HR Blog

RIFs are NOT a cure all for crappy performance management

January 18th, 2019 by Fiona Ong at Shawe Rosenthal

Some employers view a reduction in force as an apparently easy and clean way to get rid of employees they do not want – like poor performers, who have not been properly performance-managed.

Don't be one of those employers.

Fiona Ong shares why. And stay tuned, same Bat-time, same Bat-station (or at least Bat-blog), for some "what" and "how" when Fiona shares basic performance management tips so you won't be one of those employers. more

Paying tipped employees no longer requires 80 or 20

January 17th, 2019 by Darin Williams at Laner Muchin

If you pay tipped employees, you are familiar with the 80/20 rule.

Lucky for you, that familiarity is no longer necessary because the DOL has reissued a 2009 opinion letter that essentially abandons the 80/20 tip credit rule.

Darin Williams clarifies the abandoning. more

Why should I care about employment law?

January 16th, 2019 by Jenny Goltz at Cozen O'Connor

Because if you don't you could go be in big trouble.

Jenny Goltz covers six common pitfalls for those new to the business of being in business.

And the rest of you might want to take a peek anyway, you know, just to see if maybe, you know, there are any new tricks to be learned. more

Government shutdown and human resources – do they intersect?

January 14th, 2019 by Richard Meneghello, Steven Bernstein, Cheryl Behymer, Caroline Brown, Thomas Rebel, Shanon Stevenson, Travis Vance

Yes, the Government shutdown and human resources intersect, but why? more

Employee privacy – more than just protecting social security numbers.

January 11th, 2019 by Emily Schifter at Troutman Sanders

(Um, you might want to at least put that payroll report in a folder.)

Emily Schifter helps you consider technology's role in society and growing presence in the workplace by providing some guidance on:

  • different standards for different types of technology and gathered information
  • storing what you gather
  • deciding how monitoring your employees will affect your workplace. more

Written warnings and the FAQs they spawn

January 8th, 2019 by Ursula A. Kienbaum at Ogletree Deakins

written warning:  noun:  ritˈ'n wôrniNG

  1. a statement in a form to be read that indicates a possible or impending problem, or other unpleasant situation
  2. a statement in a form to be read that indicates that you have already vented and calmed down and aren't going to write anything stupid before you create a very unpleasant situation for the person receiving said warning

Ursula Kienbaum helps you create a calm, dispassionate, effective, reasonable written warning by answering these seven FAQs:

  • what to include?
  • what to exclude?
  • attach documents?
  • mention previous warnings/actions?
  • detail impact of the problem?
  • include possible further disciplinary action??
  • does the warning change if there is a union involved? more

Rushhourtraffobia does not require reasonable accommodation

January 2nd, 2019 by Lindsey A. White at Shawe Rosenthal

No one likes rush hour traffic and if there was a way to avoid it, we would.

One employee decided to test a new theory and push the limits of the definition of "reasonable accommodation" by asking to be permitted to leave early because of her anxiety triggered by driving home in heavy traffic.

Lindsey White explains why the Court instead pumped the brakes. more

Workplace Christmas Quiz (this is legit and will secondarily eat up some time before you get to go home)

December 24th, 2018 by Robin Shea at Constangy

Ralphie slide

One of our favorites, Robin Shea, invites you into her Christmas HR world with a Christmas-themed quiz featuring:

  • Santa
  • Bob Cratchit
  • circumnavigating the globe in one evening in a sleigh pulled by reindeer
  • Ralphie
  • Rudolph
  • Baby It's Cold Outside
  • The Grinch.

Thanks Robin!

And to all a good night! more

The ACA - uninsured? unconstitutional? unenforceable? ununderstandable?

December 20th, 2018 by Fisher Phillips

The Affordable Care Act has been ruled unconstitutional.

But nothing will change now or for the foreseeable future.

Got it?

If not, Fisher Phillips provides some answers, including:

  • There are no impacts to current coverage.
  • There are no impacts to 2019 coverage.
  • Friday’s ruling had no impact on state enrollments through for coverage effective January 1 (which ended Saturday, December 15).
  • Employees with coverage in the District of Columbia or one of the 11 states that operate their own Marketplaces (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington) should determine if they still have an opportunity to enroll. Several of those states have responded to the Texas ruling by extending Saturday’s deadline until December 21, and several of those states already have January deadlines for February 1 coverage. more

List 10 Up: Top ten holiday party tips

December 19th, 2018 by Michael Schmidt at Cozen O'Connor

Ear podcast smaller


Michael Schmidt presents a Top 10 list of thoughts to minimize problems at your company's upcoming holiday party and for good measure discusses employers suing (for negative online reviews) and being sued (by an employee who signed a release) more

Holiday party what-would-you-dos

December 18th, 2018 by Robin Shea at Constangy

Real life scenario 1: A very high-performing, squeaky clean employee drinks too much at the holiday party and tries to kiss a colleague.

Real life scenario 2: A colleague / mentee / impressionable underling asks if it is a career-limiting move not to attend a "dreaded company holiday party".

