New Tennessee law allows guns in trunks at work

by Kara E. Shea

A new Tennessee law clearing up two years of confusion related to whether employers can enforce no-weapons policies goes into effect July 1. Gun-rights advocates have prevailed.

The new law prohibits employers from firing employees for complying with Tennessee’s “guns in trunks” statute, which was passed in 2013. That law states that gun owners with handgun carry permits may bring firearms onto their employer’s property so long as they keep the guns locked in their vehicle out of “ordinary observation.”

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Firing employee for off-duty marijuana use legal, says Colorado Supreme Court

by Emily Hobbs-Wright

In a nationally awaited decision, the Colorado Supreme Court has upheld an employer’s termination of an employee who tested positive for marijuana because of his off-duty, off-premises marijuana use.

The court issued a narrow decision on June 15 in Coats v. Dish Network, LLC. It turned on the fact that marijuana use remains illegal under federal law. Construing the term “lawful” to encompass activities that are permitted by both state and federal law, the court ruled that the employee’s off-duty marijuana use wasn’t a protected activity within the meaning of Colorado’s lawful activities statute because marijuana use remains unlawful under the federal Controlled Substances Act.

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Obama takes steps toward requiring paid sick leave

January 15, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

Is it a sensible plan to boost productivity and give workers the help they deserve, or is it an unaffordable, unfair mandate on already overburdened employers? President Barack Obama’s announcement of a push to pass a paid sick leave law is likely to garner both reactions.

Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to Obama and chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls, launched the effort January 14 with a post on the career-centered social network LinkedIn, a venue chosen because of its high profile with employers.

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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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Categories: HRHero Surveys

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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Categories: HRHero Surveys

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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Categories: HR Hero Line


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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Categories: HR Hero Line


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