Showing posts with label employment policies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label employment policies. Show all posts

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Baning salary discussion bans

🛑 Employers, for the love of all that is holy, STOP BANNING EMPLOYEES FROM DISCUSSING THEIR WAGES!!! 🛑

A supervisor of subsidiary of Duke University is accused of doing just that, and now the employer is in hot water with the National Labor Relations Board.

According to the just-filed NLRB complaint, the supervisor allegedly instructed workers during a meeting "not to discuss their salaries." When one of those employees later raised "concerns about employees' salaries and equity in pay," they were fired.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Ending gender bias in dress codes

During the recent Super Bowl halftime show, Usher took off his shirt and everyone oohed and aahed over his performance. Twenty years ago, Janet Jackson's breast was accidentally exposed during her halftime performance and the world stopped to nearly ruin her career over a wardrobe malfunction.

We need to have a serious conversation about sex-based stereotypes, double standards, and workplace dress code.

Here are 7 tips to draft a non-discriminatory, gender-neutral dress code for your workplace:

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Ohio voters decide to pass the kutchie on the left hand side

By a margin of 57% to 43%, voters legalized recreational marijuana. As a result, recreational cannabis will become legal in the Buckeye State on December 7, 2023.

Employers have lots of questions about how to handle this change. Here are answers to the top 5 questions I anticipate receiving over the coming days, weeks, and months.

Thursday, August 3, 2023

NLRB resets the rules on employee handbooks … yet again

Yes, we need to talk about employee handbooks and the NLRB … again. 

Yesterday, the Board decided Stericycle, Inc., and announced its 5th (at least) new and different standard in the past 25 years as to when a workplace policy (such as those in employee handbooks) violate employees' rights to engage in protected concerted activity under the National Labor Relations Act to talk between and among themselves about their terms and conditions of employment.

It's enough to give an HR practitioner or employment lawyer legal whiplash, and I'm not going to go through the history of all of these various disparate standards. If you want full history, you can read the Stericycle opinion or search the blog's archives.

What you really want, and need, is a summary of the new standard moving forward (and, as you'll soon discover, backward). Here it is.

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

“Geographical discrimination” is NOT a thing

"If you don’t relocate and return to in-person work, we’re going to have to let you go." Many employers are having this very conversation with their remote employees. Some employees who want to continue working remotely are starting to push back.

According to a recent report, employees are considering suing their employers for geographical discrimination

Workers who moved to another city, state, or even country from their employer's main office during the pandemic are claiming that they're being discriminated against geographically by being forced to return to in-person work.

Monday, May 15, 2023

What are the risks with the use of AI at work?

AI is shiny. AI is new. AI is sexy. And AI is problematic and not entirely understood. It is for those last reasons that, according to HR Brew, corporate America is either restricting employees' use of generative AI tools such as ChatGPT or banning them outright.

I don't have the answer for which of allowing, limiting, or banning generative AI is the correct answer for your business. You should, however, consider these three risks in evaluating whether, when, and how your employees use generative AI at work.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Your business should have an employee conflict of interest policy

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is under fire after the public disclosure of decades of valuable gifts he's received from right-wing donor Harlan Crow, including lavish vacations and even real estate. 

Politics aside, this story underscores the importance of having a clear and unambiguous conflict of interest policy within your organization and enforcing it when it's violated.

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

5 tips to help support our trans employees in the workplace

Transgender people are under attack. They often experience discrimination, harassment, and a lack of understanding, including from their work colleagues and bosses. As an employer, it is important to create a safe and inclusive environment for all employees, including those who identify as transgender or gender nonconforming.

Here are five steps you can take in your business to support transgender and gender nonconforming employees at work:

Monday, March 27, 2023

What does an AI-written employee handbook look like?

Last week, I spoke at our sold out Wickens Workshop. The topic — employee handbooks.

As is the case whenever I speak on that topic, I was sure to make a point about the risks and dangers of relying on internet forms to craft your company's handbook … or as I put it, "Google, J.D."

Which led me to this thought — what happens when people start asking AI bots to write their handbooks?

So, I asked Bard, Google's new AI, to write me an employee handbook. Here's the very underwhelming result.

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Seminars and Webinars: Employee Handbooks

When was the last time you reviewed and updated your business's employee handbook? 

If your answer is, "I don’t know," "Longer than a year ago," or "What's an employee handbook and why do we need one?" then we need to talk.

