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February 2017 Newsletter

I saw one of my employees on the local news the other night participating in a political rally over the weekend. We try to maintain a tension-free workplace. Can I discipline him for this conduct? Can I at least institute a policy prohibiting this kind of behavior going forward?                             ...
I’ve had an internal debate all weekend long over whether I should blog about Trump’s executive order that that bans immigration from seven Muslim countries, suspends refugees for 120 days, and bars all Syrian refugees indefinitely. Ultimately, I decided that if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem, and this issue is too important to remain silent. I choose to be on the correct side of history. If you are a...
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) rolled out a new Form I-9 in November 2016.  Starting January 22, 2017, all employers must use the new Form I-9, which is dated November 14, 2016 (the edition date is on the bottom of the Form I-9).  Employers that do not use the new Form I-9 starting January 22, 2017 could face civil penalties. The new Form I-9 has a slightly changed format, including a supplement that allows for...
Conflict at work is inevitable. Despite this reality, there are many steps that employers can take to avoid and resolve workplace strife. According to a 2014 study, office workers spend, on average, 2.5 hours per week trying to resolve conflict—an expenditure of time that translates into an estimated $359 billion in lost revenue in the United States alone. My experience as an independent workplace investigator has given me a bird’s eye...
By almost all accounts, the Trump administration, under the leadership of Secretary of Labor-designate Andrew Puzder, should inherit the part 541 regulations of the Obama administration that dramatically increased the salary amount required for the executive, administrative, and professional (EAP) employee exemptions. Hopefully, the Trump administration will make this rule a high priority and initiate a new rulemaking in January of 2017, so it...
This week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a proposed Enforcement Guidance on workplace harassment. It’s 75 pages long, so a little too much to cover in a single blog post. The EEOC is seeking comments from the public until February 9, so I will start with the comment-worthy provisions. Next week, I’ll post about the proposed Guidance more generally. Overall, the EEOC has done a decent job, but...
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