Help! I fell in a well(ness program)

As the health care reform requirements gradually go into effect, employers are trying new things to save money. Things like: bring your own Kleenex to work month. Maybe replace the furnace with a trashcan fire place? Or the new rule: go to Starbucks next door if you need to use the Internet. One more money saving strategy is instituting an employee wellness program ­– but do those really work? The evidence is starting to lean towards yes, but there are some things employers should know. Click here to learn more.

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NLRAA (the extra A stands for app)

I’m sure that with the release of the new iPhone and Apple ios you are a little tired of hearing about apps and possibly technology in general. WELL TOO BAD. At the end of August the NLRB released a new, free app for iPhone and Android users which is meant to educate employees on their rights under the NLRA and to make it easier to find contact information for the closest NLRB office. Okay, that’s all, you can go back to fiddling with your new camera filters now.

To learn more, click here.

Meet the authors! Tennessee edition

It’s time to get to know the authors of the Tennessee Human Resources Manual, the attorneys at Wilson Worley PC!

1. Tell us about Wilson Worley: 

Wilson Worley PC is a general civil law firm practicing in upper East Tennessee and southwest Virginia since 1951 from offices in Kingsport, Tennessee. We listen to client needs and work to develop long-term relationships. We want to be known for the competence, quality, and skill of our people, and we are looking for ways to evolve the legal practice to be what our clients need today.

2. Who works on the Tennessee Human Resources Manual

The legwork that goes into the Manual is a collaborative effort each year.  We have an Employment Practice group that includes several lawyers, and one of its jobs is to monitor what is happening in employment law, locally and nationally.  We email newsletter updates to our clients, and there is a blog that we maintain with regular posts on practical HR information.  Then, when the time comes, I work with ACCR to update the Manual each year to have the most current information.

3. How do you think the Tennessee Human Resources Manual benefits readers? 

We have heard that the Manual is a good desk reference with broad coverage of many of the common issues that come up in employing people.  It is a great first step for business owners and HR professionals to get their bearings when questions develop.  Of course, we’re always there to help out, but the Manual has saved many a quick call for consultation on a topic.

4. What do you think is the biggest issue employers face currently in employment law? 

The environment for employers is evolving—both in regulatory matters and in employee relations.  We think that striking the balance between a culture of compliance while still promoting the in-company dynamic in a way that allows the business to be successful is a challenge.  Some may point to a specific law like FMLA or the Affordable Care Act, but those things impact different employers differently, if at all.  While there are specific changes to the law and new requirements or rulings to monitor, it is navigating this context that is the biggest singular issue—the one that cuts across company size, industries, agencies, and laws.

5. Finally, to get to know you better, we want to know: What do you like on your pizza? 

Red onions and spinach.  The spinach always worked for Popeye, and the onions mean I don’t have to share as many pieces.

“Remember me?!” – GINA

Back in 2008 we made a big fuss about the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA, if you are on a first name basis). There were revised posters, lots of articles, revisions to employment applications, and other such pandemonium. Do you remember what happened next? You don’t? Oh, that is because nothing happened…for 5 years. In May of 2013 (if I could capitalize numbers, I would be capitalizing those for dramatic effect) the EEOC filed its first ever GINA enforcement action. We thought we would take a minute to remind you of your obligations under GINA, in case you happened to forget all about it in the last 5 years.

Click here to learn more.

HR refresher: What do you do when an employee requests to see their personnel file?

Good! You’re back! I hope you saved some money.

Let’s talk about personnel file requests. This seemingly straightforward area of HR can actually be quite complicated as state laws can differ dramatically and impose specific rules. Does “inspect” include the right to copy? I have no idea. But here’s an article for you: Click here for “When a ‘Simple’ Personnel File Request Is Not So Simple.”

Those of you not located in Connecticut (the article’s example state)… which I’m pretty sure is all of you—feel free to tweet me that I’m wrong (using hashtag #heyyouarewrong)—should log in to your state Human Resources Manual on HRsimple.com for your specific state info regarding personnel file requests.

Complying with employment laws all the way to the bank

It is a little difficult to think of government regulations as potential cash cows, but that’s exactly the topic of the article entitled “Strange but true: 10 federal laws that actually save you money.” Yes, you read that right: Laws. Save. You. Money. Should I type it again? Or are you gone already? Have you already clicked the link? And sped off through the Internet portal to see if I’m just September Fools-ing you? …hello? Oh bother.