AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Uncategorized

    This article spells out a road map for dominating recruiting in your industry. Last week’s part one covered the top 20 strategic shifts and elements for building a significant competitive advantage in recruiting. This final part highlights the last two remaining critical success factor (CSF) categories covering actions within the recruiting function that contribute to the development of a culture of continuous improvement and operational changes that support recruiting domination. Within each category, the most impactful factors are listed first.

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    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Uncategorized

    The 14th largest private company in the U.S. announced Nov. 7 that it now offers six weeks of paid parental leave to most of its 28,000 employees following the birth or adoption of a child.

    Pilot Flying J’s “gender-neutral” leave benefit is available to all new parents working at its rest stops, retail locations and service centers who have at least one year of service and who’ve worked at least 1,250 hours in the past 12 months.

    “We strongly believe that paid parental leave for both mothers and fathers is a much-needed benefit, especially for hourly workers in the retail and convenience store industries,” the company said.

    This continues a trend of larger U.S. employers adding paid family leave benefits.

    Parental leave benefits still uneven

    Recent surveys by Mercer and WorldatWork illustrate how quickly employers are embracing paid parental leave as they look for ways to find and keep employees in a tight job market.

    Mercer reports that 40% of U.S. employers offered paid leave for both birth parents as of late 2018.

    And WorldatWork survey data bumps that figure to about 52% as of March 2019.

    But those employers only accounted for about 16% of all U.S. workers employed by private sector businesses in 2018.

    That’s according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data contained in the Congressional Research Service report Paid Family Leave in the United States .

    And parental leave benefits are still much more common at larger employers in the U.S..

    BLS data shows about 25% of U.S. workers at businesses with 500 or more employees have access to paid family leave that includes both maternity and paternity leave.

    However, only 12% of workers at businesses with 1-99 employees have access to the benefit.

    And, as Pilot Flying J notes in its press release, “In the retail industry, where many employees are part-time and hourly, this number is even lower at 7%.”

    Some states offer parental leave insurance

    Meanwhile, six states, along with Washington DC have stepped in to provide parental leave insurance (PLI) that pays cash benefits to workers taking care of family members, including new mothers and fathers.

    But two of the states and Washington DC have not yet launched the programs.

    The number of weeks and wage replacement rates vary, with existing state programs offer between four weeks (Rhode Island) and 10 weeks (New York) of benefits.

    New York plans to increase coverage to 12 weeks by 2021. New Jersey offers six weeks now and will boost that to 12 weeks in July 2020.

    California, which launched family leave insurance in 2004, offers 6 weeks of cash payments.

    Washington DC will offer 8 weeks of paid family leave and Washington state plans to offer 12 weeks of paid family leave, both starting in 2021.

    Massachusetts’ plan calls for up to 12 weeks for family leave beginning in 2021.

    All of those plans pay workers a percentage of their regular salary.

    Some employers in those states have implemented plans that cover the part or all of the difference between the state benefit amount and workers’ full salaries.

    The post 2020 trends: More employers offering paid parental leave appeared first on HR Morning.

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    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Uncategorized

    The new year is rapidly approaching, which means it’s the perfect time to review your policies and make the necessary adjustments.

    There were a lot of new employment trends in 2019, and 2020 will bring even more compliance changes.

    Whether it’s legally mandated changes or just suggested ones, experts at the law firm Cozen O’Connor have a few areas they recommend employers pay attention to.

    1. Timekeeping and compensation practices

    Heads up! A major compensation change is coming in the new year.

    The DOL announced a new overtime threshold for exempt employees this year, and it goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020. So, starting on New Year’s Day, employers must either bump up their exempt workers’ pay to $35,568 a year, or be prepared to pay them overtime.

    Employers are permitted to satisfy up to 10% of employees’ annual salary through non-discretionary bonuses and incentive pay — including commissions.

    As for timekeeping practices that may need adjustments, several lawsuits in the past year brought to light the dangers of employers building unpaid breaks into workers’ schedules.

    In Small v. University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, the company ended up shelling out $4.2 million in unpaid wages. Employees claimed they often worked off the clock because a 30-minute break would be deducted from their pay regardless if they took it or not.

    This practice isn’t always illegal, but as you can see, it can have costly consequences if not handled properly.

