Putting the “fit” in benefits: Wellness plans, yay or nay?

Though they are pretty on trend now, employee wellness incentive plans are not universally regarded as good for business. In “Should Employees Get Insurance Discounts for Completing Wellness Programs?” the two sides of these controversial programs are discussed.

The conundrum for employers: Healthier employees are better workers that cost less to insure, but it can take years to see a return on an investment in health.

Click here for the full article and click here for “8 ways to promote wellness in the workplace.”

FMLA, social media, and discipline: these are a few of my favorite things

The Internet has given us so many gifts over the years (most recently the gift of gifs, for example: The 40 Greatest Dog Gifs of All Time), and one of my favorite things to see on the Internet is when employees get caught in webs of their own digital lies.

Take for instance this case: Employee requests FMLA leave for injured back and leg. Employer grants leave. Employee goes on vacation to Mexico and posts pictures of herself on Facebook looking less than physically impaired. Employee is fired and, for once, Facebook ensures all is right with the world.

Click here to read the details, and why exactly the employer did not violate its duty to reinstate the employee after FMLA leave.

Management is kinda like the zombie apocalypse

When I think about survival tools, I think: knife, food, matches. But I guess that is more zombie-apocalypse survival than management survival. Although employees do like free food. Our partners at Fisher & Phillips have rounded up a list of 10 tools to help you survive being a manager – bonus Jonas there are actually 11 tools! While these tools are meant for the workplace, I think some of them (such as, avoid surprises) might work in a zombie apocalypse as well – double bonus Jonas.

To get the full list, click here.

#honestjobdescriptions

We have told you repeatedly how important it is to write an accurate job description. A good, accurate job description will attract the best candidates, and can be your safety net if you ever find yourself in hot water over a performance review or request for reasonable accommodation.

That being said, how many of us feel our job descriptions could cut to the point a little quicker? NPR has urged listeners to tell them what their actual job descriptions are, and the results are hilarious. We would love to hear what you feel your true job description should be, so let us know by tweeting it @hridiot using the hashtag #honestjobdescription.

So mine is: @hridiot try to spice up employment law updates and HR practices by using a million YouTube links #honestjobdescription

Non-union? Not a problem for NLRB

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has once again made its business the business of a business employing non-union workers. (I think the NLRB needs to pull a Nick Lachey and stay out of it.)

On January 8th, 2013, the NLRB decided Quicken Loans violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) with their confidentiality and non-disparagement agreements. The agreements prohibited employees from doing a whole bunch of stuff, including:

  • sharing current or former coworkers’ home phone numbers, cell phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses
  • sharing coworkers’ “information pertaining to work and non-work schedules”
  • “publicly criticiz[ing], ridicul[ing], disparag[ing], or defam[ing]” Quicken or its “products, services, policies…”
  • sharing any negative information regarding Quicken Loans “made via websites, blogs, postings to the internet, or emails”

Click here to read more about the NLRB/Quicken Loans case.  (And then maybe review your company’s confidentiality and non-disparagement agreements.)

Numbers Game: EEOC tactic – fewer lawsuits, more money

This week’s topic is the EEOC in 2012, a year in review.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed fewer lawsuits in 2012 than in 2011, but made more money. How? By picking bigger cases (a process known as “systemic discrimination”).

Here are the numbers:

  • The number of EEOC lawsuits in 2012 decreased by over 200% from the previous year (122 in 2012 from 261 in 2011).
  • The number of systemic discrimination investigations (cases that involve more than 20 affected people) quadrupled in 2012 – resulting in 12 suits and 46 settlements.
  • The EEOC had 99,412 discrimination charges filed with them, a smaller number than 2011.
  • The EEOC recovered $365.4 million in 2012 – the highest number in the agency’s history.

The EEOC was created by man. They rebelled. They evolved. They look and feel human. Some are programmed to think they are human. There are many copies. And they have a plan.