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Labor Law Roundup: Alphabet Soup & More

Jon Hyman of Ohio Employer’s Law Blog says that employers tend to associate retaliation with the big employment statutes (Title VII, the ADEA, the ADA, the FMLA, and the FLSA). But he notes there are dozens of other federal statutes that protect employees from retaliation. In particular, “Employers that operate in a federally regulated industry need to be aware of the alphabet-soup of statutes that could give rise to a potential retaliation or whistleblowing claim.”

He offers a handy alphabetized list with brief descriptions of what they cover: Retaliation alphabet-soup

Additional resources on federal and state labor laws:

Summary of the Major Laws of the Department of Labor
The Department of Labor (DOL) administers and enforces more than 180 federal laws. These mandates and the regulations that implement them cover many workplace activities for about 10 million employers and 125 million workers.
Following is a brief description of many of DOL’s principal statutes most commonly applicable to businesses, job seekers, workers, retirees, contractors and grantees. This brief summary is intended to acquaint you with the major labor laws and not to offer a detailed exposition. For authoritative information and references to fuller descriptions on these laws, you should consult the statutes and regulations themselves.

Employment Law Guide
Laws, Regulations, and Technical Assistance Services – covers 24 major laws enforced by DOL in plain, easy-to-understand language.

Help Navigating DOL Laws and Regulations
Sorted by topic, by audience and by law: “The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is committed to providing America’s workers, employers, job seekers, and retirees — with clear and easy-to-access information on how to comply with federal employment laws. This information is often referred to as “compliance assistance,” which is an important part of the Department’s efforts to protect the wages, health benefits, retirement security, employment rights, safety, and health of America’s workforce.”

New and Small Businesses

State Labor Laws

State Labor Laws
State labor offices, state minimum wage laws, state child labor laws, other Labor Laws, state labor associations, annual state labor legislative report

SHRM: State and Local Statutes and Regulations
Access the text of various state employment laws in SHRM’s State Employment Law Charts. Use the drop down menus to select your state(s) and employment law(s)

SHRM: State Workplace Law News

Labor and Employment Laws of the Fifty States, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico

Posting Compliance

FirstStep Poster Advisor

Wage and Hour Division (WHD) – Workplace Posters
This Advisor is designed to help employers comply with the poster requirements of several laws administered by the Department of Labor (DOL). These laws require employers to display official DOL posters where employees can readily observe them. DOL provides the posters at no cost to employers.
The Poster Advisor only provides information about Federal DOL poster requirements. You may want to contact your State Department of Labor to obtain information about your state’s requirements.

Poster Page: Workplace Poster Requirements for Small Businesses and Other Employers

There are many, many commercial sources for state-specific posting requirements and posters – free copies are generally available from state Labor Departments. But for multistate employers, there are also various one-stop shops and compliance subscription programs available through a Google search. See Labor Law Poster Frequently Asked Questions.

Related Prior Post

Social Media opens an array of employment law resources

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The lighter side: The more things change….

There’s a common French proverb: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” A similar common saying is that there’s nothing new under the sun.

Sure, humans are humans, and all the world over no matter how customs or traditions vary, people are more alike than they are different. But with today’s breakneck speed of technological change, do those proverbs still hold true?

Check out the Mindset List of the Class of 2018. It’s published each year by Beloit College. Originally created as a reminder to faculty to be wary of dated references, it became “a catalog of the rapidly changing perception of each new generation as they make an important transition.” It offers a glimpse into “the cultural touchstones and experiences that have shaped the worldview of students entering colleges and universities in the fall.”

If you’re one of “the olds” it’s a startling look at a very different worldview. If you’re an HR manager or a supervisor, it might give you a window into your upcoming new hires. Here are a few entries from this year’s list.

  • “Good feedback” means getting 30 likes on your last Facebook post in a single afternoon.
  • Attending schools outside their neighborhoods, they gather with friends on Skype, not in their local park.
  • During their initial weeks of kindergarten, they were upset by endlessly repeated images of planes blasting into the World Trade Center.
  • Since they binge-watch their favorite TV shows, they might like to binge-watch the video portions of their courses too.
  • Female referees have always officiated NBA games.
  • When they see wire-rimmed glasses, they think Harry Potter, not John Lennon.

Keep your eye out for a new list soon – plus, it is fun to surf past lists.

For another view of how life changes, BlazePress offers thirteen cartoons that sum up how the world has changed for the worse — a humorous but unflattering look at yesterday vs today, particularly in regard to the impact that technology has had on our lifestyle. Here’s a sampling.

