Paid Summer Holidays in Northeast Ohio Consistent with National Numbers

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With Memorial Day unofficially kicking off “summertime” in Northeast Ohio for 2013, vacations, time-off and holidays for the upcoming summer months are top of mind for employees and employers alike. While official paid-time-off and vacation policies have a different look and feel based on each employer’s organizational culture, paid holidays are more consistent across the board.

In 2012 the ERC Paid Holiday Survey found that on average, most employers were planning to offer between 9 and 10 paid holidays to their workforce in 2013, an average that has remained steady for a number of years. The range of total holidays offered also remains fairly consistent from past years with one employer reporting as few as 3 and one reporting as many as 16 days.

As the chart below demonstrates, the region is very much in line with the national standards in terms of which holidays employers choose to offer to their employees as paid holidays. All three major “summer” holidays are nearly universally part of this holiday time-off plan.


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ADA Compliance: How Much Is Enough?

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The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that employers provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities. But how much accommodation is enough? When does an accommodation become unreasonable? How reasonable is reasonable?

Reasonable Accommodations Defined

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), reasonable accommodations are any effective changes or adjustments to a job or work environment that allow a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to perform the essential functions of the job.
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Pay Trends Emerge in Northeast Ohio

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The 2013 ERC Salary & Wage Surveys report salary data for 9,000+ individual employees from 200+ participating organizations and hourly wage data for 7,500+ individuals from 150+ organizations respectively. This unique local market data is a key resource for employers in the local business community looking to attract and retain top talent in to their organizations in Northeast Ohio.

While pay rates from these annual surveys remained fairly stable overall, certain industries did see more positive patterns of growth than others. Industry specific growth was strong in IT, Science/Research & Development, Customer Service/Sales, Purchasing/Distribution, and Business & Administrative Support. Each of these areas saw their average median salary grow by 4% or more overall from 2012 to 2013.
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Rarely Performed Duties Can Be Essential Functions Under ADA

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The outcome of a recent court case reminds employers that when determining the essential functions of the job, how frequently they are performed is just one factor that should be considered.

Case Overview

In the 2013 case Knutson v. Schwan Food Company, Knutson was a general manager for one of the organization's depots whose job description stated that a manager must meet federal Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements to be eligible to periodically drive a delivery truck.
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Congrats to the 2013 Manny Award Winners

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Congratulations to the 2013 Manny Award Winners! ERC is proud to have many members that were honored with this award, including:

  • ABS Materials
  • Checkpoint Surgical
  • Cryothermic Systems
  • Mesocoat
  • Nordson Corporation
  • Myers Industries Inc.
  • Olympic Steel Inc.
  • PartSource Inc.

The Manny Awards honor companies making Northeast Ohio stronger by developing new products, keeping workers safe and giving back to the community.

9 Ways to Avoid Employee Burnout

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Are some of your employees suffering from burnout? Maybe even your best employees? Burnout is a talent issue because it is more often experienced by your top employees - those who are trying to contribute most to your organization. It can even affect your leaders. Top performers and leaders tend to be more susceptible to burnout based on their personalities, work habits, and strong desire to achieve.

Burnout occurs when employees experience physical, mental, or emotional exhaustion as a result of work. Employees who are burned out typically experience exhaustion and fatigue, emotional volatility, detachment and withdrawal, change in attitude, decreased interest and passion in their work, and difficulty performing their job effectively.
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Employers Must Use New I-9 Form

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Beginning May 7, 2013, employers must use the revised Employment Eligibility Verification I-9 Form (Rev. 03/08/13)N for all new-hires and reverifications. Previously accepted revisions (Rev.02/02/09)N and (Rev. 08/07/09)Y may not be used as of May 7, 2013. 

The I-9 Form is required to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States and the new I-9 Form contains many improvements including new fields, reformatting, and clearer instructions. Though the actual USCIS requirement for retaining I-9 forms is to retain original forms for "three years after the date of hire, or one year after the date employment ends, whichever is later," employers must have a completed I-9 Form on file for every person in their organization and should keep these forms on file for an employee's entire length of employment and for a certain amount of time after their employees stop working at the organization as a best practice.
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A Toolkit for Retaining Great Employees

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Are you giving your best employees good reasons to stay at your organization? Retaining employees comes down to giving great employees a good reason to stay at your workplace over and over again, especially when they have another opportunity on the table.

Over the years, ERC has conducted a large amount of research on what makes great talent stay at their organizations and has found that retention typically boils down to four (4) key factors: relationship with the manager, challenging work/learning opportunities, a great work environment, and compensation/rewards. Based on these factors, we've developed a toolkit of checklists to help you retain great employees.
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New Graduate and Intern Compensation Trends

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The 2013 ERC/NOCHE Intern & Recent Graduate Pay Rates & Practices Survey, conducted annually through a partnership between the Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education (NOCHE) and ERC, reports that 57% of the organizations surveyed have a formal internship program in place. In addition, the same proportion of respondents are either in the process of hiring or are planning to hire new college graduates in 2013. This strong connection between the area’s higher education institutions and local employers also seems to be translating into positive compensation trends for many interns and new graduates, particularly in highly technical fields of study such as engineering.

Compensating Interns

Although there is still some debate over paid versus unpaid internships, the 2013 survey indicates that the vast majority of internships are paid. In fact, after stagnating from 2011 to 2012, the average hourly pay rate for interns across all fields of study saw an increase of nearly one dollar in 2013. While certain fields saw larger increases than others. For example, engineering interns are making more than interns working in the non-profit sector- but these differences were largely unsurprising and fall largely in line with overall compensation trends for their respective industries more generally.
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11 Easy Ways to Create a Memorable First Day for New-Hires

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Organizations only have one chance to make a great first impression with their new-hires - on their first day. A new employee's first day is the most critical day of on-boarding. It leaves a lasting impression that should be both positive and memorable.

Creating a memorable first day for your new-hires doesn’t require an overly elaborate on-boarding program, but it should avoid the common mistakes and issues that plague many on-boarding experiences and lead to poor first impressions including lack of preparation and support, poor training, information/training overload, and failing to provide a warm welcome.

Here are 11 easy ways to create a positive and memorable experience for your new-hires on their first day.
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