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 »
August 20th, 2014
Working too much has the potential to give a person unnecessary anxiety and stress. If you never take time for yourself on the weekends, you run the risk of depression, weight gain, anxiety and even a heart attack. Many industries are beginning to recognize the importance of promoting “work-free weekends.” A recently published Slate article indicated that even the investment banking industry has instituted work-free weekends for employees due to the manner in which they promote a worker’s health and productivity.
Promoting Productivity in the Office
Those who continuously work and fail to take time off of work are likely to suffer from burn out from their jobs. A two-day weekend gives a worker the chance to get away from his or her office responsibilities and recharge the batteries. After spending a weekend away from work, an employee can feel renewed and refreshed on Monday morning. An employee is able to focus on the task at hand and has increased levels of concentration.
Getting the Exercise You Need
The weekend gives many employees the opportunity to get in a good workout. During the week, some workers may find that it is nearly impossible to get to the gym. The weekend provides an employee with an uninterrupted period of time in which he or she can work out for hours at a time. Those who have to sit for extended periods of time may find that the weekend provides a welcome break from sedentary habits. Sitting for extended periods of time has been linked to serious health issues like heart attacks, death and cancer. Read the rest of this entry »
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
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.
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