Category Archives: Employment Practices

Recruit and Retain Great Employees: Proven approaches you can implement now to address the workforce gap

Source: Marcia Isbell, Katie McCain, Darla Meadors, Arlene Post, and Sue Schneider, e-Journal AWWA, Volume 100 Number 8, August 2008
(subscription required)

In the face of an ever-widening workforce gap, these solutions to workforce sustainability can be implemented now and with minimal financial investment.

Will Employers Want Aging Boomers?

Source: Gordon Mermin, Richard W. Johnson, Eric Toder, Urban Institute, July 23, 2008

From the abstract:
Boomers will probably want to work longer than earlier cohorts, but their continued work requires that employers hire and retain them. Employers value older workers for their maturity, experience and work ethic, but worry about out of date skills and high costs. Slower overall labor supply growth will increase demand for older workers and occupations with higher shares of older workers will increase modestly as a share of all jobs. Future jobs will require less physical demands and more cognitive and interpersonal skills, trends that favor educated older workers, but job opportunities for less educated older workers may remain limited.

6 Signs You Don’t Care about Workers

Source: Liz Ryan, Business Week, July 17, 2008

How to gauge whether your company’s happy talk about employees being its best asset has any basis in reality.

Google is a hot stock, but it’s even hotter as a desirable workplace because of the attention paid to hiring and keeping the best folks on board. When companies talk about valuing talent but don’t put that talk into action, it shows. As a business leader, there are easy ways to gauge whether the happy talk about employees has a basis in reality. Here are our Top Six not-walking-the-walk red flags:
1. The talent chief is a half-chief.
2. HR is a finance function.
3. Recruitment is a black hole.
4. HR is a cost-reduction unit.
5. You’ve outsourced the most critical people functions.
6. Org development and HR aren’t one.

NCSL 50-State Legislative Tracking Web Resources

Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, June 2008

At the request of NCSL’s Legislative Research Librarians (LRL) staff section, NCSL has developed this resource of 50-state compilations covering various issues that concern state legislators and legislative staff. Here you will find a topical, alphabetical listing of legislative and statutory databases, compilations and state charts/maps.

[NOTE: Some of these tracking services are currently out of date. PLEASE NOTE THE DATE of the item you are reviewing].

Labor & Employment

At-Will Employment
Day Laborer Laws (statutes)
Drugtesting in the Workplace
State Divestment Legislation
Equal Pay (statutes and legislation)
Family/Medical Leave Laws (statutes)
Living Wage (legislation)
Medical Donar Leave Laws (statutes)
Minimum Wage Laws (legislation and chart)
Minors – Employment Laws (statutes)
Non-compete Agreements (statutes)
Overtime Laws (statutes)
Sick Leave Laws (statutes)
Telecommuting (statutes and legislation)
Whistleblowers (statutes)
Workforce Development (legislation and resources)

The Perfect Compromise: Bridging the Gap between At-Will Employment and Just Cause

Source: Nicole B. Porter, Nebraska Law Review, (Forthcoming)

From the abstract:
Many scholars have criticized the harshness of the employment at-will presumption, which allows an employer to terminate an employee for good reason, bad reason, or no reason at all. Other scholars defend at-will employment and criticize the just cause standard. This Article does not take sides in this debate; but instead, attempts to bridge the gap between the two by proposing a compromise statute, which I call the Employment Termination Equity Act (ETEA). Under ETEA, employers would remain free to terminate without having the difficult burden of proving just cause. However, certain enumerated reasons for termination would be unlawful. In determining which termination decisions should warrant protection, my goal was two-fold: (1) to make unlawful egregious termination decisions that have previously been unremedied despite the many exceptions to at-will employment and (2) to provide some overlap protection with current employment statutes by using a procedural process that will be more easily accessible by employees. Yet, in the spirit of true compromise, ETEA will provide fewer types of remedies than other employment statutes or common law claims, and will force plaintiffs to choose between suit under this proposed termination statute and other statutory remedies. As with any compromise, lines had to be drawn and line-drawing never satisfies everyone. My goal in this article is to convince the reader to view my line drawing optimistically – as a necessary means of bridging the gap between at-will employment and just cause.

Independent Contractors: A Thing of the Past, or Just a More Cautious Future?

Source: Ari Karen, Employee Benefit Plan Review, June 2008

… Now, a perfect storm of political change, increased union pressure, and aggressive government enforcement has developed. Premised on flawed assumptions that businesses force the contractor classification onto workers to pay lower wages, avoid benefits, and hire undocumented workers, a sustained “grass-roots” movement opposing business’ use of contractors is dictating federal and state policies. State legislatures in New York, Illinois, Texas, Oklahoma, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, California, Michigan, Georgia, and other states have passed tougher standards for evaluating the independent contractor classification, and/or developed coordinated inter-governmental enforcement task forces. Numerous jurisdictions have initiated crackdowns against certain industries and passed or proposed legislation holding businesses and owners civilly and criminally responsible for misclassifying workers. Recent studies by the U.S. Government Accountability Office showing that millions of dollars in tax payments to state and local governments are being lost annually as a result of misclassification will only further fuel this trend.

Outbound Email and Data Loss Prevention in Today’s Enterprise, 2008

Source: Proofpoint, May 2008

From the press release:
In its fifth-annual study of outbound email and data loss prevention issues, Proofpoint, Inc. found that large enterprises continue to incur risk from–and take action against–information leaks over outbound email, as well as newer communications media such as blogs, message boards, media sharing sites and mobile devices.

41% of Large U.S. Corporations Employ Staff to Read Employee Email; 26% Terminated Employees for Email Policy Violations in the Past Year

11% Of U.S. Companies Disciplined Employees for Improper Use of Blogs/Message Boards; 13% for Social Network Violations; 14% for Improper Use of Media Sharing Sites

E-Mail Policies of the 50 States: A Content Analysis

Source: Shamima Ahmed, Public Personnel Management, Spring 2008

E-mail has become one of the most common means of office communication. It has also become a risky and potentially costly mode of communication. A well-written e-mail policy is a major safeguard for employers against the intentional and unintentional abuse of office e-mail privileges. A growing body of literature offers suggestions on the essential components of an e-mail policy. In this article, the author compares the 50 states’ e-mail policies with these components to assess their adequacy. Only two states’ e-mail policies have 10 of the 11 components. Furthermore, none of the states’ policies clarify the grievance process for e-mail policy violations.

Human Resources Flexibilities and Authorities in the Federal Government

Source: Office of Personnel Management, January 2008

From the summary:
This page includes the updated and expanded Handbook titled, Human Resources Flexibilities and Authorities in the Federal Government. The Handbook is a practical guide to the options available in current law to help you recruit and hire a diverse and high performing workforce, set a strategic direction through workforce planning and organizational realignment, and unleash the potential of your organization. OPM encourages you to use these existing flexibilities to strategically align your human resources management systems with your mission. You may be surprised to discover how flexible title 5 is in meeting your organizational needs.