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Cyber security experts say senior executives, HR need to be involved

Cyber attacks are a growing organizational threat – it seems that every week, we learn of a new data breach. While the tendency is to think of cyber threats as outside events and therefor the purview of the IT department, increasingly, the threat is coming from “inside the house.” In a recent study on the retail industry and cyber crime, Deloitte Insights reports that, “The many high-profile breaches in recent years have shown business leaders that efforts to prevent, detect, respond to and recover from cyber incidents require the collective wisdom and authority of executives across a range of functions.”

This is particularly true since many of the newer attacks specifically target individuals who hold privileged information in organizations – “such as chief financial officers, heads of HR and other senior leadership and boards of directors across enterprises.”

Organizations need to broaden the scope of cyber security prevention and risk management responsibilities to include HR and other disciplines. And security experts agree: training employees to mitigate risk is important.

In CIO magazine, Jennifer Lonoff Schiff discusses the 6 biggest security risks that companies face and suggests ways to address those risks. She queried dozens of security and IT experts to determine the six most likely sources, or causes, of security breaches. Here are the top causes – her article also addresses what businesses can, and should, do to protect against them.

1.  Disgruntled Employees
2.  Careless or Uninformed Employees
3. Mobile Devices (BYOD)
4. Cloud Applications
5. Unpatched or Unpatchable Devices
6. Third-party Service Providers

In Security Magazine, Steven Chabinsky suggests the need to apply risk-based approaches to reducing the insider cyber threat, and that a program must be multi-disciplinary in approach, including active participation from a company’s security and IT department, as well as human resources and other senior managers.

“Organizations should consider creating an insider cyber threat program, led by a senior manager. This program would ensure that policies, resources and oversight are in place to assess and implement company controls that specifically deter, detect and mitigate the risk from employees, contractors and business partners.”

He offers a range of suggestions, from pre-employment background checks to increased monitoring and audits.

Increasingly, risk management specialists suggest that savvy employers should provide cyber security training for employees. Travelers suggests that, “New hire training and regularly scheduled refresher training courses should be established in order to instill the data security culture of your organization.” They offer a list of topics that a curricula should address. See our prior post: Thwart cyber security threats through employee training.

Here are some other Business Cyber Security Tools

StaySafeOnline: Keep My Business Safe

OnGuardOnline: Small Business – This includes may resources to help train employees. Also see this excellent section on phishing scams

TrendMicro: Resources and Solutions for Small Business

Symantec: Small & Medium Business Information Center

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News Roundup: DUI Lessons; Are you a bad boss; Paid leave; Security robots & more news of note

A Simple Fix for Drunken Driving
Keith Humphreys of The Wall Street Journal reports on a unique approach to DUIs in South Dakota that is yielding surprising results – as well as lessons in motivation and changing behaviors: “Why do repeat offenders change their behavior in response to relatively modest incentives? Stephen Higgins of the University of Vermont addressed this question in his pioneering work on the treatment of drug addiction. In a widely cited 1991 paper in the American Journal of Psychiatry, he showed that, although his patients continued using cocaine in the face of great harm to their families, livelihoods and physical health, they could still be induced to refrain from it when promised a small reward, like $10 for a negative urine test. The reward was relatively trivial, but it was unlike other potential consequences because it was both certain and immediate.”

Are You a Bad Boss? 10 Signs That You Might Be
Dave McClure, CPA Practice Advisor: “Follow-up surveys, including the Gallup 2015 survey of workers in America, found that people don’t leave jobs – they leave their bosses. About half of the 7,200 adults surveyed said they have left a job in order “to get away from their manager.” Worse yet, it found that only about 30 percent are truly engaged in and committed to their jobs. These rest are ambivalent at best or disengaged at worst.”

Paid leave benefits are on the rise
Hadley Malcolm, USA TODAY: “Tech companies Microsoft and Netflix made headlines this week for significant improvements to paid parental leave policies. And the Navy also got on board with a more generous policy for new parents, announcing in July that it would triple paid maternity leave to a total of 18 weeks for those in the Navy and Marine Corps. The policy went into effect Wednesday.
Recent data shows that, in general, paid leave policies are on the rise. That includes paid sick, family and maternity leave, and time beyond the 12 weeks of unpaid leave required each year by the Family Medical Leave Act, according to a recent report from the Society of Human Resource Management. ”

College Athlete, Temp Worker Labor Board Cases Could Redefine Employee
Jim Snyder, Insurance Journal: “U.S. regulators are poised to decide two closely watched cases that have the potential to reshape labor laws by allowing college football players to unionize and forcing companies to take more responsibility for contractors.
The National Labor Relations Board may decide the cases as soon as this week, and the prospect of change is already rankling university presidents and business leaders. One case concerns contract workers at a recycling facility who are trying to draw the owner into labor negotiations. The other would answer a petition from football players at Northwestern University seeking scholarship and medical benefits.”

