Human Resources News

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  • Employers across North Carolina see value in being family-friendly
    by Emily Swartzlander on January 21, 2019 at 5:00 am

    From offering paid parental leave to allowing employees to telecommute to subsidizing child care, employers across North Carolina say they see value in creating a family-friendly workplace, both for themselves and their employees. Now, a new guide released by the nonprofit North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation (NCECF) aims to help even more workplaces across the state be more family-friendly. The guide is part of NCECF’s Family Forward NC, an initiative to improve children’s health and well-being […]

  • Putting employees’ well-being first yield long-term benefits
    by OstermanCron on January 21, 2019 at 5:00 am

    Keith Cron, co-founder and president, and Carol Cron, wellness director, of OstermanCron discuss workplace wellness and how the office environment and office furniture improve employee’s productivity and well-being in a podcast. Here are highlights. Workplace wellness is more than physical health: “Wellness is more than just feeling healthy or avoiding sickness or injury,” says Keith Cron. “It’s more holistic. It’s more social and emotional and mental health. It must address them all. […]

  • Workplace design impacts employee well-being and creativity
    by OstermanCron on January 21, 2019 at 5:00 am

    Improving employee well-being has long been a hot topic among business leaders, but the conversation is usually limited to physical wellness — that’s why so many new office spaces include amenities like free snacks, fitness centers, and play areas. Employers need to recognize how the work environment can also affect staff members’ mental health, which studies show has a direct connection to creativity and, in turn, company growth and prosperity. According to the American Psychological Association […]

  • Why work-life balance and well-being are critical to recruiting top talent
    by OstermanCron on January 21, 2019 at 5:00 am

    In Gallup’s State of the American Workplace survey, more than half of employees named work-life balance and overall well-being as two of the most important factors they consider when choosing to work for an organization. Well-being is more than just physical health Well-being is more than just feeling healthy or avoiding sickness and injury. Yet many employers concentrate on the most basic needs of physiological comfort and safety — healthy food, natural light, ergonomics, privacy, and infection […]

  • 4 innovative ways to improve healthcare employees’ well-being
    by OstermanCron on January 21, 2019 at 5:00 am

    “Physician, heal thyself.” Facing increased errors, inadequate patient care, and high turnover rates, healthcare facilities are heeding this age-old advice with initiatives to improve the well-being of their doctors, nurses, and administration staff. Most healthcare organizations already have wellness programs in place that target employees’ physical health. They address the most basic needs of physiological safety, comfort, and fitness via infection control, ergonomics, natural light, healthy […]

  • 9 principles to improve well-being in the workplace
    by OstermanCron on January 21, 2019 at 5:00 am

    See examples of flexible office solutions from OstermanCron. OstermanCron provides furniture solutions and workplace design that foster well-being and positive work environments. Whether redesigning a classroom or creating a new office space, our experts ensure you receive the best experience and outcome possible. You can learn more about the services we provide by visiting our website. […]

  • NC workplaces become more family-friendly with help from new initiative
    by Emily Swartzlander on January 21, 2019 at 5:00 am

    A new guide for employers aims to help create more family-friendly workplaces across North Carolina. The Guide to Family Forward Workplaces, released earlier this month by the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation (NCECF), is a toolkit for employers of all sizes with practical tips for implementing family-friendly workplace practices such as flexible scheduling, accommodations for pregnant workers, and paid parental leave. NCECF created the guide as part of Family Forward NC, an initiativ […]

  • How privacy and collaboration can be achieved in workspaces
    by OstermanCron on January 21, 2019 at 5:00 am

    In today’s world our workplace environments are constantly shifting by the way we work and interact, making it difficult to create a sense of community, but also recognizing the needs of the individual. According to Harvard Business School Professor, Teresa Amabile, “there’s some evidence that great physical space enhances creativity. The theory is that open spaces that are fun are where people what to be and facilitate idea exchange.” An informal, flexible and healthy workplace environment […]

  • My View: Phoenix artists shouldn’t be punished for their beliefs
    by Jonathan Scruggs on January 18, 2019 at 11:47 pm

    On Jan. 22, I’ll be asking the Arizona Supreme Court to protect the right of artists to speak messages consistent with their beliefs without having to face jail time or crippling fines. You may think this should be unnecessary. After all, the Arizona and U.S. constitutions both protect free speech and free religious exercise. So do many statutes too. At some point, you would hope bureaucrats would get the hint. But censorship takes new forms each generation, so our rights must be defended again […]