    2. Hiring and recruiting

    In the coming year, HR pros will need to pay more attention to their job postings and recruiting tactics.

    PricewaterhouseCoopers ended up in court for age discrimination after turning most of its recruiting efforts to college campuses, specifically targeting young prospective hires.

    The EEOC also drew attention to age discrimination and gender bias in Facebook job ads, which allowed companies to specifically target men and people under the age of 30.

    If company execs are asking for young hires, it’s up to HR to explain the potential pitfalls.

    Another thing to be aware of when it comes to hiring: salary history bans. So many cities and states have forbid companies from inquiring about candidates’ past pay, HR pros may want to remove that question from the interview regardless.

    Paid sick leave, FMLA and parental leave

    Now might be the ideal time to check your leave policies.

    Not too long ago, the DOL clarified that FMLA-eligible employees can’t delay the use of FMLA leave. So if your policies allow workers to do that, it’s time to revise them.

    Several states have also enacted some unique paid leave laws, such as safe leave — protected leave for those experiencing domestic violence — or paid leave for any reason an employee may choose.

    Check your state laws for specifics, but it’s a good idea to consider implementing these paid leaves even if you’re not legally required to, as more states are following this trend.

    Another important type of leave to pay attention to? Family leave.

    It’s critical to ensure your family leave policies are equal for both mothers and fathers. JPMorgan Chase had to pay $5 million to settle a sex discrimination suit because it offered women more parental leave than men.

    To clarify, bonding leave has to be equal for both parents. However, more leave can be offered to women recovering from birth or other pregnancy complications.

    The distinction is the amount of leave must be based off a medical event, and not gender.

    The post Compliance check from legal experts: Policy changes you need to make before 2020 appeared first on HR Morning.

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    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Uncategorized

    You did it! You landed a great job as a
    manager and have a team under you to direct and grow. But it’s crucial for you
    to keep gaining and developing the skills you need to create great employees.

    From navigating employee schedules to planning offsite meetings, a manager’s day is filled with a huge variety of tasks. You find yourself pulled in all directions, and prioritizing tasks is important. The most important task, though, is being mindful of how you interact with your employees.

    The Human Resources department can get a bad rap. But you can benefit as a manager from their guidance and advice. Here are 5 critical HR skills every manager should know.

    How to negotiate

    Negotiating is an important skill for any leader and manager. Not only is it necessary to negotiate regarding compensation, but it’s also important in non-monetary issues. Employees and managers commonly don’t see eye to eye, and knowing how to negotiate will help you bridge that gap.

    Negotiating is a process of compromising. The
    key to negotiation is eliminating emotion. Remember that as a manager, you were
    once that employee on the other side of that table. Understand your employee’s
    points and perspectives. Make sure you have carefully thought out
    counterpoints. Work together to come to an agreement that is fair and leaves
    everyone involved feeling heard.

    Money is a touchy subject. And most employees
    feel like they are worth more than they are being compensated for. Having those
    tough conversations around salaries requires tact and facts. Explain why your
    employee’s salary is where it is and how they can work to increase it will be
    helpful to both sides.

    Whether it be vacation time or base salary,
    workers are performing their jobs with the long term goal of receiving more
    benefits. Try to view your relationship with employees as mutually working
    toward a common goal. Let them know that while you may not be able to get the
    extra vacation or added bonus they want now, you will help them work towards
    earning it.

    Dealing with conflicts

    When spending so much time together, personality
    conflicts and disagreements are bound to happen. Conflicts between employees
    can be awkward and downright ugly. Remaining a neutral party will help managers
    mediate these conflicts. It can be tough, but in the war of co-workers, it’s
    essential to play Switzerland.

    The best approach to conflicts is to nip them
    in the bud when they first come to your attention. You don’t want animosity
    coming to a boil in a big scene at the company Christmas party. Bring both
    parties together to figure out the root of the problem. Make sure both
    employees know that you are unbiased and working to create a strong work
    culture for everyone.

    A good manager will take steps to address and
    hopefully solve conflict before it escalates. It’s important to keep HR in the
    loop as appropriate. Focus on the facts and company policies to remain
    professional. Lean on your HR specialist for guidance if you need help.

