Managing Talent in a Digital Age

Managing Talent in a Digital AgeOnline labor platforms make it easier to find—and harder to retain—talented people. They give companies a real opportunity to transform the way they recruit, develop, and engage their employees.

It’s safe to say that when one out of every two working-age adults in the United States has registered for a certain website—LinkedIn, for example, boasts more than 122 million US members—it has achieved critical mass. In fact, LinkedIn and sites like Careerbuilder and Monster.com have changed the way employers and employees connect, and digital marketplaces such as Freelancer.com, Toptal, and Upwork have transformed the sourcing of contractors’ services around the world.

Digital labor platforms have also created a more transparent job market. Top performers know their value and are growing more footloose as a result; many are going online to find new opportunities and to evaluate potential employers. What’s more, a lot of people now scour platforms such as Glassdoor to learn what current employees have to say about their job satisfaction, company culture, and lifestyle. Companies that don’t manage their workplace reputations carefully

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Can Your Employer Prohibit You from Talking about Your Salary

African American woman reading a resume while taking interview of a Caucasian woman

Company called out by feds for limiting employee conversations.

Can your employer restrict what you’re allowed to speak about with your fellow employees? Can you be fired for discussing compensation, benefits, or work conditions?

According to a recent ruling by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), companies that attempt to dissuade employees from discussing work conditions or wages may be violating the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

Let’s examine the recent decision against a major cellular company and discuss what it may mean to other workers.

No Complaining Allowed

An employer had a corporate policy that it claimed was designed to create a positive work atmosphere. The rule stated “[The company] expects all employees to behave in a professional manner that promotes efficiency, productivity, and cooperation. Employees are expected to maintain a positive work environment by communicating in a manner that is conducive to effective working relationships with internal and external customers, clients, co-workers, and management.”

While this rule may sound harmless, some employees had

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The Right Way to Discipline or Dismiss Employees

The Right Way to Discipline or Dismiss EmployeesIf you’re a boss, then you know that having to discipline or dismiss employees are two of the most dreaded and stressful responsibilities of your job.

What can make it easier for you — and pose less risk to your company — is to have a proper process in place to ensure your compliance with the many state and federal laws that protect employees.

Tips for Dismissals and Disciplining Employees

The following tips will help you establish a procedure for disciplining or dismissing subordinates:

Set clear rules. No matter what size company you have, you need an employee handbook that lays out clear rules for employee conduct and responsibilities and the penalties for violations. Be aware that to be enforceable, the rules must be reasonable. It’s a good idea to have an experienced employment law attorney review your handbook annually to ensure your compliance with current law.

Enforce rules consistently. Management needs to be consistent and impartial when enforcing company rules. If you play favorites, you can open your company up to an employment lawsuit. In addition,

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How Does Workers Compensation Work

Injured employees across the country are able to receive medical treatment and have a portion of their wages replaced after being injured in a work-related accident or becoming ill on the job through the workers’ compensation program. Employers and employees both have a number of responsibilities under the program.

General Information

Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance program that insures employees for illnesses and injuries that arise out of the job. The program is mandated by the state, and each state establishes different rules for when an employer must acquire such insurance.

Employees benefit from the program by receiving medical care after sustaining an injury or illness that is work-related. Injured employees receive a certain portion of their wages while they are off work for the treatment of such injury or illness, depending on state rules. States also establish their own rate of compensation when an employee loses a member, is permanently disabled or dies as a result of the work-related accident.

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance program, meaning that the injured employee does not have to go the traditional tort route of proving negligence in order to recover. In exchange,

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Employee vs Independent Contractor Status

When an employee is hired by an employer, they agree to abide by the employer’s job description, expectations, schedule, method of payment, and benefits package.

The control is in the employer’s hand and the employee is required to follow directives, or risk having their employment terminated. An independent contractor may be hired by a company to perform a service, but the individual maintains the control in the business relationship. Failing to clearly define whether someone is an employee or an independent contractor can lead to frustrating and costly legal issues.

Before an employee begins work, the employer must define what their job responsibilities will be, how much they will be compensated for the job, what the schedule and method of payment will be, what benefits will be offered, and what days and hours the employee will be required to work. Once the employee agrees to the terms, the employer has the power in the business relationship to determine what job will be done, the method in which it will be accomplished, and will supply the equipment and tools required to complete the job.

Employees are required to have federal, state, and local taxes taken out of

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What Questions Must an Employer Avoid Asking During an Interview

Everyday, millions of Americans go on interviews, and everyday employers walk through a legal minefield of potentially dangerous questions. While some of the questions may seem harmless and intended solely to get to know the interviewee, they could actually open the company up to liability for various types of discrimination should that individual not receive an offer for the position.

Thus, what questions must an employer avoid asking during an interview, and why?

Q: Are you a US Citizen? What is your native language?

While you may need to ensure that someone can legally work in the US and can speak English, putting the questions in these terms could come across as a question about ethnicity rather than work authorization. Instead of asking about citizenship, ask if the person is legally authorized to work in the US. Instead of asking their native language, ask which languages the applicant speaks, reads, and writes in fluently.

Q: What religion do you practice?

Asking about a candidate’s religion is a huge no-no. Religion should be treated delicately in the workplace under any circumstances, but asking about it during an interview is like waving a red

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Know the Rules for Hiring and Managing Interns

Many small businesses thrive with the extra help interns provide at little or no cost to the business. However, there are things small business owners need to know about hiring and managing interns.

Here are some tips from SBA.gov :

Evaluate your needs. Interns look for work to supplement their education and their resumes; few are satisfied if they are just running your errands or making coffee. Give careful thought to the meaningful work you want to give to an intern as well as to the company personnel who will be supervising them.

