What's New on HR.BLR.com
HR.BLR.com's What's New page is where you will find all of the most recent content added and updated to the site in the last 14 days. See the latest news, updated topic analysis, training sessions, and more.
HR Regulatory Analysis
We are continually updating our state and national regulatory analysis to help you keep up with the changing regulations. See the updated section on the What's New page, below, to find all of the updated topics.
New Documents
  • HR Audio Presentations:
    To develop a competent, motivated, and productive workforce, your supervisors have to be good coaches. To make sure all your supervisors are effective coaches, you need to train them and teach them proper coaching techniques. Use this Coaching for Superior Employee Performance--Techniques for Supervisors audio presentation to train your workers on leadership.
  • As part of their job, some employees may need to negotiate with customers, suppliers, or others outside the organization. Good negotiation skills are therefore an essential skill that every employee should have. Use this Negotiation Skills for All Employees audio presentation to train your workers on communication.
  • Good hiring decisions are crucial to the success of your business, and effective interviews are an essential element in making good hiring decisions. Properly conducted interviews identify the kinds of employees you want and need for your organization, helping to develop a diverse and productive workforce. Use this Interviewing Skills for Supervisors audio presentation to train your workers on hiring.
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) requires covered employers to prepare and maintain records of occupational injuries and illnesses. Use this Recordkeeping--Injury and Illness audio presentation to train your workers on records.
  • When a serious injury occurs in your workplace, your employees have to think and act quickly. Medical assistance may be only minutes away, but sometimes seconds count. What your workers do in those first few seconds and minutes can make the difference between life and death. Use this Basic First Aid audio presentation to train your workers on first aid.
  • HR Calculators:
    Use this calculator to determine and understand the impact of the new salary threshold for OT exemptions and to calculate the impact of the salary threshold for highly compensated employees (HCEs).
  • HR Guidance:
    This free webinar, exclusively for HR.BLR.com subscribers, will provide a timely briefing on your organization's legal obligations in the face of the Zika outbreaks.
  • Several states, Washington D.C., and over 100 cities and counties now extend the fair-chance policy—otherwise known as “ban the box”—to government contractors, public, and private employers. Use this chart to check your state’s “ban the box” legislation.
  • HR Handouts:
    Good hiring decisions are crucial to the success of your business, and effective interviews are an essential element in making good hiring decisions. Properly conducted interviews identify the kinds of employees you want and need for your organization, helping to develop a diverse and productive workforce. Use this Interviewing Skills for Supervisors handout to train your workers on hiring.
  • HR News:
    Although 58% of outdoor workers always or sometimes recognize the necessity of wearing sunscreen at work, only 18% do, according to a recent Deb Group study. Making it more important to train your workers on protecting themselves against skin cancer, sunburn, premature skin aging, and eye damage.
  • Over 1,700 professionals and small business owners surveyed in OfficeTime’s annual “Time Killers” survey, revealing e-mail, social media, and political news coverage are huge distractions and productivity killers.
  • By Winifred Bragg, M.D., Author of KnockOutPain® Secrets to Maintain a Healthy Back

    Here's a look at a few back health tips that can make a significant difference in the lives of employees—and the bottom line—when integrated into the work day.

  • Not every job in America is as lavish as the C-suite. Some jobs force workers to get down and dirty, or even put employees lives at risk. These jobs are the backbone of the United States, and as Mike Rowe—of the hit televisions show Dirty Jobs—would say, "Someone has to do it!" In honor of these everyday heroes, CareerBuilder and Emsi have compiled a list of occupations we can't live without—and what these critical occupations are being paid.
  • For the first time, 4-year college graduates make up a larger share of the workforce than workers with a high school diploma or less. According to Georgetown University research, the modern economy continues to leave Americans without a college education behind.
  • Gallup recently released a new, expanded edition of its international bestselling management book First, Break All the Rules. This edition, authored by Gallup Press with a foreword by workplace expert Jim Harter, Ph.D., maintains the narrative of the original 1999 publication and includes updated research conducted over the past 15 years. In this Q&A, Harter answers questions about employee engagement and its importance in making an organization successful.
  • A new compensation survey by Comparably examines salary negotiation in the tech industry. Over 5,000 tech employees were asked about whether they negotiated their salary for their current position. The infographic shows their salary negotiation survey results broken down by various demographics such as age, race, gender, job title, geographic location (major cities), and more.
  • In previous articles, we have covered managing workers with serious health conditions and managing workers who have become incapacitated. Here, we'll focus on managing workers who are suffering from other types of health emergencies.
  • U.S. District Judge Ann Montgomery recently denied an employer's motion for summary judgment (i.e., a request for dismissal without a trial) on a former employee's disability discrimination and retaliation claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA). The employee raised a genuine issue of material fact based primarily on the timing of his request for accommodation, which was made the same day as his employer's decision to terminate him.
  • A recent settlement agreement between an employer and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) serves as a reminder that employers must consider all of an employee’s hours—regardless of where the work was performed—for overtime purposes.
  • A federal district court in Miami has denied an employer's request that it dismiss a lawsuit brought by an employee it refused to reinstate because she wasn't "100% cured" and fully released to return to work with no restrictions after her medical leave. In reaching its decision, the court discussed the two types of medical certifications allowed under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) regulations and the requirements for each type.
  • By Jeffrey Hemker, national manager, Retirement Division, Invesco

