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Posts for HR Advisor

Bullying in the Workplace

March 1, 2012  by  Janice Corbin and Janet May
Category:  HR Advisor

Often, one of the factors contributing to a dysfunctional team relationship is bullying behavior by one or more employees and/or by a supervisor. This post explains what bullying is, why it matters, and how to stop it.

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Is it Safe to Provide a Job Reference?

March 1, 2012  by  Elizabeth Kennar
Category:  HR Advisor

Under state law, employers cannot be held liable for providing job references unless they provide information that is deliberately misleading or made with reckless disregard to the truth.

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Labor Relations Policy Development: New Balance is Smaller Concessions

March 1, 2012  by  Cabot Dow
Category:  HR Advisor

This 2011 blog post focuses on significant differences between past and present environments in which labor contracts are negotiated, with an emphasis on smaller concessions.

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Elected Officials Can be Subject to Recall for Violating Employment Laws

March 1, 2012  by  Sofia D'Almeida Mabee
Category:  HR Advisor

Elected officials can be subject to recall by the voters in certain situations. The court case In re Recall of Washam (2011) applied these principles to an elected official accused of violating county ordinances prohibiting certain employment practices, including retaliation against whistleblowers.

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Fair Labor Standards Act Classifications: Are Your Employees Correctly Classified?

March 1, 2012  by  Jennifer A. Parda
Category:  HR Advisor Fair Labor Standards Act

Stepped-up enforcement from the U.S. Department of Labor highlights the importance for employers to ensure that employees are properly classified under FLSA, as well as the high monetary costs that can ensue if they aren't.

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Dangerous Decisions

March 1, 2012  by  Eric Svaren
Category:  HR Advisor

Managers often need to make a decision and move on while also making room for staff who want to be involved in the decision. Involving people is risky, but leaving people out of the process also presents big problems. What is a decider to do?

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What to Do About Gossip in the Workplace?

March 1, 2012  by  Janice Corbin and Janet May
Category:  HR Advisor

Gossip can negatively impact the workplace, and employers are well within their rights to try and stop it. But what exactly is gossip, and what can be done to stop the behavior?

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PERC's New Decision on Weingarten Rights

March 1, 2012  by  Sofia D'Almeida Mabee
Category:  HR Advisor

The 2010 Public Employment Relations Commission Omak School District decision reviews what Weingarten rights employees have in Washington and redefined the contours of those rights.

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When People Complain About "Communications"

March 1, 2012  by  Dee Endleman
Category:  HR Advisor

Poor communication is a tricky topic because it can mean different things to different people. So how go you get to the root of the problem?

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Employers Need to Promptly and Effectively Address Complaints of Workplace Harassment

March 1, 2012  by  Mark Busto
Category:  HR Advisor

If an employer fails to take prompt and effective action to correct or end a workplace harassment issue, it can incur significant liability as shown in the 2010 court decision EEOC v. Prospect Airport Services.

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When Emotions Run High

March 1, 2012  by  Eric Svaren
Category:  HR Advisor

How do you handle broken work relationships? What do you do when conflict seems to be bubbling just under the surface? And how do you begin to restore trust and respect when anger and frustration are running high?

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Budget-Related Furloughs: Employers Must Bargain Both Decision and Effects

March 1, 2012  by  Kristin Anger
Category:  HR Advisor

Unpaid furloughs are an attractive alternative to layoffs for some public employers. In 2010, the PERC's King County decision affirmed that employers are obligated to bargain both the decision to implement furloughs and the effects.

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Electronic Communications and Social Media: Managing Employer Risks with Clear Policies

March 1, 2012  by  Mark Busto
Category:  HR Advisor

When employees engage in social media, the line between workplace and personal conduct can be easily blurred. This post reminds public employers to revisit their electronic communication policies and establish guidelines and expectations concerning employee use of social media.

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Employee Performance Evaluations

March 1, 2012  by  Janice Corbin and Janet May
Category:  HR Advisor

Many employees and supervisors do not particularly enjoy performance evaluations. This post addresses why performance evaluations are important and key issues to keep in mind while preparing for the evaluation.

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When Conflict Is Good (And When It's Not)

March 1, 2012  by  Eric Svaren
Category:  HR Advisor

Emotional conflict is profoundly unproductive and destructive, but cognitive conflict, which involves disagreements over ideas, decisions, or actions, helps to refine and tighten ideas in order to come to the best decision possible.

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Drawing the Line Between Physical Fitness Tests and Medical Examinations Prohibited by the ADA

March 1, 2012  by  Mark Busto
Category:  HR Advisor

Does a physical capacity evaluation for an employee returning to work from medical leave constitute a lawful physical fitness test, or a prohibited medical examination under the Americans with Disabilities Act? Indergard v. Georgia-Pacific Corp. (2009) addresses the issue.

