – Court ambushes NLRB “ambush” election rule

It’s pretty obvious at this point that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) just can’t catch a break. Or pass a law.


Just last week we featured an article explaining the new “quickie election rules” that would allow unions to ambush employers, and now we must report that the only ones getting ambushed are the Law Proposers over at the NLRB.


Our partners at Fisher and Phillips explain it all in their article, “Court Strikes Down ‘Quickie Election’ Rule,” including what questions remain for employers. Click here to read more, and click here to watch a cat ambush his little cat friend.

How to keep your boss happy – numbered list edition

One thing most all of us strive for as employees is simply keeping the boss happy. (Some of us don’t feel that’s a top priority, though. His name is Gary, and he works at Six Flags now.) On the other side of things – if you are the boss – you know there are certain ways you want your employees conduct themselves in order to keep you happy. All too often, though, what keeps a boss happy isn’t clearly communicated.

So how can employees know what a boss expects of them – and, conversely, how can an employer make plain to employees what they need to do to stay on the good side of things?

Enter numbered list (from stage right) to save the day! A recent article from Inc.com, entitled “8 Things Great Bosses Demand from Employees,” outlines – almost predictably – 8 things great bosses should be clearly asking for from their employees, including:

  • if something’s going wrong, tell the boss right away (don’t let it snowball)
  • leave the jargon at the door – speak plainly (lots of stuff is getting left outside this week, huh?)
  • don’t take on more than you can handle (shouldering more work doesn’t help the company if you can’t get it done).

Using my calculator – issued by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of the Treasury (inter-HR Update reference, numero dos!) – there are still 5 things great bosses demand from employees that you need to learn! (Sadly, blind praise and personality mirroring didn’t make the cut. Sorry, Andy Bernard.)

Leaving it at the door

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Leave it at the door?” I think it’s safe to say you have. Not that it was directed at you, of course. You probably just overheard someone in the office saying it – probably to Brenda. (That Brenda – she’s a mess, isn’t she?)

Now that we’re certain everybody knows what “Leave it at the door” means, we can tackle a bigger question: What do you do when your emotional troubles start on the other side of that door? That is to say, in the office.

A recent article from the Wall Street Journal covers that very topic. The article – entitled “Don’t Cry (at the Office)” – begins with an anecdotal account of one such occurrence, and then quickly dives into how you can avoid finding yourself reacting like a regular Brenda.

 To help you deal with emotionally charged issues at work, the article offers advice such as:

  • keep your workplace hierarchy in mind before acting
  • don’t vent about work at work
  • simply, take a walk.

Click here to read “Don’t Cry (at the Office)” to learn more about these coping strategies and get clued in as to what exactly that aforementioned anecdote is really all about. 

Healthcare reform: Grin and bare(-essentials) it

If there’s one thing most of us in HR are tired of talking about, it’s Healthcare Reform. With so much uncertainty surrounding the issue – and at times even animosity (depending on which side of the water cooler you hang around, that is) – one option is to simply do the bare minimum to prepare for 2014 and be done with it. And it is in that spirit of bare minimums that we present this article.


“Does My Plan Provide Minimum Value?” A good question – and also the title of Seyfarth Shaw’s latest installment of their continuing series on Healthcare Reform. The article – their 38th in the series – outlines the 3 options the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has proposed as alternative methods for calculating whether or not your plan provides the minimum essential coverage as required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

 The 3 alternatives are:

  • a calculator to be issued by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of the Treasury (let’s hope they team up with Texas Instruments)
  • actuarial certification (if you prefer, or know what that means)
  • safe harbor checklist (no glass bottles on the beach?)

To find out what those 3 alternatives actually mean click here and read “Does My Plan Provide Minimum Value,” written by the employment law attorneys at Seyfarth Shaw LLP.