  • Here are the best spots in the Bay Area for a business lunch
    by Alex Barreira on January 18, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    In search of the perfect venue for a business lunch? Check out our slideshow on the top-rated local restaurants for a midday business meet-up, via rankings from online reservation tool OpenTable. San Francisco alone has more than 4,400 restaurants, according to statistics compiled by the city. There’s enough Michelin star-rated restaurants in the Bay Area (54) to satisfy a year’s worth of weekly outings. But where to take that next crucial client? And where to go outside the city? It might […]

      • Successful PTO Programs
        on June 7, 2018 at 6:48 pm

        When it comes to managing employee absences ? whether for vacation, sick leave or personal days ? every organization faces the delicate balance between what is best for its employees and for the company. The frustration of having adequate human resources to fill in for unexpected time off is also very common. […]

      • IRS Provides Guidance on Proper Income Tax Withholding for Nine Common Supplemental Wage Payment Scenarios
        on August 17, 2015 at 7:30 pm

        In Revenue Ruling 2008-29, the IRS has provided specific guidance on the proper amount of federal income tax an employer must withhold in nine different situations under the supplemental wage regulations1 that became effective January 1, 2007. Typically, states with income taxes default to following federal regulation principles for distinguishing between regular and supplemental wages. In addition to federal income tax withholdings, states also look for proper withholding on supplemental wages for state income tax purposes. […]

      • Efforts to Prevent the Misclassification of Independent Contractors Continue
        on May 18, 2015 at 1:04 pm

        On April 22nd, a bill was introduced in both the United States House and Senate titled the Employee Misclassification Prevention Act ("EMPA" or "Act"). H.R. 5107; S. 3254. The Act would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") to introduce measures designed to prevent the misclassification of independent contractors. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) was one of the co-sponsors of the Senate bill. He stated that misclassified workers are "denied vital worker safeguards" and because of the recession, "workers are too often taken advantage of and lose out on the benefits they rightfully earned. . . . [m]eanwhile, employers who do right by their employees are placed at a disadvantage when competitors are cutting corners." According to the bills' sponsors, the Employee Misclassification Prevention Act aims to correct these issues. […]

      • Ten Tips for Creating Respect and Civility in Your Workplace
        on May 1, 2015 at 6:44 pm

        The workplace is a reflection of society at large. Today, we see a gamut of behaviors that demonstrate a lack of respect and civility, both inside and outside the workplace. Studies and polls indicate that Americans view incivility as a serious problem that is getting worse.  One study found that 60% of employees believe that co-workers’ annoying behaviors negatively impact the workplace and, as a result, 40% reported that they are looking for new employment.  These and other findings illustrate that disrespectful and uncivil behaviors drain productivity and negatively influence both an organization’s bottom line and the overall economy. […]

        on February 6, 2015 at 7:12 pm

        You sometimes will find it useful to consider an applicants appearance or looks when you make hiring decisions. Perhaps you do not like this. But it can help you when looks impact employee productivity. Of course, you must hire applicants who possess job-related skills needed on the job. And sometimes applicant appearance or looks happens to be one job-related quality that increases odds the applicant could become a productive, profitable employee for your company. […]

      • Can Desperation Lead to Hiring Mistakes?
        on September 5, 2014 at 1:31 pm

        Yes, desperation can lead to hiring mistakes, but, more often, desperation guarantees mistakes will be made. Being desperate to hire someone is like going to the grocery store after you havent eaten for the last three days. Everything will look delicious --- even foods you dont normally like. When youre hungry to hire someone, youll be more prone than usual to make the mistake of hiring a person who is a great applicant, but who will not be a great employee. […]

      • Payroll Overpayments
        on June 27, 2014 at 5:53 pm

        Although infrequent, there are times when an employer makes an overpayment to an employee. Reasons for an overpayment could stem from an accounting error, paying an employee at a rate that is too high or incorrect benefit deductions. Other reasons include terminated employees who receive vacation time before it was earned and sales people whose commission was too large. Regardless of how often or the reason overpaying an employee occurs, the employee is responsible for repaying the money when it is demanded. An error is not an automatic entitlement to keep unearned money. […]

      • Intermittent Leave: An Employer's Headache
        on June 27, 2014 at 5:51 pm

        Intermittent FMLA is one more challenge added to the professional plate of human resource managers. If you take your job seriously, you understand the struggle employers have with balancing leave that is guaranteed by federal law with need of the company. Dissatisfaction and confusion surrounding FMLA intermittent leave does not have to lead to headaches when you understand and evaluate the regulations. While employees have a right to take time off as needed, that right does not extend to abusing the law at the employers expense. […]

      • New Pregnancy Protections Impacting ALL Illinois Employers
        on June 20, 2014 at 1:24 pm

        HB 8, pushed through the Illinois Legislature and ready to be signed into law by Governor Quinn, amends the Illinois Human Rights Act to add to the list of employment discrimination, an employer's failure to provide a reasonable accommodation to an employee based on conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth. […]