    As plan sponsors, you often have important information to communicate to employees about their benefits, such as retirement plan changes and health plan offerings, many associated with critical deadlines. It’s imperative that employees read and internalize the information to get the most of out of their benefits program—but how?

  • Join us for an in-depth webinar on July 27 when Margaret O’Hanlon will provide hands-on tactics on how to approach a wide range of unusual pay situations. As a preview, O’Hanlon has supplied some frequently asked questions—and answers—to this HR topic.
  • A recent U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) enforcement action serves as a reminder that employers must ensure that wage deductions do not create minimum wage violations.
  • By Erin Wortham, People Engagement manager, Insights Learning and Development

    By learning to view the world through different perspectives, and being open to adjusting our behavior in the interest of adapting and connecting, each of us can help build a team at work that’s composed of complementary strengths and weaknesses. Here are some tips on how to better understand your coworkers and build the foundation for strong collaboration.

  • The U.S. hiring outlook for the next 5 months is expected to mirror the same period in 2015—but paychecks will likely become a little bigger—according to CareerBuilder's Midyear Job Forecast. More than half of employers will raise wages for current employees while two in five will offer higher starting salaries on job offers in the second half of the year.
  • Are U.S. employers delivering on what potential employees want most? Results from a recent survey by Randstad US, a staffing and HR services company in the United States, indicates that in many cases they do not, and an "attributes gap" exists.
  • Health spending is projected to grow 1.3 percentage points faster than Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per year over 2015-2025; as a result, the health share of GDP is expected to rise from 17.5% in 2014 to 20.1% by 2025. Federal, state, and local governments are projected to finance 47% of national health spending (up from 45% in 2014).

  • The California Court of Appeal has sent employers a message to be vigilant in following their policies and attentive to employees who request time off for medical conditions. A recent ruling against the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) made clear that an employer bears the burden to inquire further when an employee makes an ambiguous request for time off for a medical condition.
  • According to new Careerbuilder survey, three in 10 employers have argued with a coworker over a political candidate vs. 17% of workers. Also, IT employers are most likely to argue about candidates, followed by manufacturing employers. More than a third of workers say political correctness has hindered their business.
  • In a letter dated July 11, Starbucks founder and CEO Howard Schultz announced that the international coffee purveyor would be raising base pay for its U.S. employees this fall.
  • The Kentucky Court of Appeals recently upheld an award of unemployment benefits despite "smoking gun" evidence against the claimant. According to the court, it couldn't consider the evidence because the employer didn't properly introduce it at the referee hearing phase of the unemployment case.
  • ManpowerGroup Solutions has released its fourth Contingent Workforce Index (CWI), which tracks the relative ease of sourcing, hiring, and retaining contingent workers in 75 countries.
  • A new study from Aflac finds that a robust benefits package leads to greater job satisfaction. However, Millennials often underestimate healthcare costs.
  • By Genevieve Carlton, Talent Management Consultant, Caliper

    The key to recruiting Millennials and then retaining them is to know what characteristics and motivators your roles require, so you can design your hiring process to identify those things. Next, it is important to identify your company culture accurately, and understand what it offers a new hire. After you have that information, you can use that use that to help you identify the candidates who are the best possible fit. Here are three rules to help you with that process.
  • Eva Breslin and Keith Epstein of Intel shared the company’s experience with assisting its transgender workers; it has about four to six employees transition per year, they said. Their presentation, given June 21 at the SHRM event in Washington, D.C., also offered best practices for ensuring that employees have the support they need.