    Providing constructive feedback

    Feedback is one of the most helpful things a manager can provide to their employees. Good feedback can foster trust and better performance. But not being constructive in feedback can result in a bitter employee.

    Being consistent in how feedback is delivered
    is helpful. It’s important not to make an employee feel caught off guard with
    negative feedback. Ongoing feedback makes sure workers know where they stand.
    Including positive feedback helps to soften the blow of a bad review.

    Positive feedback is just as important as negative, if not more. Keep in mind that many employees are as eager to please as they are to earn. Letting them know when they are doing a great job can go a long way in enforcing expectations.

    Asking for feedback from your employees lets
    them know that you care about their satisfaction at work. How do they feel you
    are performing as a manager? Requesting their input makes them feel heard and
    will help you grow as a leader.

    Growing talent

    A good, employee-centric manager will focus on
    developing their people. This is not only good for the worker, but for the
    greater good of the company. HR loves seeing promotion from within. Developing
    employees for higher roles makes this possible.

    Employees are happy when they see themselves
    advancing and growing. Helping them understand and realize their goals is
    helpful to them and the company. Keeping future goals in mind makes for more
    efficient, more driven employees.

    Show employees that you are invested in their
    growth. Make sure they understand that you are on this journey with them and
    are pulling for them to succeed. Work alongside them to develop the tools they
    need to grow. Successful employees are a reflection of strong management.

    Building morale

    You know what they say about all work and no play. With the amount of time your team spends at work, it’s important to throw a little fun in. Team building can create a healthier culture and reduce the likelihood of workplace conflicts. Preventing burn out leads to employees that work more efficiently.

    Many managers make the workplace competitive and fun through contests and rewards. Even simple acts like an email of praise or a shout out in a newsletter can make employees feel important. Every individual is different in how they like to be appreciated. It’s your task to find what works for your employees and your team.

    Gatherings, like potlucks and workplace
    lunches, set the tone for an enjoyable work environment. Meeting for happy hour
    after a long week can help workers feel a sense of togetherness. These morale
    boosters go a long way in building a more cooperative team. Be mindful that
    everyone is included so your efforts don’t backfire.

    Following guidelines, policies, and being a
    proactive manager will certainly will you points with HR. Make sure to use and
    benefit from their guidance and expertise. When you partner with HR and use
    your skills as a manager, everyone wins!

    The post 5 Critical HR Skills Every Manager Needs to Know appeared first on HR Morning.

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    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Uncategorized

    The transition from employer coverage to Medicare usually
    happens while the employee is still on the payroll, so the job often falls to
    HR to help employees navigate this critical change.

    When employees look to their HR department for help, knowing
    how and when to enroll in Medicare will allow you to go above and beyond. However,
    you can’t treat every employee the same; each employee’s situation is

    Here are the important things to know about how to transition from employer coverage to Medicare at retirement:

    For those retiring at 65

    The transition from employer coverage to Medicare is quite
    simple when retiring at 65. Instruct your employees who plan to retire at 65 to
    apply for Medicare Part A and Part B (Original Medicare) during their Initial
    Enrollment Period.

    Initial Enrollment Periods are unique to each Medicare
    beneficiary. This period happens during the months surrounding the
    beneficiary’s 65th birthday. If the beneficiary’s birthday is in June, his
    Initial Enrollment Period will start on March 1st and end on September 30th.

    When beneficiaries apply during the first three months of
    their Initial Enrollment Period, their Medicare Part A and Part B start on the
    1st of their birthday month. However, if they apply during their birthday month
    or the last three months of their Initial Enrollment Period, their Medicare
    will start a couple of months later.

    For example, if the employee applies for Medicare one month
    after turning 65, his Medicare would start about two months later. If the
    employee applies for Medicare two or three months after turning 65, then his
    Medicare would start three months later. Therefore, let your employees know to
    apply within the first three months of their Initial Enrollment Period.

    Some Medicare beneficiaries get an 8-month long Initial
    Enrollment Period instead of just seven months. These people have a birthday on
    the 1st. For example, if an employee has a birthday on June 1st, his Initial
    Enrollment Period would start on February 1st instead of March 1st. If he
    applies for Medicare during February, March, or April, then his Medicare Part A
    and Part B would start on May 1st instead of June 1st.

