Navigating the Pitfalls of Video Surveillance
William G. Benz, Risk Management

For companies using video surveillance in the workplace, effective risk management is critical to avoid potential liability for invasion of privacy claims. For employers, determining whether an employee has a reasonable expectation not to be filmed in certain workspaces requires a difficult and fact-intensive analysis. Risk managers should be sure to incorporate the following set of practical guidelines into their company’s video surveillance practices.

What is a Living Wage Ordinance?
Bridget Miller, HR Daily Advisor

From a legal standpoint, minimum wage is mandated federally by the Fair Labor Standards Act and also at the state and, in some cases, local level. Living wage laws and regulations are less common (quite uncommon, in fact, from a legal standpoint) but do exist in some areas. When existent, they are frequently implemented at the local level, such as in a city or municipal region. Much more commonly, a living wage is not a regulation, but simply an assessment of what is considered a living wage for a specific area—without the attendant legal requirement to pay that amount. (As noted above, the calculation also varies.)

What can go wrong when co-workers date? A lot.
Jon Hyman, Ohio Employers’ Blog

What can do wrong with office romances? As it turns out, a lot. So, in the spirit of The Voice, here’s 10 reasons co-workers shouldn’t turn their chairs for each other … Despite this list of potential horribles, there is nothing inherently illegal about romantic relationships between employees. Nevertheless, employers need to understand that permitting office romances amplifies the legal risk of claims of discrimination (i.e., sexual favoritism), harassment, and retaliation. The question, then, isn’t whether these relationship are illegal (they’re not), but how much risk you, as an employer, want to assume in the event the relationships sours, or other employees feels shunned or mistreated as a result?

Why Mental Health Matters in Work Comp
Mark Walls, Insurance Though Leadership

Mental health issues in injured workers can no longer be ignored. These conditions are increasingly being recognized as potential risk factors for prolonged work absences, and even for no return to work within the context of workers’ compensation.

Being fair does not mean treating everyone the same
Michael Haberman, Omega HR Solutions

If you have been in HR for any time you know that there is a misperception that everyone has to be treated the same in order to be “fair.” If only it were that easy. Employees bring different circumstances to every situation therefore the HR person has to consider those circumstances. The EEOC realizes this and is now suing employers who do not recognize this fact.

Meaningful Work Should Be Every CEO’s Top Priority
Jim Keane, Harvard Business Review

Gallup tells us that 87% of global employees are disengaged, so it should be the top priority for every CEO.

… Many CEOs are aware of the problem and are working to improve employee engagement, starting with new programs aimed at wellbeing or offering flexible work hours. But a new program may not be the answer. Tom Rath, author of “Fully Charged,” has a theory about happiness. He says that if you seek happiness, you won’t find it. However, if you seek meaning, you will find happiness. The same applies to engagement. If you seek engagement directly, you may not find it. If you lead people to find meaning, perhaps you will.

My Employers Helped Me Beat Addiction in the Workplace
Allen McDougall, Huffington Post

I was a hard rock miner at the time and fortunately my union, the United Steelworkers, had an Employee Assistance Program whose staff guided me to the treatment I needed. They accepted me as a person who has a problem, not a problem person, and put me on the road to recovering my sobriety and my dignity.
Employers have day-to-day interaction with their workers and are key in identifying addiction-related problems. They can be the conduits to life-saving treatment. Employers also have an economic incentive, with costs up to $68 billion annually associated with lost performance from addicts in the U.S. workforce alone.

DOL Continues to Warn Employers of Investigation of Systemic FMLA Issues
Jeff Nowack, FMLA Insights

This is yet another reminder that employers will continue to face scrutiny by the DOL on their FMLA procedures, and that they increasingly will become party to consent decrees where their FMLA practices do not adhere to the FMLA regulations.
I know I sound like a broken record, but as you prepare your HR and legal budgets for 2016, make an FMLA self-audit a priority for your workplace in the New Year. As I have highlighted in a previous post, your self-audit should focus on the following…

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