Big changes to Kansas Wage Payment Act take effect July 1

by Boyd Byers and Lindsey Smith

Significant revisions to the Kansas Wage Payment Act (KWPA) go into effect July 1, changes that give employers more latitude to make payroll deductions to recoup overpayments, loans, and property provided to employees.

Under old law, employers could withhold wages only in limited circumstances, such as (1) when specifically required by law (withholdings for payroll taxes or garnishments, for example), (2) for health care, (3) deposits into a retirement plan, and (4) when the employer had a signed authorization from the employee for a lawful purpose “accruing to the employee’s benefit.”

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What Redskins’ play calls after RG3’s injury teach us about workplace ethics

by Mike Maslanka

Anyone watch the Washington Redskins playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks? I am a Redskins fan, so I was naturally concerned about the health of Robert Griffin III, the phenom rookie quarterback, former Baylor standout, winner of the Heisman trophy, and all-around nice guy. Four weeks earlier, he had injured his knee in a game against the Ravens. (He also injured the same knee while playing college ball in 2009.)

Coming into the game, RG3 (as he is known) was wearing a brace. News reports from USA Today quoted the team physician as saying he was a “nervous wreck” letting RG3 play that Sunday night. And then came a sad episode that could end a young man’s career and is made all the sadder because it was avoidable if the boss had made a decision motivated by ethical conduct, not an ostrich-like attitude of self-delusion; a decision that could be made only by a boss, not an employee like RG3, no matter how well-paid; a decision that looked out for the needs of a human being as well as the organization.

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Right to work and how it will work in Michigan

by Gary Fealk

On December 11, Michigan passed Senate Bill 116, commonly known as the right-to-work law. In accordance with the Michigan Constitution (Article IV, Section 27), the law will go into effect 90 days after the end of the legislative session.

Under the law, an individual cannot be required to do any of the following to obtain or continue employment: read more…

2012-2013 Pay Budget Survey

June 01, 2012 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

It’s time for BLR and HRHero’s annual Pay Budget Survey. What’s happening with salary increases and bonuses in 2012 and 2013? How do your plans compare to those of your competitors? Let’s find out.

By sharing your insight, opinions, and experience, you can help highlight trends and define benchmarks — by industry, geographic location, and size of employer — that may help form your and other employers’ business plans for the coming year.

If you include your contact information where prompted in the survey, you’ll receive a PDF of the survey’s results via email. No individual organization’s information will be shared. Only results in the aggregate will be sent to participants or used by BLR for articles or in any other form of distribution.

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HRHero 2012 Health Insurance Benefits Survey Results

February 03, 2012 - by: Wendi Watts 0 COMMENTS

Nearly 65 percent of respondents to a recent HRHero survey on health insurance benefits said they expect their health insurance costs to rise because of health care reform. Half of respondents said they were not sure if their organizations would eliminate health care plans in 2014, when it may be easier for workers to get coverage in the individual market.

One of the biggest unknowns for many employers is how health insurance costs will affect their businesses each year. The 2012 HRHero Health Insurance Benefits Survey showed that most employers are certain about one thing – that the uncertainty will continue.

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Job Available But No One Cares? Alabama Utility Got the Message (Video)

November 17, 2011 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

Rob McElroy stresses that employers shouldn’t blindly follow a job description or list of required qualifications or experience when filling positions. In fact, he is proof of what he speaks. The general manager of Daphne (Alabama) Utilities had no experience in the field when he signed on with the then-flailing utility in 2005. One particularly telling incident occurred several years ago when McElroy posted a $50,000 job opening and received not a single resume. Over the years, the utility changed how it approached recruiting and improved on the methods it uses to nurture and appreciate its best employees. As a result, it is now routinely hailed as a “top place to work” by Fortune Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and others.

McElroy is part of the panel discussion “Managing Today’s Talent Pipeline: 30 Ideas in 30 Minutes” at the 2011 Advanced Employment Issues Symposium (AEIS) this week in Las Vegas. The following video clip below is from the same panel discussion during the AEIS conference held in Nashville, Tennessee, in October. He also individually presented the session “Greatness Knows No Bounds: How Small Companies Are Creating Something Wonderful for Their Employees.”

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Secret of Great Places to Work? Two Words: Culture Fit (Video)

November 17, 2011 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

Michael Burchell shares some of the best practices for attracting employees he’s encountered during his work as VP of global business development and a senior consultant with The Great Place to Work Institute. He maintains that it’s important to determine if an applicant would be a “good culture fit” for your company. Beyond the interview process, successful companies also do other things to make job applicants feel welcome and begin to picture themselves in a new, comfortable role with the company.

Burchell is part of the panel discussion “Managing Today’s Talent Pipeline: 30 Ideas in 30 Minutes” at the 2011 Advanced Employment Issues Symposium (AEIS) this week in Las Vegas. The following video clip below is from the same panel discussion during the AEIS conference held in Nashville, Tennessee, in October. He also presented a separate session on “Secrets of the Best Places to Work.”

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Coffee-Picking Expedition Changes Employees ‘Forever’ (Video)

November 17, 2011 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

Kathy Brooks explains how Green Mountain Coffee Roasters achieves a 94% retention rate. It could have something to do with the coffee-picking expedition that top employees get to go on each year. Some 30-50 employees — all nominated by their peers or supervisors — are chosen to visit coffee-growing countries like Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Mexico, where they spend time in the fields, actually picking coffee. “People are changed forever,” says Brooks, who has been the Waterbury, Vermont, company’s VP of HR and Organizational Development since April 2001.

Brooks says Green Mountain also invests heavily in employee development and training. Within 30 days of joining the company, employees meet with their supervisors to formulate and put in place a development plan, which is updated every 12 months.

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Best Place to Work Builds in Fun, Face-to-Face Time (Video)

November 17, 2011 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

Liz Wilson McKee maintains that having fun is a key element of engaging employees. She is the internal communications manager for national law firm Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkwitz, one of Fortune Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For in America.” McKee says HR managers should look for opportunities to celebrate. Events can be scheduled or spontaneous. And when you aren’t celebrating? Communicate. In fact, she says the firm sets aside 10 minutes a day so its 1,200-plus attorneys and other staff members can talk among themselves, face to face.

McKee is part of the panel discussion “Managing Today’s Talent Pipeline: 30 Ideas in 30 Minutes” at the 2011 Advanced Employment Issues Symposium (AEIS) this week in Las Vegas. The following video clip below is from the same panel discussion during the AEIS conference held in Nashville, Tennessee, in October. The session’s purpose was to help employers recharge their employee recruitment, retention and development programs.

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Bagel, Anyone? HR Pro’s Tips to Improve Employee Engagement (Video)

November 17, 2011 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

Andrew Botwin explains that “engagement” at Rothstein Kass means employees getting involved. The national accounting firm uses feedback from employee focus groups to make changes that employees can see. He also recommends adding a social element to official functions to keep employees engaged. That can be something as simple as bagels at a morning meeting so that people come a little early and socialize before the meeting starts.

Botwin is part of the panel discussion “Managing Today’s Talent Pipeline: 30 Ideas in 30 Minutes” at the 2011 Advanced Employment Issues Symposium (AEIS) this week in Las Vegas. The following video clip below is from the same panel discussion during the AEIS conference held in Nashville, Tennessee, in October.

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