Working in the construction industry means working outdoors, which means weather conditions are a critical factor in your employees' work environment. Outdoor workers are exposed to many types of hazards depending on their type of work, geographic region, season and duration of time they are outside.
In mid-June, for the first time, the U.S. Supreme Court considered whether an employer was within its rights to search employee text messages. The court decided unanimously that the search was reasonable. Although the case focused on a government employer, the decision clearly has ramifications for private businesses as well.
Over the last two years, many companies have faced periods of uncertainty and decreased profits.
Recently U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division officials unofficially announced the Department's "Hotel and Motel Resort Pilot Initiative."
The start of the 2010 election cycle has brought a new fervor to regional and national politics. Discussions on these issues are becoming more frequent, volatile, and tensions resulting from these discussions are increasingly adversely affecting the workplace environment. Addressing the current political climate, it's vital for employers to be aware of the divide between expression and harassment in the workplace.
Businesses are always looking for ways to save money while maintaining productivity, especially in trying economic times. One way of achieving this has been for companies to hire independent contractors in lieu of employees.
Like Bill Clinton, Hewlett-Packard's former CEO Mark Hurd "did not have sex with that woman." Whatever he did cost him some of his own money to settle a sexual harassment claim.
Arizona's controversial immigration laws are being tested in the court of public opinion, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court, but that's not stopping Pennsylvania from wading into the same potential quagmire.
With a half-billion users, Facebook has expanded its reach from college dormitories to the workplace, and your company likely employs at least one (or more likely several) users of social media.
A recent decision by the Supreme Court in a case called City of Ontario v. Quon should be viewed as a warning in big capital letters to workers everywhere.
It has been nearly two years since the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission issued a compliance manual update on religious discrimination. Religious discrimination involves disparate treatment, harassment, retaliation or refusal to reasonably accommodate religious beliefs or practices.
As the summer heat index continues to rise virtually everywhere in the nation, it's time for construction companies to review their policies for protecting workers from direct exposure to the sun.
- Use of Alternative Staffing Arrangements During These Uncertain Times Could Mean Increased Risks For Employers7.30.10
Confidence in the U.S. economy remains low. Total private-sector employment in June 2010 was below employment levels in December 2007 and employers still appear reluctant to add regular full-time workers.
In the wake of a continuing recession, companies everywhere are dealing with the effects of financial distress. .
Now that summer is upon us, your dress code at work may be feeling the heat. It's a constant balancing act to keep everyone cool and comfortable while maintaining a professional work environment that minimizes distractions and liabilities
- Thirteen Strategies Every Employer Should Implement To Improve Safety, Reduce OSHA Penalty Exposure, And Improve Company Profits While Protecting Its Reputation/Brand6.3.10
OSHA has been changing and more significant changes are on the way. Employers are seeing a continued shift away from OSHA's emphasis on cooperative efforts with employers to a more aggressive enforcement approach.
At this time of year, many firms take on interns, typically undergraduate students who perform a variety of tasks for the company. In many instances, these interns are unpaid or receive only a modest stipend.
With warm weather and the summer season quickly approaching, the potential for employment law problems heat up in the workplace from companies operating with lean staffs and finding vacation requests challenging to grant, to skimpy summer fashion that could prompt sexual harassment claims to hiring teenagers looking to land a summer job.
Some businesses and other organizations have long conducted at least a part of their activities through workers they have not treated as employees.
On March 30, 2010, the New Jersey Supreme Court affirmed the intermediate appellate court's decision in Stengart v. Loving Care Agency, Inc., a widely followed workplace privacy case with national implications. In a unanimous opinion, the Supreme Court held that an employee had a reasonable expectation of privacy in her e-mail communications exchanged with her personal attorney through her web-based, password-protected Yahoo! e-mail account using her employer's computer.
Recently, Miami Dolphins executive Jeff Ireland weathered a storm of public criticism following the revelation that, during an interview before the NFL draft, he asked wide receiver Dez Bryant whether his mother was a prostitute.
As the summer approaches, students are planning for their futures. Do they want to backpack through Asia, take summer courses, or take up a summer job? For the group who wants to take up a summer job, you, as an employer, may find yourself with many available workers who are eager and willing to work in order to pad their wallets or their resumes.
The increasing popularity of "body art" – in the form of tattoos and piercings – is providing challenges for employers in every industry and profession.
- Practical Effects of the Proposed Employee Free Choice Act on Labor – Management and Employee Relations5.3.10
Overlooked in the hue and cry generated over so-called "card check" unionization in the private sector, are equally if not more troublesome features of the proposed Employee Free Choice Act.
Businesses often wish to avoid litigation in unfriendly state court forums. For that reason it is important to know when removal is possible so that cases can be transferred automatically from state court to federal court, where judges are appointed for life rather than periodically elected by local citizens.
The chances that a construction company in Colorado will be the target of a Department of Labor (DOL) compliance audit is far greater than ever before. Earlier this year, the DOL announced an enforcement initiative for 2010 focusing on the construction industry in the Denver area. The agency noted that the industry tends to have low compliance rates with federal minimum wage and overtime requirements.
"There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment," explained Winston Smith, the protagonist of George Orwell's masterpiece, 1984.
- Smart Human Tricks—Saving Your Company Millions in Potential Liability with Harassment and Fraternization Policies4.1.10