      • Five Most Common Workplace Injuries
        on June 3, 2014 at 1:21 pm

        Despite a firms best efforts, some employees will, inevitably, be injured on the job. In 2010, over 4,500 American workers received lethal injuries at work, while millions more incurred disabling injuries ( Injuries not only reduce productivity, they also increase workers compensation rates and can affect employee morale ( […]

      • Developing a Successful Employee Orientation Program
        on September 20, 2012 at 6:50 pm

        Download this white paper and learn how to develop a successful employee orientation program that effectively illustrates job duties and company policies, lowers the learning curve and gets employees off to a good start that ensures long-term success. […]

      • Guide to Writing Effective Job Listings
        on May 7, 2012 at 6:23 pm

        In the digital age, it’s imperative for HR departments to learn how to use online job listing space more effectively. Techniques that are effective in newspaper listings often fall flat online. Creating effective job listings improves the process for applicants and recruiters. These pointers will help human resource departments and recruiters get the most out of each job listing and secure the best applicants in a short amount of time. […]

      • Compensation Data Collection Tool Update
        on April 4, 2012 at 1:47 pm

        In the past three years, Office of Federal Contracts and Compliance Programs’ (OFCCP) approach towards compliance enforcement has been more aggressive than ever. Since the new administration took over in 2009, we have seen significant changes to how the agency has been conducting compliance reviews. […]

      • Employing Individuals with Disabilities: Understanding the Latest Requirements, Updates, and Potential Changes
        on January 31, 2012 at 5:13 pm

        With the announcement of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) by The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) regarding updates to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the agency has brought focus on the affirmative action efforts for individuals with a disability as a top priority. In the effort to enforce these requirements, federal contractors and subcontractors are compelled to look into their employment practices to improve their recruitment efforts. […]

      • Affirmative Action Industry Profiles
        on January 26, 2012 at 2:57 pm

          When it comes to effective affirmative action compliance—one size doesn’t always fit all. Depending on the industry, affirmative action compliance and planning can vary greatly. This is especially true when it comes to the needs, expectations, requirements, industry trends, and solutions for best practices. Three industries that must comply with affi rmative action regulations, but have differing concerns and requirements, are the manufacturing, healthcare, and financial industries. &nbs […]

      • Social Media and the Workplace - To Be or Not to Be?
        on January 24, 2012 at 2:57 pm

        Did you know Facebook has over 300 million users? Chances are many of the employees at your company contribute to this number. Right now we’re living in a time of TwitterFaceSpace Pandemonium. No, this isn’t a real word—but as the emphasis on social media sites and its impact on the workplace continue to grow, it may soon become one. […]

      • Examining Upcoming Veterans Requirements - What to Expect in 2012
        on January 23, 2012 at 6:55 pm

        In the last couple of years large numbers of Veterans have returned, or are in the process of returning to civilian life, from tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their employment is a high priority of the current Administration. Consequently, on April 26, 2011, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to change the regulations that govern how federal contractors and subcontractors complete their Veterans affi rmative action plan (AAP). […]

      • The Wonder of the Web: Why Web-Based Applications are Necessary for Effective Affirmative Action Compliance
        on January 20, 2012 at 4:51 pm

        Most of us can still remember having to pop in a cassette tape to play our favorite song. If we wanted to hear the song again we pressed rewind…and waited patiently for the tape to backspin to the beginning. Fast forward to today, and we have music literally at our fi ngertips. The changes in technology have completely streamlined our process. What does this have to do with HR? Everything. […]

      • What You Should Consider Before You Terminate That Employee
        on January 13, 2012 at 5:46 pm

        Without question, the employer may determine that a termination is justified, that not terminating based on certain conduct would establish a bad precedent and send a very   negative message to other employees as well as potentially driving away customers from your business. A decision to retain an employee given certain types of conduct may also result in increased liability for the company. The purpose of this paper then in not to dissuade an employer from terminating an employee, but rather to make sure that the matter is fully explored before a final decision is made. […]

      • Jeopardizing Exemptions: Mistakes to Avoid
        on January 13, 2012 at 5:34 pm

        Improper classification of employees can have severe consequences. If misclassified, employees may lose overtime compensation and other rights to which they may be entitled. These may sometimes be recouped through subsequent litigation. On the other hand, if employers misclassify employees, the employers may face substantial liability for unpaid overtime compensation, liquidated or double damages, prejudgment interest, and attorneys fees. 29 U.S.C. § 216. In some circumstances, employers incur such liability because they attempt to apply the wrong exemption, even though they could have used a different exemption or exception to avoid overtime liability. […]