Effective Managers: Your Critical Link to Successful Strategy Execution
Towers Watson: “Effective managers, not just senior leaders, play a critical role in translating an organization’s strategic vision into winning actions and results. When the performance of neither leaders nor direct managers is seen as effective by employees, engagement levels drop by nine times. When employees perceive both top-level leaders and managers as performing well, both presenteeism and stress levels are lower.”

Every #HR Pro Should Own a Marketing Textbook
Sharon Lauby, HR Bartender: “There. I said it. The parallels between marketing and human resources are endless. As HR pros, we could really gain some creative inspiration from the principles of marketing … For instance, we can apply one of the most fundamental marketing models to our role in human resources. It’s called the 4P’s.
The 4P’s of marketing represent product, price, promotion, and place. They can also be used to describe the concepts as they relate to human resources. Here’s my take on how the 4P’s aligns with HR.”

Introverted and extroverted leaders: Bring on the battles
Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, Smart Blog on Leadership: “My research on introvert-extrovert pairs in the workplace has shown that the relationships of high performing duos like Ricky and Liz don’t just happen. Even as leaders with experience under our belt, we can let those with different styles crawl under our skin. Introverts don’t talk fast enough. Extroverts won’t stop interrupting. And under stress, introverts tend to shut down and extroverts go into overdrive. That is when potentially productive conflicts become stalemates.”

Meet your security personnel of the future – at $6.25 an hour, might these security robots be a part of your future team?

Quick takes

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Do you employ federal contractors? Paid Sick Leave may be around the corner

This past week, the New York Times reported that President Obama drafted an order on paid sick leave for federal contractors. While at present this draft is marked as “pre-decisional and deliberative,” many think it is likely to be approved sooner rather than later. The NYT article by Jonathan Weisman says the order would apply to federal contractors and their subcontractors. Here are more specifics:

The order would set a minimum of 56 hours a year of paid sick leave, about seven days, but it is broad in scope. It covers not just an employee’s illness but also caring for a child, parent, spouse, domestic partner “or any other individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.”

It would apply to absences from work resulting from domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, if that time was used to seek medical attention, obtain counseling, seek relocation assistance from victim services organizations or prepare civil or criminal proceedings.

Employers would be ordered to allow unused paid leave to accrue, year after year.

In response to this news, SHRM issued a statement and its own article: Paid Sick Leave Executive Order for Federal Contractors Drafted .

“But in a news statement, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) said, “We have strong concerns with mandating paid sick leave through an executive order on federal contractors. Many contractors already provide paid sick leave. Leave mandates often result in employers scaling back leave coverage to conform to mandated minimum standards.”

SHRM stated further that “rather than crafting flexible leave policies that meet the needs of their individual workforces, employers tend to restructure their policies to meet only the requirements enumerated by the government. We don’t believe this type of mandated approach helps employers or employees.”

For another perspective, see Charles Tiefer’s article in Forbes. Tiefer’s opinion on this matter is worth noting: he is a Professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, with a focus on government contracting and Congressional legislating. In his article Watch Federal Contractors Stall And Dilute Obama’s Order On Paid Sick Leave, he notes that despite the impressive goals, “the opposing power to stall and to defeat looms large.” He offers three reasons for this and explains them each in some detail:

“First, industry has made clear it will oppose these orders in court.”
“Second, there is a limit to how many contractors will even accept coverage by the order.”
“Third, it takes years to implement an executive order. “

Additional coverage:

Employment law attorneys weigh in at JD Supra Business Advisor

Obama Administration Considering Executive Order Requiring Federal Contractors To Provide Employees Paid Sick Leave Connie Bertram, Guy Brenner

Executive Order Requiring Paid Sick Leave In the Works, Vincent Nelan

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The lighter side: Teamwork & positivity

To start your weekend, we bring you something from the lighter side. The first two animations illustrate the power of teamwork – or the lack thereof. The second two clips are kids teaching us lessons about the power of positive thinking. We found them amusing – and they might just be a fun way to kick off your next team meeting.

The power of teamwork

Good teamwork/bad teamwork

The power of a positive attitude

A Pep Talk from Kid President to You

But our all-time favorite must-see example of teamwork and positive thinking is still this adorable young Spanish soccer team who offer tremendous lessons in teamwork, sportsmanship, and the truly important things in life. That’s the kind of team I want to be part of — winners, every one of them!

l'equip petit from el cangrejo on Vimeo.

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