Archive for the ‘Employee Rights’ Category

Social Media in the Workplace

May 4th, 2016

What is considered acceptable use of social media in the modern workplace? How can what you post on social media both in and out of the office be used against you?

Although in many cases U.S. laws and regulations have not kept pace with all the latest developments, legislators and employment specialists have become increasingly aware of the issues. Facebook has over one billion users, with Twitter boasting around 500 million – and LinkedIn around half that.

Understandably, many employers were reported as having noted this tendency with some degree of alarm, voicing fears such as reduced productivity, adverse publicity and a possible trend in work-related claims and liability. Some have wondered about their rights to ban social media usage in the workplace – yet these same employers have seen their levels of businesses grow in many cases due to social media’s innate ability to market products and services to new customers. Companies also hire bloggers, endorsers or community managers to take advantage of the phenomenon.

In addition, employee morale is usually higher with access. What is clear, however, is that social media policies are just as important an area as any other (such as vacations, special leave and anti-discrimination) in contracts of employment and the general relationships between employers and employees.

As social media developed, some government agencies began issuing guidance. While some of this has been based on common sense and an intuitive approach, other examples have been less so. Specifically, some NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) pronouncements on the subject have been viewed as self-contradictory and confusing. The NLRB has received most of its press attention for supporting the employee right of engaging in concerted activities. Here, one key test is whether any one employer policy would reasonably have the effect of distressing employees; such clauses are deemed invalid in employment contracts. The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEC) has also taken an interest in the question. Read the rest of this entry »

Company Relocation: Relocating People and Employees

August 17th, 2015

When a large corporation relocates to a new city or state due to needing larger business premises, a change in ownership or acquisition by another company, one of the most important aspects of the move will be planning the relocation of people and employees.

For the sake of fluidity and flexibility, relocation of employees should be planned well in advance of the actual relocation date. This is particularly important if the type of business is one that has an ongoing hourly process or production schedule.

As an example, an accounting business that processes client data on an hourly basis would need a relocation plan of action that insures the fastest move to the new location. In this type of production, a computer network expert should be a member of the relocation team to insure no serious disruption or breaches of data processing occurs. There is also a measure of expedient security of data to protect that should also be considered.

When moving to a new office or site, the move needs to be expedient, efficient and without data processing disruption. Relocation will need to be accomplished on a department by department basis, with planning down to the smallest detail of floor plans for computer networked equipment, as well as systems experts to disable and restart the systems. Computers were removed and reinstalled in a finely designed, almost military, regimental style.

Legalities and Best Practices for Relocating People and Employees

For large office relocation, there may be certain legalities with regard to relocating employees. These may be related to providing adequate information for housing and educational facilities for employees with spouses and children.

It’s up to the business owners to follow state guidelines on responsibility to employees regarding notification of relocation and advice on changes to employee tax status for out of state relocation.

Best practices for relocating people and employees is to consider engaging a professional relocation specialist with experience in business relocation. This may include a general personnel or high level management recruiter to assist employees who will not be relocating to the new site to find employment. Read the rest of this entry »

International Women’s Day: an Opportunity to Recognize Achievements of Women in the Labor Force

March 8th, 2015

March 8, 2015 International Womens Day

International Women’s Day on March 8 is an opportunity to recognize the achievements of women in the labor force. It is also a time to reflect on challenges women have and continue to face, including celebrating the achievements of women who have played important roles in advancing equality for women at work.

The role of women in the labor force in the United States has evolved greatly since the end of World War II. After the War, less than a third of women were active in the U.S. labor force. While women became an increasingly important participant in the labour force during the war, their role increased significantly in the following decades. The number of women working began to increase rapidly from the 1960s to the 1980s, and reached its peak in 1999 when 60 percent of women were active in the labour force according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor. In 2013, the percentage of women in the labour force was 57.2 percent.

At the same time, women traditionally faced challenges in the labour force including wage inequality and low representation in leadership roles when compared to men. The gap is narrowing, although more work is needed to ensure true equity in the workplace. In addition to a general increasing trend in the participation rate of women in the labor force, the wage and education gap of women in the labor force is narrowing when compared to their male colleagues. The proportion of women in the labor force with a college degree more than tripled between 1970 and 2013 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Earnings of female workers as a proportion of earnings of their male counterparts have also grown. In 1979, women who worked full time earned just 62 percent of what men earned. In 2013, this figure was 82 percent.

Read the rest of this entry »

Office Health and Safety

March 4th, 2014

It is easy to take health and safety in the office for granted, until someone gets injured in an accident that could have been prevented. The Occupational Health & Safety Administration, also known as OSHA, has a comprehensive set of guidelines that every office can follow to keep workers safe.

When it comes to office safety, there are some key areas to consider. Your office desks, cubicles, and office accessories all need to be treated with the proper respect if you are going to avoid accidents and injuries. The worst mistake you can make is assuming that you are safe from danger just because you are in an office.

Read the rest of this entry »

NLRB Employee-Rights Rule Due to Take Effect this April

March 14th, 2012

From the 30th of April, 2012, most employers in the US private sector will be required to display posters stating the rights of workers to form a union. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rule states that under federal regulation, an 11 by 17 inch poster must be displayed in a prominent position, informing each employee of their rights to engage in collective bargaining and form a union. This regulation will apply to both non union and union workplaces.

The NLRB Employee-Rights posting rule has gathered some controversy and has been challenged by a number organisations including the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) argued that the National Labor Relations Board’s Employee-Rights notice posting regulation is in violation of an employers First Amendment rights, and the organisations filed a complaint in the US District Court. Judge Amy Berman Jackson, the US District Court Judge for the District of Columbia, rejected the argument and upheld the National Labor Relations Board’s Employee Rights posting requirement rule.

Government owned corporations including the U.S. Postal Service and the Federal Reserve System are exempt from the NLRB Employee Rights posting rule. In addition stock brokerage firms, airline and agricultural employers and professional sports teams are also exempt from the ruling.

The National Labor Relations Board is an independent five member federal agency which has been authorized by the US Government to protect employee rights, ensure employer and union rights and obligations are upheld and promote jurisdictional standards. The NLRB conducts elections, investigates charges, decides cases, facilitates settlements and enforces orders. The current National Labor Relations Board memebers are Mark G. Pearce (Chairman), Sharon Block, Richard Griffin, Brian Hayes and Terence F.Flynn. The President of the United States, with the consent of the Senate, appoints the board members for a five year term.

References for this article: The National Labor Relations Board and JDSUPRA

Employee Rights in the United States

September 22nd, 2008

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets the minimum working standards for employees in most private and public employment, from the minimum pay, overtime laws, vacation, sick pay, age restrictions and safety in the workplace. Here are some examples of federal employee rights.

Read the rest of this entry »