  • By Michael F. Brown, Camden Consulting Group

    You have an opportunity to attract and retain great talent if you institute an HR strategy for both. Here are key areas of focus that have proven successful for small businesses regarding the battle for talent.

  • According to a new FPC poll, over 80% of jobseekers prefer working in a collaborative team atmosphere when evaluating company climate and culture.
  • Iowa State University (ISU) is defending a lawsuit from a former player who alleges that her basketball coach engaged in overt race discrimination and retaliation against her because she is black. Although this isn't an employment lawsuit, the former player's allegations shine light on the broader principle that certain language or stray comments can be direct proof of discrimination against members of a protected class (i.e., based on their race, sex, religion, age, or disability).
  • What are some common mistakes that trainers make with visual aids, and what best practices should trainers follow to avoid those mistakes?
  • Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, right? A decision by a federal district court in Minnesota provided a punch line to this joke and it turns out it’s not so funny. According to the court in Fries v. TRI Marketing Corp., Civil No. 11-1052 (U.S. D.Ct. MN, 2012), an employee can claim Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protection when two health conditions result in health-related absences of less than 3 days each.
  • The Michigan Court of Appeals recently confirmed that restrictions on employment are enforceable in Michigan. Be careful when dealing with employees who are subject to nonsolicitation or noncompetition clauses.
  • A new report from PayScale finds workers with lower educational levels are more likely to report underemployment than those at higher educational levels. The report also indicates that the gender gap continues with women identifying as underemployed more often than men.
  • By Tammy Binford

    Under a new proposal to collect pay data through the Employer Information Report (EEO-1), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) proposed to move the deadline for employers to submit the EEO-1 survey from September 30, 2017, to March 31, 2018. The revised proposal, announced by the EEOC, was published in the July 14 Federal Register.

  • By Kerry Anne Carter, vice president, Staples Business Advantage

    It’s probably no surprise that surveys show employees are overworked, burned out, and just plain stressed. The onus falls on employers to encourage workers to take frequent breaks and provide a dedicated, well-stocked space where employees can recharge and refresh.

  • The recently released Republican blueprint for replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), while generally well received by plan sponsor groups, elicited concern for its proposal to tax employer-provided health benefits above a certain threshold.

  • The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) did not properly explain a regulatory change made in 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court has determined. The department issued regulations exempting car dealership “service advisors” from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA’s) overtime requirements but those rules were not properly issued and therefore are not entitled to deference, the High Court recently ruled.

  • Under the final regulations, employers will now be able to count nondiscretionary bonuses, incentive payments, and commissions toward as much as 10% of the salary to determine whether they have reached the salary threshold for exemption from overtime. In order to count, these payments must be paid on a quarterly or more frequent basis. The new rules also permit the employer to make a catch-up payment.

  • Imagine a young employee in the early stage of his or her career walking up to the CEO of the company and saying 'I'm giving you a D+ on the presentation you gave at the prospective client meeting.' Now imagine that same young employee still having a job with the company the next day. Hard to imagine? Not if the employee works in a Deliberately Developmental Organization (DDO), in which honest, open feedback is a crucial part of the culture.
  • The Minnesota Supreme Court recently affirmed a Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals decision granting workers' compensation benefits to an employee who was injured while playing laser tag at a work event.
  • By Nick Morpus, Capterra

    Interns are a fantastic resource for cash-strapped organization that “make or break” based on the amount of money they can raise, so it is wise to make the most of your interns while teaching them useful skills that they can use in the future. Here are ways that you can make the most of your interns for your organization.

  • The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio recently refused to enforce a noncompete based on a simple rule of grammar.
  • If you have employees who travel for work—particularly women of childbearing age—the Zika virus may be much on your mind (and theirs) these days. Fortunately, the federal government is expediting efforts to develop a vaccine.
  • The new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) salary threshold will not apply in Puerto Rico when it takes effect for the rest of the country this winter.

  • A manager cost her company $500,000 when she told an employee taking intermittent Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave to “get it together,” and asked the employee to take a continuous leave.

  • Washington, D.C., isn't the only place brimming with politics. In a new survey by staffing firm Accountemps, 80% of professionals said they believe office politics are alive and well in the workplace. Only 14% said participating in office politics is not necessary at all to get ahead, compared to 42% in a 2012 survey.
  • By Jane Meacham, retirement plans editor

    One of the largest multimillion-dollar settlements yet has been reached between an employer retirement plan sponsor and a class of participants over “excessive fees” paid for plan services.