    For those retiring after 65

    When employees decide to work past 65, they may be able to
    delay Medicare until retirement. They can delay Medicare if they continue to
    have creditable coverage through an active employer. The size of the employer
    determines whether or not the coverage is creditable.

    Large employer coverage

    If you work for a company that has over 20 employees, then those employees who work past 65 can delay Medicare until retirement. The large employer group plan they hold serves as creditable coverage for Part A, Part B, and Part D. However, Part A is $0 per month for most people, so you can advise your employees to enroll in at least Part A unless they have a health savings account.

    After retirement, these employees will have special
    enrollment periods to enroll in Medicare. Your employees need to apply during
    these periods to avoid late penalties. They will have eight months from the day
    they lose employer coverage or employment, whichever happens first, to enroll
    in Part A and Part B. However, they only have 63 days from the day they lose
    employer coverage or employment to enroll in Part D, and you have to have Part
    A or Part B to enroll in Part D.

    You will need to provide these employees with letters of creditable coverage.

    Small employer and other forms of coverage

    If the company is a small employer with fewer than 20
    employees, the employees who work past 65 will still need to apply for Medicare
    Part A and Part B during their Initial Enrollment Periods. The same goes for
    those who have retiree insurance or COBRA. This is because these forms of
    coverage aren’t creditable for Part A and Part B. However, the drug coverage
    may be creditable for Part D.

    The Initial Enrollment Period trumps all others

    Some employees work a few months after turning 65. If you
    have any employees who have employer coverage for a couple of months after
    turning 65 but will lose coverage while still in their Initial Enrollment
    Period, they will use their Initial Enrollment Period to apply for Medicare,
    not a Special Election Period.

    For example, if one employee’s Initial Enrollment Period is
    March 1st until September 30th, and he will lose employer coverage on September
    30th, he must use his Initial Enrollment Period to sign up for Medicare.

    That means if he applies for Medicare in September, his
    Medicare will start three months later. However, if he applies for Medicare in
    July, he shouldn’t have any gap in coverage.

    When helping employees
    transition from employer coverage to Medicare, be sure to learn their specific
    situation. Once you know which scenario matches their situation best, you’ll be
    ready to instruct them on how and when to enroll in Medicare.

    The post Help workers transition from employer coverage to Medicare appeared first on HR Morning.

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    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Uncategorized

    If you are a recruiting leader whose executives have extremely high expectations for dominating their industry, this is the article for you. After 20 years of studying Silicon Valley and West Coast firms that dominate their industries, I have found that there are clear differentiators that cause firms like Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Salesforce to produce truly exceptional business outcomes, as a direct result of their exceptional recruiting. Some call these differentiators “strategic principles”, while others use the phrase “focus areas”. Instead, I call them “critical success factors” or CSFs. Applying these factors comprehensively is a critical strategic step that leads to success, at least for those whose goal is to dominate the recruiting competition in their industry.

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    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Uncategorized

    Instead of a guest this podcast, I’ll be expounding on what I see coming for the next year, including:

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    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Uncategorized

    Before I started my own business, I
    had a really good job, but it wasn’t enough. I was an administrative/executive,
    had supportive co-workers, a comfortable workload and salary, consistently recognized
    for my work, selected and participated in leadership development programs, and
    I could literally walk to work.

    However, it was missing something. I didn’t feel fulfillment in my work, or that my work was meaningful. So I started to feel stuck, and became disengaged. In the process I started looking for meaning outside of the organization, and eventually searched myself out entirely.

    Like many other employees in this
    self-actualized modern work era I’ve been told by past teachers, career
    counselors, and every self-help guru that I should find meaning through my job.

    My mantra for most of my
    professional career was “your work should be fulfilling and if it isn’t then
    it’s not where you should work.” This concept of finding meaning at work, and
    the lack of information and misunderstanding of it, led me and probably
    countless others to leave a job and an organization that was probably a really
    good fit.

    The idea that my work should “give” me meaning, as if it’s responsible for how I feel, is incredibly misleading. Emotions are internal, self-made. I’m responsible for the emotions I feel, not my boss, and especially not my employer. No talent management strategy is going to make me feel a certain way if I don’t personally believe it.

