Recap: FMLA Straight Talk

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ERC's 2013 "FMLA Straight Talk" program featured presentations from the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division, Frantz Ward, and ERC Preferred Partner - CareWorks. The program focused on a case study, and each of the presenters provided their perspective on three ways employers can reduce their Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) liability based on lessons learned in the case. These lessons include following FMLA requirements, using effective employee relations practices, and properly managing FMLA claims.

1. Following FMLA Requirements

Following FMLA requirements can help prevent an organization from running into compliance issues with FMLA. Joann Moriarty from the U.S. Department of Labor led the program and emphasized the following as aspects that the DOL would look at if this case was brought to their attention - specifically related to the following FMLA requirements.
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Supreme Court Case Update

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The Supreme Court issued three decisions in July, 2013 that affect employers. Here are the details your organization needs to know about the Court's rulings.

Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is Unconstitutional

The Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in United States v. Windsor on June 26th, 2013. Specifically, the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, deemed that section 3 in DOMA is unconstitutional as it deprives individuals of equal liberty protected in the Fifth Amendment.
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Local Wellness Programs and the ACA

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Based on the results of the 2013-2014 ERC Policies & Benefits survey, Northeast Ohio employers are well positioned to take advantage of the recently released Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulations increasing the maximum rewards employers may offer employees for participation in wellness programs. Local employers have consistently outpaced the national averages in terms of their wellness initiatives, with specific programs illustrated in Figure 1 below.

One key program that is particularly relevant to Northeast Ohio employers within the context of the ACA regulations is smoking cessation classes. More and more local organizations are placing restrictions on tobacco use as part of their hiring policy and 31.1% of local employers do not allow smoking anywhere on the premises of their organization. In comparison, the national average is 10% lower at 23.1%.
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When Work Gets Personal: Managing Emotional Employees

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When Work Gets Personal: Managing Emotional Employees

Emotions are everywhere in your workplace, and dealing with them at work is unavoidable. Emotions are hardwired biologically and determine most of our behavior. Expecting that the workplace remains emotion-free and that employees leave their feelings at the door is simply unrealistic given our natural tendencies.

Employees take their humanity to work everyday... their happiness, excitement, enthusiasm, and laughter—as well as their frustration, disappointment, anger, sadness, and worry. They bring all of themselves to work and this results in emotions at work.
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3 Ways to Lead with Emotional Intelligence & Heart

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3 Ways to Lead with Emotional Intelligence & Heart

Emotional intelligence is at the core of great leadership. Exceptional leaders lead emotionally and from the heart.

Consider that very rarely, if ever, do employees cite technical skills and abilities as attributes of strong leaders. Instead, employees value leaders who listen to them, are available, involve them, make them feel like they belong, motivate and engage them, and make them feel valued and appreciated. All of these behaviors result from emotional intelligence.
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5 Reasons Why Your Employees Aren't Fully Engaged

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Employee engagement is an employee's involvement with, commitment to, and satisfaction with their work. It is an employee's positive or negative emotional attachment and connection to their job, their coworkers, and their organization. Employees who are the most engaged...

  • love what they do
  • take pride in their organization
  • believe they can make an impact
  • work in the best interests of their organization
  • feel empowered to help move their organization forward
  • initiate new contributions to the organization

But every day, you probably encounter employees who are not fully engaged in their job or your organization. These employees lack full commitment, do not take as much initiative to go above and beyond their job responsibilities, show apathy and passivity, take on fewer projects, participate less, take less pride in the organization, and are not as enthusiastic about their work as they could be.
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The Top 5 Characteristics of a Leader

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What defines a leader? What makes individuals excel in leadership roles? How do we develop and improve our organization's influencers?

In order to understand leadership and its essential components, it is important to define the concept. Leadership can really describe anyone - as long as they have someone following them. Some of the most successful organizations have great leaders throughout - from executives to front line employees.
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5 Tips to Fix Your Performance Review Process

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Most organizations find that their performance review process is broken and faulty process in their organization. Nobody enjoys it, everyone struggles to do it well, it's inefficient, and it often fails to do what it ultimately intends to: improve, enhance, and recognize performance.

A traditional performance management system seems to no longer work for organizations. In fact, a recent WorldatWork study showed that over half of HR leaders graded their performance management process with a "C." All too often, the process is bureaucratic, time-consuming, and a negative experience.

So how do you go about fixing your broken performance management process to better engage your employees and managers? Here are 5 tips...
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New Pay Adjustment Projections Line Up With 2012 Data

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Based upon the results of the 2013 ERC Pay Adjustment & Incentive Practices Survey, many Northeast Ohio employers are approaching their compensation decision making plans from a very similar, if not slightly more fiscally conservative viewpoint as in 2012.

After hitting an average wage and salary increase projection of 3.0% in 2012, pay adjustment projections remain largely in line with this same number for 2013. However, within certain employee groups and breakout categories; most notably among executive employees, larger organizations with more than 200 employees, and non-profits; 2013’s projected increases dipped by as much as 0.3% from 2012’s projections. Conversely, smaller organizations with 1-50 employees and other non-manufacturing organizations saw the strongest increases, particularly among the exempt supervisory, management, and professional employee group.
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The "Beauty Bias" - Can You Hire Based on Looks?

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Can employers hire based on looks and image? Does beauty affect hiring and even promotions? Should it?

There's quite a bit of controversy about what has been termed the "beauty bias" in 2013, especially in light of a legally-questionable job website which allows employers to recruit "beautiful people" to hire. As this issue gets more traction, here's what the law says, what existing research says, and our conclusions about whether beauty and image should factor into your employment decisions.
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