Employers Establish Halloween Holiday Policies

[caption id="attachment_13985" align="alignleft" width="275"] Skimpy costumes can result in sexual harassment that continues long after the party is over…or they can be interpreted as sexual harassment of other employees.[/caption] Every year, a number of companies face social media backlash or employee lawsuits because they failed to establish strong holiday policies regarding company Halloween celebrations. While a Halloween or Harvest celebration at work can increase employee engagement and build camaraderie, it can also have negative consequences. Employers and HR professionals need to consider carefully whether they will allow employees to wear costumes to work and whether there will be an employee party. If so, it’s wise to create firm holiday policies detailing reasonable expectations and communicate them with employees proactively. An employee intranet, newsletter or a memo is a great way to do so. Many employers are rethinking allowing customer service employees to dress in costume. Others invite Halloween costumes and celebrations, as long as they are appropriate for the workplace.... More...

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Connecticut Minimum Wage Increase 2015

[caption id="attachment_13979" align="alignleft" width="300"] Effective January 1, 2015 the Connecticut minimum wage increases to $9.15 per hour.[/caption] Effective January 1, 2015 the Connecticut minimum wage increases from $8.70 to $9.15 per hour, while the minimum wage for service employees (tipped employees) in the restaurant industry remains at $5.69 per hour. In March, 2014 Connecticut became the first state to pass a minimum wage that will eventually reach $10.10 per hour, in several stages. In 2016 the Connecticut minimum wage increases to $9.60 per hour, and in 2017 it increases to $10.10 per hour. These changes will affect the estimated 70,000+ people who earn the minimum wage across the state. Connecticut Minimum Wage for Tipped Employees In Connecticut, employers are permitted to pay tipped employees in restaurants (servers or “waitpersons”) the lower rate of $5.69 per hour. Bartenders can be paid $7.34 per hour. However, if the employee does not earn sufficient tips to equal the minimum wage or more over... More...

New York Minimum Wage Increase 2015

[caption id="attachment_13951" align="alignleft" width="275"] The New York minimum wage for workers in most industries increases from $8.00 to $8.75 per hour on December 31, 2014.[/caption] Effective December 31, 2014 the New York minimum wage increases from $8.00 to $8.75 per hour. This increase covers minimum wage employees in most business sectors, despite the fact that New York has a complex web of wage orders covering different industries. On December 31, 2015 the New York minimum wage increases from $8.75 to $9.00 per hour. This increase under the General Industry Minimum Wage Act covers most workers, including domestic workers, although there are some exceptions for workers on farms and in the hospitality industry. Each year, the New York Department of Labor, Labor Standards Division hosts free seminars for employers to learn more about labor law compliance: minimum wage, child labor and meal break laws, among others. The New York Commissioner of Labor enforces the state minimum wage law. Penalties to employers... More...

BYOD Workplace Policies for Human Resources

[caption id="attachment_13965" align="alignleft" width="300"] Every employer needs a written BYOD policy for the workplace.[/caption] Recent workplace changes, including the increasing use of big data and analytics capabilities via iPhone and iPad,  highlight the need for every Human Resources department – and almost every employer – to have a BYOD policy. Bring Your Own Device (or BYOD) policies are increasingly popular. Many employers require that workers use their personal cell phones on the job. Others permit employees working remotely to access company networks, intranets and social media accounts via personal laptop, smart phone or tablet computer. Both employees and employers need to understand that this strategy carries security risks that must be managed. BYOD access can create portals for hackers to enter private company networks, and even change or destroy crucial company records. At a minimum, every employer needs to have clear guidelines on who is allowed to BYOD and under what circumstances. Employees should be required to use robust passwords,... More...

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