    Engaging employees

    My experiences are not unique and represent a common and costly problem for organizations in today’s modern workforce. Employees are searching for meaningful work and feel that meaning is something they can find, or something an employer can give them.

    Once an employee fails to find
    meaning or something happens to “take it away,” they become disengaged and an
    extremely expensive issue to an organization. An actively disengaged employee
    avoids doing work, negatively impacts the environment and other employees, and
    eventually will either quit of need to be fired, which then the employer has to
    bear the cost of hiring and training a replacement.

    These all-to-common consequences
    occur because employees are operating under the wrong definition and perception
    of meaningful work.

    So that brings up a very important question and the main purpose of this article, how can today’s organizations retain and engage with their employees that are seeking fulfillment from their job?

    When I wasn’t working for my last employer, I stumbled across the field of job crafting, the science of altering aspects of a job to fit the personal needs of an employee. The goal of job crafting is to increase employee engagement and job satisfaction through personal accountability.

    Fulfillment through job crafting

    Job crafting empowers an employee to create meaning instead of hoping to be given it from an outside source. As a mid-level to senior level employee I never realized that I had the power to alter and perceive my job in a way that would have made me happier at work. I could have had a say in the actual work that I did every day, how I worked, who I worked with, and through a positive reframe, cultivated meaning from every aspect of my job.

    No one ever told me that, and
    despite all the effort my organization invested in retaining me, I left because
    of it. I needed my employer to tell me I was in control, and to prove to me
    that I was in control.

    Employees, not the employer, are
    ultimately responsible for cultivating and finding meaning in the work that
    they do. Too often employees think the answer to finding meaning is in a
    different job.

    The employee quits or “forces” their
    employer to fire them, then find’s a new job. It becomes a vicious cycle. The
    constant search to be “given meaning” by an employer and a specific job can
    only end in disappointment because meaning cannot be given.

    Meaning is always crafted by the
    individual employee. An employer can create an opportunity for an employee to
    find meaning, but an employer cannot give an employee meaning.

    Despite the employee’s
    responsibility and ownership of finding meaning for themselves, the brunt of
    the consequences when the employee doesn’t find meaning fall on the employer.
    The cost of turnover to an organization, especially of leaders and future
    leaders is too great to be ignored.

    Thus, it is the responsibility of an
    employer to teach and empower their employees to craft their job in a way that
    is more meaningful to them and expose them to useful definitions and strategies
    on cultivating meaning in their current role.

    An organization’s greatest retention
    strategy is empowering and educating its employees on taking responsibility for
    their own levels of happiness at work. The only thing an employer can actually
    give their employees is the power to craft a job they can love from a job they already

    The post The key to engaging employees who seek fulfillment through work appeared first on HR Morning.

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    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Uncategorized

    In a study by the Association for Talent Development (ATD), 71 percent of HR professionals said their company conducts sexual harassment prevention training. Meanwhile, 92 percent of U.S. adults believe changes need to be made to eliminate sexual harassment and assault in the workplace, with 44 percent saying better sexual harassment training is the key.

    So, while most organizations already have
    anti-harassment training programs in place, statistics show that they just
    aren’t cutting it.

    Clearly, we still have some work to do.

    Why sexual harassment training is broken

    Traditional sexual harassment training programs and
    policies are ineffective because they focus on the wrong issue. Aimed at
    reducing a company’s legal liability, most training now is centered on the compliance
    aspects of sexual harassment—not on changing the organization’s cultural

    But sexual harassment isn’t a problem rooted in
    compliance—it’s an issue rooted in the misuse and abuse of power. Having
    employees watch a 30-minute video on how to file a complaint if they experience
    sexual harassment isn’t going to stop harassment from happening in the first
    place. To do that, organizations need to cultivate a culture where inclusion,
    diversity and equity are valued and respected. Sexual harassment is a cultural
    problem and, as such, the training—from the methods to the content to the
    targeted outcomes—need to reflect that.

    So, how can HR and talent leaders make sexual
    harassment training more effective in creating a harassment-free culture?

    Improving the effectiveness of sexual harassment training

    Here are four actions you can take immediately to improve your sexual harassment training program, making it more adept at actually preventing and eliminating workplace harassment: 

    Expand the list of topics covered

    Sexual harassment training should be more than a one-hour course aimed at helping employees and managers identify sexual harassment. Since sexual harassment is a cultural issue, the curricula should also include training on topics like diversity, inclusion, and how bystanders can effectively speak up when they witness sexual harassment.

