Tuesday, October 30, 2007

California Computer Professional Exemption's Hourly rate of pay requirement declines to $36

Down from the previous $49.77 per hour, the rate-of-pay requirement for a computer professional to be considered 'exempt' becomes $36.00 per hour effective January 1, 2008.

Click here for California' current wage orders.

California Abitration Agreements Becoming More Difficult to Enforce

Employers who have employees sign an arbitration agreement, especially with wage-and-hour class action waivers, are having a tough time enforcing them.

Once again, the California Court of Appeal rejected an agreement as 'unconscionable and unenforceable'.

Make sure you review any arbitration agreements with your attorney.

Courtesy of Jackson Lewis.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The "Engagement Gap"

Towers Perrin recently published a study of over 86,000 workers around the world showing that only 21% of employees are 'engaged' (meaning, they have a total and complete dedication to their job and company).

More and more small businesses are looking for solutions to reduce employee turnover, and the best way do to that is to develop systems to engage your employees.

Today's article in the Baltimore Sun explains.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Managing Sexual Harassment Complaints

There's so much gloom and doom among employers when a employee files a harassment complaint. Much of is justified; however, when an employer handles the investigation properly, the results are (usually) justified.

In this case - an example of an employer doing the right thing - an appellate court recognized the Faragher/Ellerth defense of an employer (even though a jury thought differently).

From Ogletree Deakins.

Friday, October 19, 2007

A Democratic Workplace

Wow. Many of the things Traci Fenton is talking about go to the core of today's modernized management principles, but in a much more global way of thinking.

Here is her article in the Christian Science Monitor.

Something to think about - it's the 'really big' picture.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

California Military Spouse Leave Law

Effective immediately, California employers with 25 or more employees must allow employees who have spouses in the military ten days of unpaid leave with that spouse is on leave.

This article, courtesy of Ford & Harrison, explains.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Office Romance and The Employer

I generally advise clients to adopt a 'bright line' approach to employee romances; that is, prohibit supervisors from dating direct reports. However, other options are available, with the exception that businesses in California may not prohibit employees from dating (just supervisors dating direct reports).

This article, by Jennifer Brown Shaw of Shaw Valenza, identifies many more pitfalls to an employer if some steps are not taken.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Managing Your Boss

You always need a plan when reporting to a manager. The most successful employees are able to adapt to their boss - thus ensuring their long-term success.

This article, from the Harvard Business Review via Business Week, explains.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Workers' Compensation Costs plummeting in California

The Workers' Comp reforms enacted several years ago are beginning to show results, according to the Workers Compensation Research Institute.

Employers can also manage these costs on their own through wellness programs, worker awareness, and health prevention information.

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Playing Online Games At Work

Several years ago, I heard a speaker mention the number one use of the internet by employees at work was to look for another job.

Today, at least 24% of all employees play online games at work, according to both PC World and the New York Times.

The Times quotes the CEO of the Stress Institute as saying this is a way for employees to 're-charge', but you may feel differently.

Do you have a policy that says internet use is for business use only? Are you enforcing it?

The problem is, if one employee sees another playing games at work, that tacitly gives him/her permission to play as well. And suddenly, you have a productivity problem on your hands.

Workplace Violence Continues - How To Prevent It

The fourth leading cause of workplace deaths in America? Homicide.

Workplace violence continues unabated. In this article from the law firm of Helms Mulliss Wicker, attorney Ryan Buchanan discusses the responsibilities employers have in reducing workplace violence.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Alternative Work Schedules & Telecommuting

The cost of employee turnover is significant - about 50% of an employee's salary. Between interviewing, hiring, training, and getting a new employee up-to-speed, the time and money it takes to replace a good employee has a significant impact - especially to small employers.

When you've got good employees, it's critical to find out what's important to them - and often, it's a balance between work and life.

Even small businesses can easily develop flexible options for employees - and if the benefit is increased employee retention, it's worth it.

An article in today's Newsday outlines the benefits of such a program.

And today's Delaware Online shows how an employee can propose a program to their employer.