Discuss (if with yourself, we recommend pretending you are on the phone so people will accept your discussion with the ether).

Now grade yourself against the expert, Robin Shea. more

2019 minimum wage chart

December 17th, 2018 by Shenna Harris, Jill Kirila and Meghan Hill at Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs, the author of our Wages and Hours – An Employer's Guide, put together a minimum wage chart for pretty much everywhere and anywhere. The chart, along with lots of other good stuff, can be found in the book, which in turn can be found in this drop-down menu, which in turn can be used to pre-order the book. more

Save the Office Holiday Party

December 14th, 2018 by hrsimple

The primary barrier to a holiday office party is:

  1.  booze
  2. dietary restrictions
  3. White Elephant gift exchange
  4. deciding who to invite: vendors/significant others/kids/pets/foreign exchange students/HR (which is why we usually plan the party) 
  5. #MeToo
  6. the boss insists on showing up
  7. money
  8. too busy
  9. Instagram
  10. karaoke


For tools, tips, techniques, a quiz, and some TV... read more more

MeToo, avoiding women, and the modified Mike Pence Rule

December 7th, 2018 by Robin Shea at Constangy

One way to for men to avoid a sexual harassment claim is to avoid women. Not coincidently, that is also a way to run right into a sex discrimination claim.

So is the so-called two-step "Mike Pence Rule" (the Vice President reportedly (1) doesn't have dinners alone with women, and (2) doesn't attend parties unless his wife comes with him) a way or no way?

Robin Shea tweaks the Mike Pence Rule while debunking some "avoid" myths. more

Carnac the Magnificent says – Politicussin

December 5th, 2018 by Aaron Warshaw at Ogletree Deakins

What happens when political discussions in the workplace have not been addressed before the discussions get political.

Political discussions at work are a minefield at any time. Add one part holiday party, two parts booze and maybe an off-site location, mix thoroughly and you may have yourself a politicussin'.

Aaron Warshaw provides 6 FAQs and their answers so nothing progresses past politiscussions.

  1. common concerns
  2. First Amendment protections
  3. political discussions gone bad
  4. name-calling based on race or national origin
  5. limiting or monitoring social media accounts
  6. policies limiting political discussions more

