This Week’s Changes to Federal Employment Laws

February 13, 2009 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

For the third week in a row, Congress and President Barack Obama have made changes to federal employment laws or regulations. First, it was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The next week, President Obama signed executive orders affecting federal contractors and unions. And this week brings us the stimulus plan with changes to COBRA health care continuation and unemployment benefits.

When we put this issue of HR Hero Line to bed, the economic stimulus plan still had a few hoops to jump in Congress and each hour seemed to to bring dramatic news about deals being made and then no deals. Maybe Howie Mandel and the models will jump into the fray to help the folks in Washington make up their minds, but I suspect the banker won’t show up until Congress starts work on Bail Out Round 2.

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Responding to This Week’s Job Loss Announcements

January 30, 2009 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

The HR Hero Line you are seeing today isn’t exactly what we had planned. But by noon on what is now being called “Bloody Monday,” we knew we needed to address the fallout from so many job cut announcements, which were then followed on Tuesday by possibly the worst unemployment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in decades.

The numbers are so stunning it’s hard to comprehend them. They cut across all industry sectors and come from businesses that seemed to have solid business models and desirable, even necessary, products and services. To help put the numbers in perspective, picture one of the bigger college or professional football stadiums or basketball arenas you’ve ever seen. Fill it to capacity, and that’s about the same number of job losses that were announced on Monday alone — some 75,000.

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Categories: HR Hero Line

Benefits survey shows many employers struggling with health insurance costs

January 16, 2009 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

Each January, HR Hero conducts an online survey about health insurance and retirement benefits offered by our readers’ organizations. Most of the questions are similar each year and provide a good comparison to previous years. The one thing that changes is the essay question. And this year, boy did we hit a nerve with that one.

Read the survey results

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Categories: HR Hero Line

Benefits 2009 HR Hero Survey

January 09, 2009 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

Each January, HR Hero asks its readers about the benefits their company plans to offer in the new year. With the changes in the economy and employers looking for ways to cut expenses, will they be reducing benefits or passing more of the cost of them on to employee?

Take the survey and we’ll report the results in next week’s HR Hero Line.

Categories: HR Hero Line

Employee Privacy Challenges & Solutions

December 31, 2008 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

M. Lee Smith Publishers and HR Hero have just released a new HR executive special report on employee privacy challenges for HR pros – Employee Privacy Challenges & Solutions: Electronic Monitoring, Health Information, Personnel Files, and More. The report is written by employment law attorney Katherine Novak Townsend.

Employee Privacy Challenges & Solutions, is a comprehensive guide for employers for monitoring employee activities and communications — without infringing on workers’ legal rights. In plain-English, it explains issues including: read more…

Categories: HR Hero Line

Employee Privacy Challenges & Solutions

December 31, 2008 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

M. Lee Smith Publishers and HR Hero have just released a new HR executive special report on employee privacy challenges for HR pros – Employee Privacy Challenges & Solutions: Electronic Monitoring, Health Information, Personnel Files, and More. The report is written by employment law attorney Katherine Novak Townsend.

Employee Privacy Challenges & Solutions, is a comprehensive guide for employers for monitoring employee activities and communications — without infringing on workers’ legal rights. In plain-English, it explains issues including: read more…

Categories: HR Hero Line

Raises 2009 HR Hero Survey

December 05, 2008 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

It’s time for the annual HR Hero survey on raises and wages. This year in particular, many companies are having to take a hard look at their compensation packages and making tough decisions. What will your organization do? What will other organizations in your state or industry do?

Take the survey then check out the results in the Dec. 12 issue of HR Hero Line.

Categories: HR Hero Line

Holidays and the Workplace

November 21, 2008 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

At Thanksgiving time, we thought it would be good to take a look at some of the issues employers face during the holidays — drops in productivity, employees shopping online when they should be working, training seasonal workers, refereeing disagreements about holiday decorations, and, of course, navigating the office party. Lawsuits never take a holiday. Here’s an early gift for all you HR and business pros from HR Hero Line and some of the employment law attorneys in the Employers Counsel Network to keep the holiday at work merry.

Productivity got run over by a reindeer

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Categories: HR Hero Line

Holidays 2008 Survey Results

November 14, 2008 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

The results from this year’s HR Hero annual holidays survey are very similar to years past and it doesn’t appear that the number of holidays granted in 2009 will be different than in 2008 or previous years. The one difference is that July 4, 2009 will be on a Saturday. Because of that, many of respondents reported that your workplace will observe July 3 as a paid holiday.

You might be particularly interested in the answers to the last question in the survey — an open-ended question about how the economy might affect office holiday celebrations and annual bonuses. Some said that there would be no change. Some said that holiday parties would be scaled back or cancelled because of budget crunches. It appears that pot luck lunches at the office are going to be back in vogue. Several people also explained some creative ways that their organizations are cutting back while trying to do something for employees – such as giving the day after Christmas as a paid holiday in lieu of having an office party and gifts.

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Categories: HR Hero Line

Low Cost Ways to Show Employees You Value Them

November 07, 2008 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

Of course you want to show your appreciation when employees out-perform expectations. A cash bonus? 401K profit sharing matches? Not in the budget this year. Learn inexpensive ways to thank your employees for their hard work and dedication with the free White Paper from HR Hero, Giving Thanks: How to Show Employees They’re #1 Without Breaking the Bank.

Categories: HR Hero Line

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