  • The Kentucky Court of Appeals recently upheld a jury's rejection of an African-American employee's race discrimination claim on the grounds that his deliberate collusion with a fired supervisor distinguished his misconduct from past misconduct by other workers. As a result, the employee couldn't show that he was treated differently than "similarly situated" coworkers.
  • Inadequate data on workforce mobility is placing firms under increasing pressure as they struggle to deploy global human resource strategies, contain costs, and comply with the demands of cross-border regulatory obligations.
  • By Kevin Green

    According to a recent study, the United States is the only industrialized nation in the world that does not require private sector employers to provide paid parental leave for employees. This article discusses two such developments—the proposed Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC’s) Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues.

  • HR PowerPoints:
    To develop a competent, motivated, and productive workforce, your supervisors have to be good coaches. To make sure all your supervisors are effective coaches, you need to train them and teach them proper coaching techniques. Use this Coaching for Superior Employee Performance--Techniques for Supervisors PowerPoint presentation to train your workers on leadership..
  • As part of their job, some employees may need to negotiate with customers, suppliers, or others outside the organization. Good negotiation skills are therefore an essential skill that every employee should have. Use this Negotiation Skills for All Employees PowerPoint presentation to train your workers on communication.
  • Good hiring decisions are crucial to the success of your business, and effective interviews are an essential element in making good hiring decisions. Properly conducted interviews identify the kinds of employees you want and need for your organization, helping to develop a diverse and productive workforce. Use this Interviewing Skills for Supervisors PowerPoint presentation to train your workers on hiring.
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) requires covered employers to prepare and maintain records of occupational injuries and illnesses. Use this Recordkeeping--Injury and Illness PowerPoint presentation to train your workers on records.
  • When a serious injury occurs in your workplace, your employees have to think and act quickly. Medical assistance may be only minutes away, but sometimes seconds count. What your workers do in those first few seconds and minutes can make the difference between life and death. Use this Basic First Aid PowerPoint presentation to train your workers on first aid.
  • HR Quizzes:
    As part of their job, some employees may need to negotiate with customers, suppliers, or others outside the organization. Good negotiation skills are therefore an essential skill that every employee should have. Use this Negotiation Skills for All Employees quiz to train your workers on communication.
  • As part of their job, some employees may need to negotiate with customers, suppliers, or others outside the organization. Good negotiation skills are therefore an essential skill that every employee should have. Use this Negotiation Skills for All Employees quiz to train your workers on communication.
  • HR Speaker's Notes:
    To develop a competent, motivated, and productive workforce, your supervisors have to be good coaches. To make sure all your supervisors are effective coaches, you need to train them and teach them proper coaching techniques. Use these Coaching for Superior Employee Performance--Techniques for Supervisors speaker's notes to train your workers on leadership..
  • As part of their job, some employees may need to negotiate with customers, suppliers, or others outside the organization. Good negotiation skills are therefore an essential skill that every employee should have. Use these Negotiation Skills for All Employees speaker's notes to train your workers on communication.
  • Good hiring decisions are crucial to the success of your business, and effective interviews are an essential element in making good hiring decisions. Properly conducted interviews identify the kinds of employees you want and need for your organization, helping to develop a diverse and productive workforce. Use these Interviewing Skills for Supervisors speaker's notes to train your workers on hiring.
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) requires covered employers to prepare and maintain records of occupational injuries and illnesses. Use these Recordkeeping--Injury and Illness speaker's notes to train your workers on records.
  • When a serious injury occurs in your workplace, your employees have to think and act quickly. Medical assistance may be only minutes away, but sometimes seconds count. What your workers do in those first few seconds and minutes can make the difference between life and death. Use these Basic First Aid speaker's notes to train your workers on first aid.
  • HR Trainer's Guides:
    The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) requires covered employers to prepare and maintain records of occupational injuries and illnesses. Use this Recordkeeping--Injury and Illness guide to train your workers on records.
  • HR Training Exercises:
    Good hiring decisions are crucial to the success of your business, and effective interviews are an essential element in making good hiring decisions. Properly conducted interviews identify the kinds of employees you want and need for your organization, helping to develop a diverse and productive workforce. Use this Interviewing Skills for Supervisors exercise to train your workers on hiring.
  • Good hiring decisions are crucial to the success of your business, and effective interviews are an essential element in making good hiring decisions. Properly conducted interviews identify the kinds of employees you want and need for your organization, helping to develop a diverse and productive workforce. Use this Interviewing Skills for Supervisors exercise to train your workers on hiring.
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