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Getting a Grip on Grievances

March 1, 2012  by  Janice Corbin and Janet May
Category:  HR Advisor

Most collective bargaining agreements contain very specific grievance processes concerning how disagreements will be made known to the employer and the timeline for resolving disagreements. How can you manage the grievance process more effectively?

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The Latest in Retaliation Law

March 1, 2012  by  Mark Busto
Category:  HR Advisor

A 2009 Supreme Court decision, Crawford v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee, confirmed that federal law broadly protects employees who oppose discriminatory conduct and explains "opposition" activity.

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Taking the Mystery out of Loudermill Meetings

March 1, 2012  by  Janice Corbin and Janet May
Category:  HR Advisor

Loudermill meetings are often a source of frustration or concern, but in reality they are generally fairly simple to conduct. This post discusses some of the do's and don'ts for conducting a Loudermill meeting.

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Strategies for Preventing Workplace Violence

March 1, 2012  by  Janice Corbin and Janet May
Category:  HR Advisor

The first steps in preventing workplace violence are adopting a workplace violence policy and a violence prevention program. This post outlines some of the do's and don'ts for developing these policies and programs.

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Recent Legal Changes Add to Employees' Rights and Benefits in a Reduction-in-Force

March 1, 2012  by  Shannon Phillips
Category:  HR Advisor

Legislation in 2008-2009 involving COBRA benefits, as well as a court decision addressing an employee's due process rights in a layoff situation, add to employers' obligations concerning layoffs.

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New Domestic Violence Leave Expands Washington Employees' Right to Time Off

March 1, 2012  by  Mark Busto
Category:  HR Advisor

Effective in 2008, employers must provide leave to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. This post provides an overview.

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Ringing in the New? Pregnancy Discrimination and Pregnancy-Related Leaves

March 1, 2012  by  Mark Busto
Category:  HR Advisor

In light of the 2007 Supreme Court decision Hegwine v. Longview Fibre Co., local agencies should review their policies and procedures to ensure that they are following the most recent guidance regarding employing pregnant women.

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Engineering Success for the Productive Employee

March 1, 2012  by  Janice Corbin and Janet May
Category:  HR Advisor

Employers often spend enormous amounts of time focusing on problematic employees who can cause disruption and are challenging to deal with. But in doing so, they may be missing opportunities to create success for good employees who quietly perform their jobs but are seldom recognized.

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Managing Change Effectively In the Workplace - Part 2

March 1, 2012  by  Janice Corbin and Janet May
Category:  HR Advisor

With any change, managers need to be prepared for employees to demonstrate a wide range of emotions before the change is fully implemented. How can managers respond to such emotion?

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Managing Change Effectively In the Workplace - Part 1

March 1, 2012  by  Janice Corbin and Janet May
Category:  HR Advisor

Today's workplaces are changing at lightning speed. Even when the change is positive, it still means we are giving up something that we are used to in exchange for an unknown, which can make even the most upbeat employee apprehensive.

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Are Your Workers Misclassified?

March 1, 2012  by  Elizabeth Kennar
Category:  HR Advisor

Important consequences flow from the determination that an individual is a "regular employee" as opposed to a temporary employee, seasonal employee, or independent contractor, and state law prohibits public employers from misclassifying employees.

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Staff Meetings - Friend or Foe?

March 1, 2012  by  Janice Corbin and Janet May
Category:  HR Advisor

Effective staff meetings can provide accurate and up-to-date communications and provide a forum for employees to share their thoughts in a controlled environment. So, what information should be presented at staff meetings?

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Negotiate a Labor Contract and Repair Relationships at the Same Time

March 1, 2012  by  Eric Svaren
Category:  HR Advisor

In the face of limited revenues and greater demand for services, labor relations can be difficult. But interest-based bargaining allows management and labor to collaboratively identify their unique and shared interests.

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Social Media in Hiring: Minimizing Legal Risks

March 1, 2012  by  Sofia D'Almeida Mabee
Category:  HR Advisor

While employers may be tempted to take advantage of social media information to evaluate job candidates, they should understand and take steps to minimize the associated risks.

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Medical Marijuana and Drug Testing - What Employers Need To Know

March 1, 2012  by  Brian M. Flock and M. Edward Taylor
Category:  HR Advisor

The 2011 state Supreme Court decision in Roe v. TeleTech Customer Care Management (Colorado) LLC confirmed that the Medical Use of Marijuana Act does not protect medical marijuana users from adverse hiring or disciplinary decisions based on an employer's drug testing policy.

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