HR Articles

RIFs are NOT a cure all for crappy performance management
Paying tipped employees no longer requires 80 or 20
Why should I care about employment law?
Government shutdown and human resources – do they intersect?
Employee privacy – more than just protecting social security numbers.
Written warnings and the FAQs they spawn
Rushhourtraffobia does not require reasonable accommodation
Workplace Christmas Quiz (this is legit and will secondarily eat up some time before you get to go home)
The ACA - uninsured? unconstitutional? unenforceable? ununderstandable?
List 10 Up: Top ten holiday party tips
Holiday party what-would-you-dos
2019 minimum wage chart
Save the Office Holiday Party
MeToo, avoiding women, and the modified Mike Pence Rule
Carnac the Magnificent says – Politicussin
Non-competes for non-skilled – non-productive, non-legal, non-enforceable?
Discrimination CHARGE! – Step 3 Cause or no cause, because you gotta do something
Discrimination CHARGE! – Step 2 Go Kim Possible for the investigation phase
Discrimination CHARGE! – Step 1 Don't panic, ask questions
Depression – what can an employer do?
Employers beware - what you say can and will be used against you
Holiday stew – ingredients for a happy and non-litigious holiday
MO - The weed du jour - marijuana médicale
Biometrics in the workplace - not a measure of bios accumulated by an employee
Thanks-giving isn't just about turkeys - include the good employees too
The best "stay" to help you retain employees
Overtime, daylight savings time and circadian rhythyms
Controlling the political speech of buttons*
Cursing, surfing, weapons, gadgets – illegal, inappropriate or OK?
How to Ghostbuster a new hire or applicant
Election leave – employer's civic duty, migraine, or just wishful thinking (election, leave!)
Costumes, booze and the Great Pumpkin – beware the office Halloween party
Disability – Dr. or employee approved?
401(k) plan + payroll provider = 401k good things
Disability/pregnancy practices – what not to practice
Bad hire! Bad, bad hire!
TN – A drug-free workplace program is good
Open enrollment – personalizing perks pays off
Unpaid intern – depends on who benefits
The #1 office perk is . . . ?
FMLA leave before being eligible for FMLA leave
IL – Required expense reimbursement for your employees, not Bill Self
Help hiring holiday help here
Are the new DOL opinion letters like noses?
Public disclosure of confidential information is easier than you think
Bad mix – accommodation request and firing
If religious accommodation and a flu shot both equal angst, is that the transitive or substitution property?
Workplace shootings – 20 can-dos to prevent them
No call/no show shows. No what about it.
List 10 Up: Top tips for starting a workplace incident interview
Mr. Freeze unveils National Security Freeze tagline: "They can't steal your identity if it's frozen"
If it's called a dress code, can I wear pants?
I've changed my name – to Optimus Prime
TN: Conceal and carry means post to prohibit or permit
I'll take "ADA in 5s?" please Alex
Swearing at work – 7 rules
Is that red light flashing?
Four-legged office mates and the pawternity policies they benefit
Notice: notices and forms for FMLA that were already expired now updated virtually unchanged
Don't feel ripped off when you get ripped off – get even
School-related parental leave does not mean you forge a note from your kid
NY: Draft model sexual harassment policy/training released
Discipline - Demote - Depart or Communicate - Counsel - Channel
ICE audits II – FAQs to make you wiser
Round up stew: sick leave, harassment, non-compete, etc.
Identifying trade secrets does not mean figuring out how to barter better
Being at work full time is not an essential function of a job?
List 10 up: Positive employee relations training: reap the benefits of engagement
Employment agreements – what to do before you do
Background checks of the future are continuous
Treating service animal requests (always treat the animal)
Prepare for saying "No" – you need to decide how to refuse service
List 10 up: What's the deal with employee handbook rules?
I cannot tell a lie . . . you're fired for cutting down the cherry tree
Milk Stork delivers for working mom's and their baby
Job tasks and essential functions under the ADA
Who are you? Why are you here? Personality testing?
No, you can't sleep on the job
Technology driving the hiring process
Should you give your employees a little Slack – or do they have enough already?
"We need to talk" isn't any easier to say than to hear
Bet employers must make: call and raise your minimum wage
Zero tolerance for "zero tolerance" policies
Ralph Waldo Emerson as a productivity consultant
Is the employee "disabled" under the ADA?
The six step DOL audit polka
PTO on the house!
New rules for work rules
Dr. Strangelabor or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Millennial
Did Bartleby the scrivener write his own job description?
"Treating" disgruntled or bad behaving employees
Hiring under the age of 18
DO NOT LICK THE BRAIN! and other obvious stuff
Helping your employees save for emergencies
Right to bare arms in the workplace
#MeToo quiz
Under standing desks
How to approach an employee showing signs of cognitive decline
Dress codes should not be encoded
Foul language *
Rorschach, Horshack and Abednego
Don't ask a woman the gender of her child, especially. . .
Guidelines for a valid no-solicitation/no-distribution policy
All aboard the Love Train for long-term onboarding!
Gender and workplace bathrooms
No FMLA for pet's death
Personal hygiene in the workplace
Yes Virginia, there is a St. Patrick's Day in Ireland
Master the modern method for managing March Madness
Drug testing in The Office
Background checks
"Thank you" and "I'm sorry" – meaningful, simple and impactful
Michael Corleone HR tip for the day
S'not flu or it is, doesn't matter
Be prepared for ICE raids
Looking for employees: an untapped source of talent
Calling Dr. Love(less)
Non-exempt employees – what counts as wages?
HR is not a happy accident
Do new hires have to be a culture club fit?
Remote workers and telecommuting
When former employees ask for references
Model written lock out/tag out program
Wrong table cat
They might be giants . . . transforming healthcare?
Conducting internal I-9 audits
The Nebraska Chamber has issued a W-2 challenge to state taxpayers
The impact of super bowl(ing)
12 steps to handling violence in the workplace
Workplace retaliation: don't give in to the Dark Side
Would you really want to work with a bunch of yous?
What is the ADA?
Monty Python should not write your job descriptions
FMLA definitions
Unemployed or wear a bra – are those the only choices?
What "government shutdown" means for employers
An intern by any other name
FMLA - "leave" as in "leave the employee alone"
 “M,” “F,” Or “X”? Nonbinary Gender Designations in the Workplace
Sexual harassment – can't find it – what now?
Probationary periods
Employee contracts
How to treat fringe benefits for employees
Attendance policies
Different repeal
Temporary and leased employees
Birthdays in the workplace
Needy employees
Holiday parties - acknowledge, avoid, assume (nothing)
Dress codes: who, what, wear
Punch clock
Nepotism: favoring relatives and friends in the workplace
Year-end performance reviews
Hiring interviews
The Form I-9 has changed… Again!
Service dogs at work
Bring your own gun
Social media
Year-end or holiday incentives
Arizona sick day policy
Paternity leave
HRsimple spotlight - Fiona Ong
Permissible post-accident drug testing
Paid family leave: a growing trend
Politics in the workplace: how to remain legally compliant during election season
Termination Series: Communicating the reason for discharge
It’s only a matter of overtime
Interview with attorneys at Kastner Westman & Wilkins
Valentine's Day heartaches around the office
Safety and health tips
Wearable technology
Favorite HR sites
Back to school time is here!
Vacation policies and time off
Interview with author J. Hagood Tighe
Non-compete agreements
Workplace romance
Bullying in the workplace
Employment references
Telecommuting or remote (control) workers
Social media and employment
Performance evaluations
Interview with attorneys at Wilson Worley PC
Interview with attorneys at Knudsen Law Firm
Interview with Kathy Speaker MacNett
Firing, a job to do right the first time
Job advertisement do’s and don’ts
Employee handbooks – getting a handle on your policies
Technology in the workplace
Interview questions: do's and don'ts
Employee personnel files