3 Facts about Measles and the Workplace

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3 Facts about Measles and the Workplace

In 2015, measles was rising health concern in the country. Organization's everywhere wondered what they should do in the event that one of their employees is diagnosed with measles, and how they can prevent other employees from future contact.

Here are four facts about what can and cannot happen when measles comes to your office.

Fact #1:

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) no longer provides short-term impairments from its definition of "disability." According to an article on workforce.com, "there is an argument to be made that the measles could qualify as an ADA-disability, provided that it substantially limits a major life activity of the sufferer."

However, considering people infected with measles are out for about a  week, it would be difficult to make a case that a one-week impairment could "substantially limit a major life activity" of the infected.

Fact #2:

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, private employers can require vaccinations as long as they are willing to accommodate employees' disabilities and religions. Employers can review any of these accommodations under the ADA and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, as well as similar state and local laws.

However, many states do not have a mandatory policy in place. It also depends on the sector in which you work. An organization in the healthcare sector may have a mandatory vaccine program for its employees since they are more likely to run the risk of coming in contact with a disease like the measles. However, organizations in other industries don't necessarily run the same risks.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) states, "Generally, ADA-covered employers should consider simply encouraging employees to get the influenza vaccine rather than requiring them to take it." Even though you run risks when mandating your employees to get vaccinated, another option is to always hold an education seminar on the risks of not being vaccinated.

Fact #3:

Employers can use an ADA-compliant pandemic employee sample survey to give to their employees. On the survey, employees can be asked medical and non-medical questions about the ability of the employee to come to work, in the event of a pandemic. This survey will help give employers information they need to plan if a pandemic happens, and how to shield employers from receiving information about any illnesses that employees might have.

Before an issue arises in your workplace, it's a best practice to stay up-to-date on the Center for Disease Control, federal, state, and local public health guidelines and to also stay mindful of any anti-discrimination laws.

HR, compliance, termination, or compensation questions?

ERC has a team of HR Help Desk Advisors to provide timely and trusted answers.

Contact the Help Desk

FMLA Expands to Include More Employees in Same-Sex Marriages

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FMLA Expands to Include More Employees in Same-Sex Marriages

In its 20 plus years on the books, administration of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has long been viewed as a complicated and challenging task faced by employers of all shapes and sizes – or at least for those with 50 or more employees.

Despite seemingly countless revisions since its inception, FMLA has become an integral part of US employment law and, despite administrative challenges, has provided families and individuals with previously unimaginable opportunities to take time away from work to care for loved ones without fear of losing their jobs.
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Training Your Interns: An Investment in Your Company’s Future

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Training Your Interns: An Investment in Your Company’s Future

Providing employees with opportunities for training and development is typically framed in terms of a long term investment by the employer. You, the employer, invest time and resources into developing an employee’s skill set and in turn they become a more valuable contributor. Ideally, this employee feels appreciated and valued enough to stick around and make your investment worthwhile.

So why, according to the 2014 Intern & Recent Grad Survey, do almost half (44%) of the Northeast Ohio organizations that participated provide one or more formalized training opportunities to their interns? Plus, as it turns out, the training and development of interns doesn’t stop with formal training programs, but also includes a wide variety of valuable development tools that can be applied to any employee.
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6 Ways to Motivate and Retain Millennials

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6 Ways to Motivate and Retain Millennials

By 2030, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that Millennials will comprise approximately 75% of the American workforce. The Millennial generation, born between 1980 and 1995, equal about 80 million Americans and are those in our workplaces between the ages of 20 and 35.

Millennials are praised for being the most educated and culturally-diverse generation of our time, but with the praise also comes stereotyping. Millennials have earned the stigma of being "job hoppers" because of the lack of appreciation they have for traditional methods of promotion and advancement within an organization; if they don’t see enough opportunity for growth and advancement, they will leave.  They are also labeled as having “no work ethic,” because they work in different ways, leveraging technology and the flexibility it allows.
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Good News, the Unemployment Rate Went Up?!

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Good News, the Unemployment Rate Went Up?!

Yes, you read the title correctly – the 2015 January unemployment rate went up and many economists are hailing this as a positive sign for the economy.

