5 Things Non-Exempt Employees Must Be Paid For Under FLSA

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Under the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA), there are certain activities beyond normal work duties that are considered work time (otherwise known as "working hours") that must be paid or "compensable" for covered employees. These include waiting/on-call time; lactation breaks; rest and meal periods; lectures, trainings, and meetings; and travel and are described below.

5 Things Non-Exempt Employees Must be Paid for Under FLSA

1. Waiting/On-Call Time

Whether waiting/on-call time should be compensable depends on whether an employee is engaged to wait or waiting to be engaged. If the employee is engaged to wait or on call for work on the employer's premises and is restricted in activities, he/she should be paid. If the employee is waiting to be engaged, this time is not considered work time and is not compensable.
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7 Creative Ideas for Your Staff Holiday Party

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company holiday party ideas office holiday party ideas 7 Creative Ideas for Your Staff Holiday Party

The holiday season is here again which means it's time to plan your company holiday party.

Holiday parties are a great way to recognize and celebrate your staff's success and accomplishments, nurture coworker relationships, and cap the year off at the end of the year. But, over time, holiday parties can sometimes feel more like an obligation than anything else, so it's important to keep them fresh, entertaining, and enjoyable. Here are seven creative office holiday party ideas.
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Tis the Season for 5 Holiday HR Issues

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Tis the Season for 5 Holiday HR Issues

Tis the season for several HR and compliance issues associated with the holidays. Here are five (5) holiday HR issues that you should revisit as the holidays ensue.

1. Holiday decorations

Holiday decorations tend to make their way into the workplace and employees' workspaces this time of year. What an employer allows in terms of decorations in the workplace is up them, but they should not discriminate and should be consistent and reasonable with their policies. 

Organizations need to be particularly careful with religious decorations, however. Refusal to accommodate an employee who wants to display a religious holiday symbol or decoration to commemorate a holiday should be considered very carefully as these can be minor religious accommodations that are protected under law and generally acceptable.

Additionally, according to the EEOC, holiday decorations should not be avoided just because someone objects to them, but organizations should ensure that all holiday decoration displays are reasonable and non-disruptive.
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Why Workplace Traditions Matter

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Why Workplace Traditions Matter

The holiday season calls to mind the importance of traditions in our organizations. Unfortunately, many companies fail to recognize the significance of traditions in the workplace, yet they are just as important in our companies as they are in our families.

If your organization wants to leave a mark on its employees and create a captivating culture, establish strong traditions—including rituals, celebrations, and routines specific to your company. Traditions may be one of your most important legacies as a company and the key to a great culture.

Not only will they be talked about for years, but they:

  • Create something timeless to hold onto, honor, and continue
  • Build meaningful connections between employees and with your organization
  • Create a shared history, rich with stories and experiences
  • Bind people together, forge bonds, and foster a sense of belonging
  • Strengthen your organization's identity
  • Bring energy to the workplace; heighten morale; and create a positive work environment

For these reasons, look for opportunities to create meaningful traditions in your workplace.

While the best workplace traditions often emerge naturally, here are some ideas that you could use:

  • Host an annual all staff event or celebration, such as a company banquet, retreat, or outing.
  • Celebrate certain holidays together, such as an annual holiday party or Thanksgiving luncheon.
  • Bring employees together for quarterly team-building.
  • Establish a tradition that connects your organization's mission to a bigger purpose.
  • Develop a monthly or quarterly recognition and rewards practice.
  • Create traditions for on-boarding new employees.
  • Establish a tradition for recognizing staff anniversaries.
  • Create traditions for recognizing employees' birthdays and other personal milestones.
  • Do something special to commemorate your organization's founding date anniversary.
  • Establish a weekly tradition (i.e. bring your pet to work day, dress down day Fridays, breakfast-on-the-company Mondays, etc.)

In addition, know what current traditions in your organization are important to your employees. Retain the valuable ones, retool others, and over time, discard the less meaningful traditions.

At times, we may be tempted to let go of our long-standing company traditions to save money, reduce time, and/or just change things for the sake of change and doing something new and different. But, if possible, resist dropping your tried and true workplace traditions...because that annual staff event you're considering canceling or overhauling may be a lot more important to your culture and employees than you think it is.

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What HR Needs to Keep Confidential

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What HR Needs to Keep Confidential

HR is not only entrusted with maintaining sensitive information about employee and management issues, but also must protect this information under laws governing confidentiality.

To protect employees’ privacy and avoid unnecessary litigation or fines, it is critical for HR to identify which processes or documents are supposed to be kept confidential, safeguard this information, keep it in secure locations, and discard it in proper ways. This also includes restricting access to sensitive data online and in various applications, databases, and servers; and creating privacy policies in collaboration with their IT department.

Not keeping certain information confidential can result in lawsuits, identify theft, data breach, or defamation lawsuits. It can also undermine an HR department's credibility and integrity. Here are four (4) types of information that HR needs to keep confidential.
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What Employers Should Look for in a Resume

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What Employers Should Look for in a Resume

Resumes provide a first impression of prospective applicants and they are also the first point of elimination in the hiring process. For these reasons, it's important to screen them effectively and notice red flags as well as key strengths.

Below are common red flags found in resumes, characteristics of good resumes, suggested resume screening practices, and other things to think about regarding screening resumes.
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Popularity of Holiday Parties on the Rise

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Popularity of Holiday Parties on the Rise

According to the 2013 annual ERC Holiday Practices Survey, there has been a steady increase in the number of employers who are planning to host holiday parties. In 2013, as the figure below illustrates, the percentage of employers planning holiday parties jumped to 83%, up by 10% over 2012.

Despite the jump in those planning parties, budgets will remain relatively flat. In addition, many employers are taking measures to reduce costs such as hosting weekday and lunch parties. Compared to 2012, there is also a slight decrease in the trend to invite family members as well.
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Employment Laws HR Professionals Should Know

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human resource laws human resources laws 24 Employment Laws HR Professionals Should Know

In order for an organization to avoid costly legal fines and other penalties, compliance with employment laws is essential. Below are the employment laws that every HR professional should know.

1. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act is administered by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and covers an employer who has fifteen (15) or more employees and prohibits discrimination against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin.
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Common E-Verify and I-9 Mistakes

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e verify i9 Common E-Verify and I-9 Mistakes

The I-9 and E-Verify are used to help employers in determining an employee’s eligibility to work in the U.S. A number of errors and mistakes can occur with E-Verify and the I-9 form that employers should avoid in order to stay compliant. Here is a summary of some common mistakes employers make with the I-9 form and E-Verify.

I-9 Mistakes

Using an outdated I-9 form.

Be sure that your organization isn’t using the old version of the I-9 form. After May 7, 2013, all employers were required to use the most current version of the I-9 with new hires.
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5 Ways to Create a Culture of Giving at Work

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5 Ways to Create a Culture of Giving at Work

Ever wish your workforce gave more? Gave more thanks to one another? Gave more help to others in solving work problems? Gave more of their time to develop and mentor others? Imagine how different our workplaces would be if everyone was more of a giver.

As we approach the season of giving and thanks, it's an ideal time to reflect on how much we are giving at work in terms of our time, talents, and contributions to others, and how we are creating a culture and work environment where giving is valued, and ultimately, where "givers" thrive. Giving is the essence and backbone of a truly great place to work.
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