Sex, sex, sex

Now that I have your attention, let’s focus in on the real gist of this blog – sexual orientation and gender identity.

So, there is an entire language that employers should be acquainted with on this topic. And, while there is no true case law (as of this writing,) the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) considers each of these as falling under the protected class of “gender.” Which means, we need to ensure that our employees understand our position on the topic. (REGARDLESS of your personal belief on this topic, as an employer you have a DUTY to be respectful of any/all protected classes.) Continue reading

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Ahh, love is in the air – ain’t it great! Not so much when it comes to work.

We are frequently called upon to address the question of workplace relationships. I mean, come on, we spend at least 8 hours a day with these people – where else are you going to meet people that have similar likes and dislikes? I LOVE this adage: “Don’t get your honey where you get your money!”  NSFW reference (I met mine in graduate school, so he calls us college sweethearts!)

While I don’t go to the extent of recommending a “no fraternization” policy (because then I’d have to practice that, and I LIKE the people I work with,) I do HIGHLY recommend employers discourage workplace romances. Continue reading

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OSHA Recordkeeping

Let’s talk more about OSHA log. This is relevant even if you have fewer than 10 employees – you still need to understand some OSHA language since almost all employers fall under the “General Duty Clause” of the regulations. Continue reading

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Good bye 2017 Hello 2018

Goodbye 2017!

Some of you may think that’s a good thing and others probably wish the year would continue. Regardless, everyone thinks the year is over. But, is it? Continue reading

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Business people holding 2017 sign

Happy 2017! What We’ve Learned and Where We’re Going

What a year it’s been! 2017 is almost at an end, and over its shoulder is 2018. Are you ready for it? Is your COMPANY ready for it? We’ve covered as many hot-button issues and burning questions about processes and HR best practices over this past year as we could, including solicitation (not THAT kind), identity theft, bullying, and even actual disasters. It makes sense to have covered such a variety of topics, especially after the year it’s been. It was our first full year under a new president, and a year that had many people asking, “How can we do a better job with our business’s human resources?” Continue reading

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Harassment prevention document

Harassment in the Office

For most of us, our workplace is our community. We see our coworkers more than we see friends and family because we’re they’re every day. That means it’s important to treat each other with respect and kindness, to establish a collaborative and productive work environment. When someone experiences harassment at work, it not only hurts the victim but also damages the environment that’s been built by others. One bad seed can easily sour the mood at work; productivity can take a nosedive, and your place of employment can turn into a hostile work environment.

There are actually multiple forms of harassment someone could be subjected to. Knowing how harassment happens can make us better at spotting similar behaviors around us so that we can speak up for the victims and maintain our workplace experience. Continue reading

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businesswoman opening a gift

Taxable Fringe Benefits: What Are They and Why Should I Care?

Rewarding employees with gift cards and other “fringe benefits” can be a reward in and of itself but did you know that the free holiday turkeys you just handed out may be considered taxable income?

Yep.

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to dole out cool benefits as many of us originally thought without getting taxes involved. That doesn’t mean you should eschew the fringe benefits—it just means you have to be smart about them! Continue reading

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happy woman holding a thank you sign

Thanksgiving: More Than Just Turkey Talk

Saying thanks. Giving thanks. We talk a lot about gratitude around the holidays, especially on Thanksgiving; but how far does the season spirit reach? Does it go beyond your dinner table and family? As an employer, it definitely benefits company morale to show your thanks for the people you work with every day. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to shower them with physical gifts—it could be an extra kind word or two in passing, or even telling them how appreciative you are of the work they do.

The point is that it pays to consider how you might be thankful for your employees and then communicate that to them. Continue reading

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bullying and gossip at work

Bullying: It’s Not Just in Schools

While it’s likely been years since most of us were in high school, there’s one thing that even adult employees face today that harkens back to their school-age days: bullying. No one is getting into fistfights in the parking lot (hopefully) or pulling hair, but that’s because workplace bullying is subtler in nature. It’s psychological and verbal bullying that today’s workforce must contend with.

It may not be outright illegal, but it’s counterproductive and an extremely poor way to treat people you work with. Continue reading

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frustrated woman checking credit on computer

Helping Employees Deal with Identity Theft

By now, many of us have heard about the Equifax breach. It came as a shock when the company responsible for credit monitoring and identity theft protection was the victim of a data breach. It’s been reported that at least 143 million people have had their personally identifiable information stolen, but the real number, experts say, can’t truly been known. Continue reading

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