When it comes to measuring the health of the job market, the unemployment rate undoubtedly gets the most attention, and criticism, when it is released on a monthly basis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Admittedly, accounting for every external real world factor and boiling it down into a single figure is not without its flaws, which is why, as a standalone statistic, simply citing an unemployment rate of 5.7% for January 2015 (a 0.1% increase over December 2014) does not tell the whole story.
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Do You Have an Interoffice Dating Policy and Guidelines?

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According to a 2013 survey of 8,000 workers by the job-search website CareerBuilder.com, 4 out of 10 employees have dated someone they work with. Valentine's Day it's a great time to look at your interoffice dating policy on workplace romances.

With more singles in the workforce spending a majority of their day at the office, it's no wonder this number is so high. The survey also revealed that 72% of those workers did not try to hide their relations- compared to 46% in 2010. This large percentage could be attributed to the fact that millennials are more comfortable with office romances then baby boomers were. Office romance policies are different at every organization.

However, there are some questions to consider to make sure there are no discrepancies in your office.

  • Do you have a policy in place?
  • How does it define the limits to relationships between employees?
  • Has this issue come up recently among your employees?
  • Should you consider implementing one? 

What are companies doing?

According to a 2013 survey conducted my SHRM, 54% of organizations do not have a policy in place when it comes to interoffice dating. However, that amount is up 42% since 2005, where that number was only up 25%. 

What are some guidelines?

Of the amount surveyed, an astounding 99% of organization's that allowed interoffice dating did not allow them between a supervisor and a direct report.

45% of office romances between employees of different rank were permitted. And 35% allowed a romantic relationship between employees who reported to the same supervisor.

The survey also suggested why conflict arises with interoffice relationships, such as:

  • Co-workers gossiping
  • The perception that the employee is climbing the corporate ladder to get ahead
  • If the relationship doesn't work out- will there be tension in the office?

If there is a conflict of interest, organization's report that they have handled situations by transferring one of the employees to another department (34%) and 32% offer counseling to the couples and their supervisor to resolve the best way to move forward.

HR, compliance, termination, or compensation questions?

ERC has a team of HR Help Desk Advisors to provide timely and trusted answers.

Contact the Help Desk

The State of Childcare Reimbursement in the U.S.

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The State of Childcare Reimbursement in the U.S.

The Bureau of Labor reports that in 2015 there are more than 30 million working mothers and fathers with children in the US. In 2014, 13% of state and local government industries had access to workplace-funded childcare. Only 10% of private industries had access to such funding. 

Following the State of the Union Address, President Obama proposed a childcare reimbursement and tax credit for working parents.  The President proposed a $3,000 tax credit per child for childcare. His proposal is meant to provide additional support for middle and lower-class working families.
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Why Having a Compensation Strategy is a Must

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Why Having a Compensation Strategy is a Must

How much should you pay your employees? Why should you have a compensation strategy? And when was the last time you reviewed your strategy? 

Sue Bailey spends a lot of time thinking about all of these questions. As ERC's Senior Consultant for compensation, benefits and everything in between, Bailey has developed a deep foundation in Human Resources that has been honed over the past 30 years.
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Paid Parental Leave: Policy, Politics, and Parenting

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Paid Parental Leave: Policy, Politics, and Parenting

Although the chances of this Congress successfully passing a bill on paid parental leave are tepid at best (even among supporters of such a measure), one thing is clear, awareness is building on the topic—from the State of the Union address to its own twitter handle #LeadOnLeave.

A mention in the Statue of the Union is usually a sure-fire way to simultaneously be thrust into the national spotlight as well as get written off as political posturing. Even if Washington is a standstill, the media coverage around the U.S.’s lack of parental leave over the past year has placed this issue in a whole new framework—one that just might persuade the American public and business owners alike to take a second look.
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Free Community College: What's all the Buzz?

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The average American is carrying around $27,000 in student-load debt in 2015. American's are either not going to school for the first time or not furthering their education because they can't afford it or don't want the debt.

In the January 2015 State of the Union Address, President Obama introduced many proposals, but one in particular stood out in the education field: Free community college tuition for everyone.
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