Employee Relations & Management Issues

As credit related losses ripple through the financial and construction sectors, many organizations will be forced to consider job cuts. Selecting employees for lay off must be collaboration between managers and human resources. HR must be able to influence the process to reduce legal risks and assuage the anxiety of remaining employees:

1)     Establishing Business

The average corporate health benefit expenditure in 2008 will be $9,312 per employee—an increase of 7 percent over 2007—with annual per-employee contributions exceeding $2,000, according to Towers Perrin’s 2008 Health Care Cost Survey. Some highlights of the survey are as follows:

  • Employers are expecting to subsidize 78 percent of next year’s premium costs, and employees

Rush on Business has a good post on "Copy Another Company’s Handbook at Your Peril" that summarizes several postings on the downside of adopting employment policies when you don’t fully appreciate their applicability to your business. We all like to save time and money by not reinventing the wheel; however, the risks of these shortcuts are amply

The so called safe harbor from prosecution/sanction for immigration law violations arising from an employer’s handling of No-Match letter places a heightened burden on employers and may only exacerbate an already growing worker shortage. It is a poor effort to solve the problems created by a lack of consensus on a national immigration policy. It has collateral

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued new regulations that create a "safe-harbor" for employers who either receive a (i) no-match letter from the Social Security Administration or (ii) written notice from DHS questioning an I-9 Form. Employers who follow the protocol and timeline set forth in the regulations will not be charged with

There is an interesting post by Kate Lorenz at careerbuilder.com asking the question "Is Workplace Romance Really Taboo?" Ms. Lorenz observes that "society no longer frowns upon romance that blooms between co-workers." The ups and downs of office romance are even recounted in articles on Monster.com.

There is evidence that the taboos are truly gone. According to a 2007 Vault Survey, sixteen percent of employees confess to getting caught canoodling at the office. Office romance is embraced by all three branches of government (executive, legislative, and judicial). In fact the D.C. Court of Appeals in Guardsmark v. NLRB overruled an employer’s no fraternization rule because it violated the rights of employees to engage in concerted activities. News outlets publish "How to Strategies". The Workplace Fairness Blog has some provocative comments in a post called "Love and Marriage at Work (and a Little Sex Too)"

While taboos may have eased, legal problems persist.   David Javitch notes in his post on "Dealing with an Office Romance", there may be even bigger workplace risks for morale problems created by perceived favoritism and the looming sexual harassment claim. Courts have found employer’s liable for the sexual favoritism created by a supervisor’s romantic involvement with subordinates. Sexual harassment claims remain high with the EEOC reporting over 12,000 claims filed in 2006 resulting in EEOC settlements totaling almost $50 million. Million Dollar verdicts are common.

Continue Reading Fishing off the Company Dock: A Legal Perspective