    Another important issue to educate employees on is unconscious bias. In order to effect change and curb harassment, it’s vital that employees recognize how the hidden biases we all carry can impact workplace decisions. White men, for example, are typically in more senior roles within an organization, given more promotions and higher salaries. In fact, of the CEOs who lead the companies on the Fortune 500 list, only 24 are women. But are men innately better leaders? Of course not! That’s unconscious bias at work. And by giving employees learning opportunities to understand and manage implicit biases and gender-based stereotypes, HR leaders can help create a more inclusive workplace culture.

    Incorporate informal and formal content

    We’ve all worked for companies
    whose sexual harassment training consisted of archaic videos filled with
    over-acted and slightly contrived scenarios. Giving employees access to engaging,
    informal learning content can be a great supplement to your formal training courses,
    helping you modernize your approach to learning. 

    Especially in the wake of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, there are a ton of great resources on the web. From podcasts to blogs to articles and TED Talks, incorporating informal learning resources into your sexual harassment training program can make learning more relevant and engaging. And with a talent development platform that supports informal learning, HR leaders can even add informal learning tasks directly into employees’ development plans.

    Deliver a personalized learning experience

    A comprehensive EEOC report on sexual harassment released in 2016 found that “Training is most effective when tailored to the specific workforce and workplace, and to different cohorts of employees.” To be effective, sexual harassment needs to be personalized, interactive and ongoing. Having a new hire watch a standard video or sign off on a written policy as part of the onboarding process isn’t enough to impact cultural dynamics.

    The issues an entry-level employee may face are different than that which a senior manager may experience. And the issues in financial services firms aren’t the same as those found in retail environments. Custom learning paths available to employees within a learning management system (LMS)—with content that is tailored to the organization’s specific industry, as well as each employee’s job role and function—allow HR leaders to make training more applicable and relatable. And by making sexual harassment training an ongoing process—rather than a new hire “check-box” exercise—an organization can demonstrate its top-down commitment to creating a harassment-free workplace.

    Close the gap between learning and performance

    In too many
    organizations, learning and performance are still treated as standalone
    disciplines. But connecting sexual harassment training to your performance
    management processes will help instill the company’s values and expectations in
    the daily behaviors and habits of employees. Tying learning activities to
    performance appraisals also gives HR and managers visibility into coaching and
    development opportunities.

    Employees should be
    reviewed by managers, peers and direct reports on behavior-based competencies,
    such as their ability to handle conflict and how equitably they treat others.
    If an employee is found to be lacking in any of these competencies, HR or their
    manager can assign specific, targeted learning activities in a talent
    development platform to help coach and develop the employee. And unless an
    employee exhibits a high degree of competence within these fundamental areas,
    they should not be eligible for a promotion within the organization.

    The Future of Sexual
    Harassment Prevention Training

    It’s hard to
    believe less than 40 years ago sexual harassment wasn’t even illegal; it
    was only in 1980 that the EEOC first formally defined sexual harassment. And we
    as a country have come a long way since then from a legal perspective.

    Nearly all
    organizations have some sort of sexual harassment prevention training and
    several states even require mandatory training. In California, for example, all
    organizations with five or more employees or contractors must provide sexual
    harassment training to all employees by January 1, 2020.

    And while these
    legal standards are absolutely critical to creating a foundation for inclusion
    and diversity, HR leaders now need to take the next step. We need to be change
    leaders, driving a shift in the attitudes, behaviors and values that contribute
    to an environment that allows harassment to occur. By elevating our sexual
    harassment training programs—and increasing our focus on culture, not
    compliance—we can make training more engaging, relevant and, ultimately, more

    The post 4 Ways to Create Effective Sexual Harassment Training appeared first on HR Morning.

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    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Uncategorized

    A wrongful
    termination claim can be filed in a court of law if an employee believes he or
    she has been ‘illegally’ fired from the job. Such claims result from an alleged
    violation of federal or state anti-discrimination laws, employment contracts or
    labor laws, including whistle-blower laws.

