Employers Group Blog Connection

Nicole Vierzba

Recent Posts

Pyramiding with Wage & Hour Laws

Posted by Nicole Vierzba on Wed, Jun 13, 2012

The overlay of state wage and hour laws and regulations on an already complex set of federal wage and hour rules can make even the simplest of tasks seem unnecessarily complex. The interplay between the daily overtime obligation (a state requirement) and weekly overtime (a federal one) illustrates this point perfectly, especially in the context of pyramiding.

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Topics: law, human resources, regulations, best practices, Federal, wage & hour

It's Okay for HR to Ask for a Second Opinion

Posted by Nicole Vierzba on Mon, Jun 11, 2012

There are a number of reasons people are drawn to the Human Resources profession. The one constant, however, seems to be that people in HR have a good deal of emotional intelligence and/or self-identify as people persons. In other words, they’re a good "read" of others. That skill set is particularly advantageous when interviewing candidates for a position or conducting a workplace investigation. HR’s ability to assess the credibility of the complainant against the accused, as well as the witnesses and their underlying motives, is critical to getting as close as possible to the truth of a matter.

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Topics: helpline, human resources

Criminal Backgrounds and the EEOC

Posted by Nicole Vierzba on Tue, Jun 5, 2012

How do the new U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines on criminal background checks affect your hiring practices? Actually, the guidelines highlight an already well-established rule under Title VII case law that the use—or rather misuse—of arrest and conviction records can lead to claims of unlawful discrimination under both disparate treatment and disparate impact theories. What the EEOC adds to the discussion with these guidelines, however, is additional clarity regarding the procedures employers should implement when using criminal records if they wish to avoid claims of employment discrimination.

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Topics: hiring, human resources, background, best practices, EEOC

Primer on Workplace Investigations

Posted by Nicole Vierzba on Fri, May 18, 2012

Workplace investigations often play a supporting role in employment discrimination cases but can actually take center stage when an employee or former employee alleges the investigation itself was flawed.  The claim is called negligent investigation.  The law of negligence holds employers to the standard of what a “reasonable” employer would have done under the circumstances, not necessarily what an exceptional employer would have done.  Nonetheless, there are practices all employers should adhere to when conducting investigations if they wish to avoid exposing the company to the risk of a negligent investigation claim.

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Topics: hiring, workplace, human resources

Five Employer Takeaways From NLRB’s New Rules

Posted by Nicole Vierzba on Tue, May 15, 2012

As of April 30th, 2012, the new NLRB procedures for union elections are in place. Dinsmore wrote about the details of these new rules last month (See Organized Labor’s Big Day). The issue now becomes what to do under this new world order. Employers no longer have the luxury of waiting until activity takes place to devise a plan – they must be more proactive. To make sure you’re prepared, we offer five simple but profoundly important actions to consider:

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Topics: workplace, DOL, NLRB

Increased Workloads and Compliance Considerations

Posted by Nicole Vierzba on Tue, May 8, 2012

The New York Times recently reported that the economy is producing more goods and services now than it was in December 2007 when the recession officially began, and it’s doing so with five million fewer workers. If anyone is well aware of the increase in employee workloads it’s Human Resources. The number of Helpline questions regarding maximum hours worked, mandatory overtime, discretionary bonuses for salaried workers shouldering the work of those laid off, etc., has been on a rise since the recession began. And if the volume of those calls to the Helpline is any indication, there is no light at the end of the tunnel, at least just yet. Given this sustained trend, HR professionals are well advised to remind themselves of a few important compliance concerns.

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Topics: compliance, helpline, work life balance, best practices, employers

Don’t Confuse What You May Do with What You Should Do

Posted by Nicole Vierzba on Mon, May 7, 2012

A frequent conversation we all have on the Helpline regards what the laws and/or regulations tell an employer it may do regarding the extension of leaves, termination of benefits, or even termination of employment itself. Frequently, the employer feels that what the law says the employer may do dictates what it must do. "If the law tells me I may deny leave to an employee, then I guess I must." We would caution employers to take such a myopic look at the relation between employment laws and company policy.

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Topics: law, workplace, human resources, employers

Brinker v. California Supreme Court: After the Final Decision

Posted by Nicole Vierzba on Thu, Apr 12, 2012

 

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Topics: richard simmons, workplace, Employers Group, event, meal & rest periods, brinker, wage & hour

Managing Remote Locations

Posted by Nicole Vierzba on Wed, Mar 28, 2012

By: Charlie Martin, founder, engagementtoolbox.com

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Topics: workplace, management, best practices, business

Action Planning for Goal Achievement

Posted by Nicole Vierzba on Wed, Mar 14, 2012

By:  Charlie Martin, Founder, engagementtoolbox.com

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Topics: goals, organization