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Monday
Jun292015

ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week -- Jun. 28 – July 4, 2015

Below is a review of the posts (on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter) from the past week.  You can check out the full posts by clicking on the links.

On the post on Sunday 6/28/15 we talked about businesses taking risks when not knowing or following employment laws. This applies to all businesses, but can be really worrisome to small businesses, especially those where one or only a few people are the chief cooks and bottle washers. The areas of most concern are wage and hour laws, employee benefits laws, unqualified HR managers/administrators, and uncoordinated HR functions. There are laws that apply to, or must be applied by, each of those categories; all of them can have a profound effect on the business. The post gives additional detail about some employment laws that you should be aware of.

TAKEAWAY: Know what can or does affect your business – whether laws or people – and make sure you know what your obligations are relative to each.

The post on Monday 6/29/15 was about a 3 of the biggest personnel mistakes made by many employers. So what are they? The first is failing to properly document performance problems. You’ve heard the saying in real estate that it is location, location, location? Well, in the HR/employment arena, it’s document, document, document. Whether it be on paper or electronically, you must still document performance issues (along with what is to be done to correct each problem). The other 2 mistakes are in the post.

TAKEAWAY: Employers often make mistakes, but learn from others and don’t make these three mistakes.

In the post on Tuesday 6/30/15, we talked about how NOT to conduct regular (non-Union-context) meetings in relation to a Union steward being unlawfully threatened with suspension for Weingarten meeting conduct. Obviously those in a unionized workplace will want to pay particular attention, but all employers can get pointers from this to apply to their businesses’ investigations. Here, an employee had a performance issue and was called to HR for an investigatory interview. He asked for union presence (exercising his Weingarten rights) and even met with the union steward ahead of time. The steward took notes, including one about the employee’s training. During the interview with HR, the steward pointed to his notes and the employee even read aloud some of the notes. HR directed the steward to close the notes; he refused. HR then told the steward to remove the notes or face suspension; he complied. The issue of whether or not the threatened suspension was a violation of the NLRA. The NLRB said that the steward’s job was not just to sit there silently, but to actively assist the employee. The Board said the use of the notes was providing clarification and counsel to the employee. More details are in the post.

TAKEAWAY: Even in the non-Union context, employers should make sure to give employees every opportunity to provide their views of whatever is being investigated, in their own words, even if some additional time is needed (unless the matter is an emergency).

The post on Wednesday 7/1/15 presented 7 causes of poor employee performance - and how to address them. Four stem from lack of ability and the other 3 from lack of motivation. Some of the causes include lack of resources, obstacles, no carrots, and no sticks. The post gives the details of each of those along with the other 3 causes.

TAKEAWAY: As an employer, you can and should expect proper performance from employees; however, you must also give them, or ensure that they have, the proper tools to perform.

The post on Thursday 7/2/15 mentioned a pregnant waitress “too big to wait tables”. It’s not only children that say the darndest things. Here, the EEOC filed suit against a restaurant that fires pregnant employees it believed were too big to wait on tables.

TAKEAWAY: Treat pregnant employees just like every other employee (unless there is a legal reason to afford them different treatment).

The post on Friday 7/3/15 was about what scuba diving can teach you about policy management. Really. So what is the relationship between the two? In both there is a need to mitigate risk, use the right equipment and prioritize training. As part of any good business plan, employers should assess risks in various areas (and then plan how to alleviate or at least mitigate those identified risks). Likewise, businesses should manage their policies to ensure they are current, complete and correct (all of which might include review by an employment-law lawyer). Finally, training, including ensuring that employees actually read and understand the policies, is oh so important. Details on all of these are in the post.

TAKEAWAY:  Plan your dive, dive your plan. Get the right equipment and take care of it. Prioritize training. ‘Nuff said.

Finally, in the post yesterday 7/4/15 (and also here), we wished everyone a Happy Independence Day and enjoyment of freedom.

TAKEAWAY: Don’t think freedom is really free; others have and continue to fight for it, every day, in so many ways. We hope you enjoyed the day.

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