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Open Season On The Flu

While we have enjoyed a mild fall, flu is on its way. Every fall, I get my flu shot because when I was in college I got the flu and it made me terribly sick. This experience left a lasting impression. I am determined not to be victim of the flu again. Many employers and those in the health-related fields might consider mandatory vaccination policies for their employees. Protecting patients, fellow employees, and the public at large provide many incentives for health care providers to encourage flu vaccination. However mandatory vaccinations are hotly debated. Last year, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) admitted …

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Building Trust – Online and In The Workplace

We work best with those we trust. We buy from trusted sources. We all know how important trust is. When it came time to create a website for my HR consulting business, I knew what functionalities I needed on the website but I didn’t know how to make it happen. Over the years, I had met Courtney Buzzell (this is a recent picture of Courtney and me) and Will Melton, co-owners of Proximo Marketing. I wanted to work with a local firm so I approached them. During our initial meeting, Courtney and Will listened to my objectives for the website. …

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Transgender Employees – An Evolving Landscape

Recently, I was working at @HRCI with fellow HR volunteers. This is the group in the picture.  During a break, Lori Boyer SPHR shared her experience of dealing with an employee transitioning from male to female. The high profile transition of Bruce to Caitlin Jenner has brought attention to transgender people. It’s also an area of law that’s changing fast. It’s definitely a source of potential headaches for employers. Don’t assume it’s unlikely to happen in your organization. It is estimated that between 2 to 5 percent of the population is transgender. When a transgender employee decides to transition to the …

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New Owner New Rules? Tips For A Successful Business Transition

Congratulations! You have realized your lifelong dream of becoming a business owner and bought an existing business. You have made a wise choice, one that will set you on the path to success. Acquired businesses have a 90 percent success rate according to the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. In contrast, it’s only 30 to 40 percent chance of success for start-ups. Acquiring a business and developing it requires a solid plan and a support system. Rich Chinappi, commercial real estate agent, and I met recently to share some do’s and don’ts for business owners who are considering an acquisition / …

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The Summer In Review

As the summer is winding down, this is a good time to look back and take stock of the changes in the employment landscape. If you were distracted this summer (and who isn’t when the weather is beautiful and the beach is calling?), you may have missed important changes in employee regulations. The Department of Labor (DOL) and the Courts didn’t take much of a beach vacation. Luckily, I was paying attention. So, here is the quick overview of key decisions that will impact your business and employee relations: The news came like a clap of thunder is the beautiful …

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Happy 25th Birthday ADA – Tips For Addressing Disability At Work

When my children were little, I was always grateful for the ADA and its requirements to make public buildings accessible. Automatic doors and ramps helped tremendously when pushing a stroller with one hand and holding a toddler with the other. At the end of July, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) celebrated its 25th anniversary. This is the perfect opportunity to refresh our knowledge of this legislation and what it means in the workplace. In the workplace, providing accommodation to disabled employees can seem like a difficult prospect. How much will it cost? How it is impact the business and …

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Do We REALLY Need To Talk About This In Summertime?

Need we really talk about employee misclassification during the summer? Last week, one of my swim team friends tells me the HR department at work wants to convert post-doctoral employees into independent contractors (IC) because it would be easier to administer. At the same time, the Department of Labor (DOL) issues new guidelines on the topic. Strange coincidence, or maybe not! To be sure, independent contractors offer a simpler, sometimes cheaper alternative to having employees. Ask my clients! They hire me as an independent contractor. I work for them on a specific project, say a supervisory training session. When the …

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Review Policies After Supreme Court Rule On Same-Sex Marriage

On June 26, the Supreme Court ruled on the Obergefell case that the Constitution’s 14th Amendment guarantees same-sex couples a fundamental right to marry and have their marriages legally recognized in all states. Although the state of Virginia has recognized same-sex marriage since October 2014, this may be a good opportunity for employers to review company policies and its impact on benefits now that same-sex marriage is the law of the land in all 50 states. This ruling affects all policies that involve employees’ spouses, including retirement benefits, health insurance, dependent care, FMLA and other family-related leave. Now, all benefits …

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Oh Boy! The Number Is Out and You won’t Like It.

If you were hoping to spend a quiet summer in the office, no such luck this year. Last week, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced its proposal for updating the overtime exemptions for white-collar employees including executives, administrative and professional employees. And employers are shocked by the new numbers. The most significant aspect of the DOL proposal increases the current salary threshold for exemption from $455 per week ($23,660 annually) to $970 per week ($50,440 annually).  In other words, under the new proposal employee paid less than $50,440 would be classified as non-exempt and become eligible for overtime pay.  The DOL …