    A wrongful termination claim can also be filed when an employee believes the termination was due to sexual harassment or in retaliation to a complaint or workers’ compensation claim.

    All of this seems
    pretty straightforward – wrongful always means unfair – right?

    Not in the legal
    sense, no.

    Sure, it can be
    frustrating for an employee to find himself out of a job for no valid reason. In
    many cases, it may boil down to a mere difference of opinion in how the employee
    perceives their own work abilities and how an employer measures job

    But, a termination is only “wrongful” when it is wrong in the legal sense of the word.

    There are a large
    number of myths and misconceptions concerning “wrongful termination.”

    Here are the top seven myths about wrongful termination many employees hold.

    Myth #1: Any
    termination that seems unreasonable amounts to wrongful termination.

    If you were hired on an at-will basis in a state like California where the prevailing legal principle is “employment at will,” you can be fired at any point in time. The employer can do so for any reason or no reason at all. Harsh as that may sound, the employer can even fire you for chewing gum or for using the smartphone during work hours.

    Unless there’s an
    employment contract signed between you and the employer, you can practically be
    fired for any reason whatsoever. If the employment contract requires a cause
    for termination and the fired employee is not given one, he or she may file a
    wrongful termination claim.

    But it is not true
    that federal and state employment laws such as anti-discrimination are not
    applicable in at-will states. If an employee is fired for unlawful reasons such
    as discrimination, the employer can be held liable.

    Myth #2: I can be
    legally fired for publicly admitting I voted for a certain candidate.

    It doesn’t matter which presidential candidate you voted for. You have the liberty of expressing your political inclinations in the workplace. But, this is only true if you work in one of the four states, namely California, Connecticut, South Carolina, and Louisiana. These four states have statutes that protect an employee’s right to freely express political views.

    Several other states
    also offer certain legal protections to citizens for attending political
    rallies or endorsing politicians but you’ll need to speak with an employment
    law attorney to know if your case qualifies for a possible wrongful termination

    Myth #3: Workplace
    discrimination laws are only for minorities and women.

    Every person with a unique gender, race, religion, natural origin, citizenship status, marital status or medical history has the right to be protected under workplace discrimination laws. That’s pretty much everybody!

    Anyone can be discriminated against at the workplace regardless of whether they are males or females or are considered a minority.

    Therefore, anyone
    fired due to their race, disability, medical condition, religion, sexual
    orientation, etc. can file a wrongful termination claim.

    Myth #4: It isn’t
    possible to establish I was fired in retaliation for speaking against an
    illegal practice at the workplace.

    It may be possible to prove that you were fired in retaliation for exposing an illegal activity going on at the workplace. For instance, in July 2018, a former banker sued the Wells Fargo bank, claiming wrongful termination.

    Federal and state
    laws in several states protect whistleblowers against retaliation. Employers
    cannot punish their employees for reporting wrongdoings or illegal activities
    within an organization.

    Myth #5: If I quit, I
    cannot sue my employer.

    It is a common
    misconception that if an employee quits, they cannot file a wrongful
    termination lawsuit. There are occasions when an employee finds the work
    environment too hostile, intolerable or dangerous to continue working for an
    organization. The only choice they’re left with is to quit.

    In such cases, an
    employee can still sue the employer. Even if the employee has been coerced into
    submitting a resignation, they may file a wrongful termination claim.

    Myth #6: All
    employees over a certain age are protected by the employment law.

    Age discrimination is common in the workplace. But you may be wrong to assume that if you’re older than 40 years, you’re automatically protected by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967. The act only protects job applicants and employees who are eligible under a set of guidelines. Such employees include those who have a private employer who employs 20 or more workers for a minimum of 20 weeks in a year.

    If you’re covered by
    the ADEA, you can sue the employer for discrimination based on age in
    termination, hiring, appraisal, and privileges.

    Myth #7: My employer
    will settle quickly because they care about their reputation.

    If the wrongful termination claim isn’t based on facts or backed by solid evidence, do not expect your employer to settle so easily.

    Publicity is hardly a concern for the lawyers hired by large scale companies. The incident usually won’t even find a mention in local newspapers unless you happen to be a public figure or celebrity.

    The post 7 things employees get wrong about ‘wrongful termination’ appeared first on HR Morning.

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