HR News Monthly

HR News You Can Use – August 2016 Edition

HR NEWS YOU CAN USE (Issue 7 – August 2016)

Legal Updates & Reminders

  • Effective August 1, 2016, employers must post the new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) postings – see dol.gov
  • Violating labor & employment laws just got a lot more expensive! President Obama signed into law in November 2015, what is referred to as the Inflation Adjustment Act. It required federal agencies to publish by July 2016 updated civil monetary penalties for violations. The EEOC, DOJ, DOL and DHS among others have published their updated penalties, generally impacting violations identified after July or August 2016. Increases from 35% to 150% were identified, for violations ranging from I-9 paperwork violations to failure to file Form 5500s, to unlawful employment of aliens. See each federal government website for further details.
  • August 15, 2016, the revised Sex Discrimination Guidelines published by the OFCCP go into effect. These new guidelines apply to employers with Federal contracts or subcontracts totaling $10,000 or more over a 12-month period. Applicable employers are encouraged to learn more about the specifics of these changes to assure they are in compliance. Employers will likely need to update some policies to make sure they are still non-discriminatory and gender neutral.


Cyber breach: Be prepared!

Whether it’s from an employee using a personal server for business use, lack of enforcement of a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to work policy or failure to keep your company’s security software current, data breaches are everywhere today. If it happens to your company, it may merely be an inconvenience; or, it could mean the end of your business depending on what information is breached, who takes it and what they do with it. Here are some tips to consider in developing a written cybersecurity plan:

Know what data you are collecting, and how your company takes care of that data. Consider not only confidential client data you hold, but your own employee records and intellectual property.

Be sure to provide adequate oversight to your vendors. This should include mandatory data security language in all vendor contracts that includes representations and warranties ensuring good data security practices, notification and indemnification requirements for breaches and insurance.

Consider having an independent security assessment. An objective reviewer can identify gaps in your processes or systems that a company employee may be too close to recognize.

Regularly train your employees on data security and privacy issues. Reminders as simple as not to open email attachments from unknown senders, create “strong” passwords, and never share your password with others can help keep your company safe.


New Quizzler — What do you think?

Your armed security guard has been moody, distracted and short-tempered with your employees lately. Is it OK to take his gun away from him?

  1. No, this would change the conditions of his employment, and you can’t do that.
  2. Yes, as a first step. You have a responsibility to always try to lessen possible safety risks.
  3. No, unless you have an EAP and can send him to counseling.

We’ll discuss the best answer in the September issue of this newsletter!


Zero talent? Not to worry ~~

I recently noticed on LinkedIn a posting of the “10 Things That Require Zero Talent.” As you think about it, if you have an employee who positively expresses these things, you could have a darned good employee……and I’ll bet you’d happily trade this employee, for someone with better technical skills but who negatively expresses a number of them!

  1. Being on time
  2. Work ethic
  3. Shows effort
  4. Body language
  5. Energy
  6. Attitude
  7. Passion
  8. Coachable
  9. Does extra
  10. Being prepared


The goal of this monthly e-newsletter is to briefly bring you current news in the HR world that could impact your company and how you interact with your employees, and also to share some tips and lessons learned for keeping your company compliant with the myriad of federal and state employment-related rules and regulations. This newsletter is not intended to provide legal guidance to you. 

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