The reality is that you need a customized and updated handbook that documents the guidelines and expectations between your organization and your employees. If you do not pay careful attention to your handbook's contents, you might violate the law, alienate employees, and invite costly and time consuming lawsuits.

Lucky for you, you have two upcoming opportunities to hear me speak on this important topic.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Dress codes and gender biases

Women are prohibited from showing their bare arms.
Women are required to cover their dress with a second layer.

These are two new rules the Missouri House of Representatives enacted for its current term. It did not enact any new dress code policies for men. That's a big discriminatory problem. 

Thursday, November 17, 2022

I have zero sympathy for insubordinate employees who are fired

This is how it started.

This is how it's ended (for now).

In the intervening 48 hours, Elon Musk reportedly fired dozens of Twitter employees who criticized him publicly on Twitter and privately in the company's Slack channel. The first to go was Eric Frohnhoefer, a Twitter engineer who publicly challenged Musk's knowledge of how the app's backend actually works. Other employees, like this one, took to Mastodon to challenge Musk's termination of Frohnhoefer in obscenity laced rants.

Monday, May 9, 2022

The NLRB is coming for your handbook (again)

  • Corrective action rules
  • A dress code
  • A prohibition on cell phone use while working
  • A social media policy
  • Confidentiality rules

These are a few of the 19 different polices contained in Starbucks  employee handbook (called its Partner Guide), which the NLRB alleges constitute "interfering with, restraining, and coercing employees in the exercise" of the right of the coffee retailer's employees to form a union under the National Labor Relations Act.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

The nuts and bolts of your company code of conduct

Yesterday I explained why your company needs a code of conduct separate from or adjunct to your already-existing anti-harassment policy. 

Today, I'm back to explain what it should contain, to whom it should apply, how violations are addressed, and how it should be disseminated.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Does your craft brewery or other company have a code of conduct?

Meet Brienne Allan, a brewer at Notch Brewing in Salem, Mass. In May 2021 she asked a simple question in an Instagram Story— "What sexist comments have you experienced?"

What followed were hundreds upon hundreds of stories of sex-based discrimination, harassment, and other abuse.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Vacation (all I ever wanted) — 7 tips to encourage your employees to use their paid time off

"AITA for turning my work phone off on vacation?" That's the question that someone recently posted on the eponymous subreddit.

The recently promoted employee disconnected during his vacation. During a moment of downtime, he powered up his work phone, only to find this voicemail from his new manager, demanding to know why he wasn't zooming in for meetings.
I checked my phone voicemail and the unknown number was him saying he "hoped there was a damn good excuse for why I was off the grid" if I wanted to keep my job. He even started out the voicemail with "I'm so sorry you’re in the hospital because that's the only reason I should be needing to hunt you down like this." In slack I had a few dms from coworkers I feel I get along with saying I need to reply ASAP because my absence was impacting them with how mad our boss was.
No, he's not the a***ole.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Tragic workplace emergency safety lessons from a candle factory

Thus far, eight employees have tragically died inside the Mayfield Consumer Products candle factory from the tornado that tore through Mayfield, Kentucky, and left the factory a pile of rubble. That number, however, could have been much less.

According to NBC News, as the storm warnings came and tornado sirens blared, as many as 15 employees asked managers for permission to leave so that they could take shelter in their own homes. Instead of granting permission, managers threatened to fire anyone who left their shift early. Now at least eight employees are dead, and many more are injured. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Work-life balance vs. Antiwork

Compare the following.

From CNN — "In Portugal, it's now illegal for your boss to call outside work hours."


From the Antiwork subreddit — "Just a friendly reminder, if your boss texts you to come in at a time you were not scheduled to work, you are not obligated to answer the text."

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Employment law lessons from “Ted Lasso” – dating the boss

If you've not yet watched episode 8 (Man City) of the current second season of Apple TV+'s Ted Lasso and you don't want to be spoiled, now would be a good time to click the back button on your browser or close your email. Good? Okay. No grumbling; you've been warned.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Coronavirus Update 8-17-2021: Are your work-from-home employees working more one job from home?

This headline in the Wall Street Journal caught my eye: These People Who Work From Home Have a Secret: They Have Two Jobs.

A small, dedicated group of white-collar workers, in industries from tech to banking to insurance, say they have found a way to double their pay: Work two full-time remote jobs, don’t tell anyone and, for the most part, don’t do too much work, either.

Alone in their home offices, they toggle between two laptops.