Paid and unpaid internships. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, an unpaid intern cannot do any work that contributes to a company’s operations – in other words, your business cannot benefit from unpaid labor. Intern litigation has become more common, particularly in the entertainment industry, where courts have found several major companies guilty of profiting from unpaid intern labor, leading to multi-million dollar settlements. This is why it is best to offer some sort of compensation, based on the intern’s experience level.

Hiring process. Conduct your intern hiring process the same as you would a paid employee, with a written

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How to Protect Your Business from Exploitation by Employees

Are you concerned that if some of your key employees left, they would be able to exploit know how gained while working for you, at the expense of your business? If so, then read this article to see how you can protect your business.

You should ensure that where possible, when an employee leaves your business, there are suitable and valid restrictions on what the employee can do after departure. Therefore it is important to include suitable restrictive covenants in his employment contract which include the following:

1. Customer non-solicitation restrictions – This restricts the ex-employee from soliciting customers for a defined period. Generally, the covenant should be restricted to customers with whom the employee had contact during a specified period before termination. However, a non-solicitation restriction of this type need not always be limited to customers with whom the individual had direct contact. In certain circumstances it can include those of whom the employee was aware;

2. Potential customer non-solicitation restrictions – This restricts the ex-employee from soliciting potential customers for a defined period. A clause which attempts to extend the restriction to potential customers will be harder to enforce. In general, such

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When Can My Employer Deny Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation provides a system in which a person who is injured on the job can receive compensation for such injuries without having to sue his or her employer. However, not all claims are approved, leaving the worker injured and uncompensated.

Workers’ Compensation Process

When a person suffers a job while performing job-related tasks, he or she typically files a claim. The employer then conducts an investigation before it agrees to pay out benefits. Not every claim is valid or compensable. An employer who believes that the claim is not valid or compensable may deny the claim. There are a number of defenses that an employer may raise.

Not Covered by Insurance

Workers’ compensation does not necessarily cover every worker. Independent contractors are commonly exempted from coverage. Certain executives, domestic employees, agricultural workers or individuals covered under different policies may also be exempted from coverage. While this may not mean that the employer is not legally responsible for injuries, it may be adequate grounds to deny the workers’ compensation claim.

Failure to Provide Notice

Injured workers must provide notice to their employer when they suffer a work-related injury or develop an

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What Types of Compensation Can I Receive in a Workers’ Compensation Case

Workers’ compensation provides monetary and other benefits to workers who sustain work-related injuries or who develop illnesses because of their work. The availability f benefits depends on the nature of the illness or injury and state laws that govern workers’ compensation benefits.

Medical Benefits

Injured employees usually seek medical treatment. Treatment necessary to identify and treat the illness or injury is usually provided under workers’ compensation insurance. This may be from their primary care physician or a doctor selected by the employer, according to the workers’ compensation program rules. Such treatment continues until the employee has fully recovered or until the doctor believes that you have improved as much as you are able to improve.

Medical benefits usually include those expenses for doctor visits, surgeries and prescription medication. Assistive devices such as wheelchairs may also be covered. However, only generally acceptable medical practices are covered, and experimental therapies are not usually covered.

Wage Replacement

The primary benefit provided by workers’ compensation insurance is wage replacement income. The amount of benefits is usually determined by a state formula. Often, the amount of benefits is two-thirds the amount of the employee’s normal rate. The

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Employment Issues in the Digital World

If you have years of experience in the workplace, you know that it has changed dramatically during the last decade for both employers and employees. That changing landscape has cultivated a small minefield for the unwary employer.

In the ‘old days,’ if you were an employer. you ran an ad in the newspaper for a job position, received resumes in the mail, and scheduled an interview. You hired the person and they came to work at 9 a.m. and left at 5 p.m. Most of the time they didn’t take work home.

Not so today. With smartphones, tablets and other technology, you not only meet and hire potential employees in different ways, those employees also work in different ways.

These days, employees and employers use fast evolving technology for work. Employees can connect with work at virtually any time of the day or night; work and leisure lines have become blurred.

An employer has to ask what their legal responsibility and liability are these days with their employees, both full time and part time. If one of your employees is texting someone connected with your business on Sunday evening and crashes on the

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Keeping the Workplace Safe

The aim of any employer is to have a hazard free work environment for the safety of employees. A hazardous workplace represents a greater likelihood that an accident involving employees may result.

Workplace accidents expose the employer to liability for injuries or fatalities that occur in the line of duty. In order to prevent workplace accidents, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) establishes strict guidelines that employers must handle. In many cases, serious injury or death occurs in the workplace due to hazardous materials, unsafe machines and negligent behavior. OSHA’s guidelines seek to minimize the presence of workplace accidents. Companies should strive to follow all such regulations in order to remain compliant with OSHA standards, avoid OSHA penalties and protect the safety of their employees.

A Plan to Follow

Dealing with safety poses many questions on how to handle precautions and threats. A company’s responsibility should be clearly defined. The responsibility of the employee should be understood and explained in an employee handbook. A supervisor should be prepped on how to handle accidents on the job. First responders should be in place to handle these mishaps. Departments should have plans in place designated

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Business Owner Faces Jail Time for Cheating Workers Out of Overtime

Employer created phony records to cover up wage and hour violations.

One business owner who attempted to line his own pockets by shortchanging his workers learned a powerful lesson: There are serious consequences to violating wage and hour laws.

A pizza store franchisee has been sentenced to 60 days in jail and significant financial penalties for failing to pay workers overtime, and for falsifying payroll records to cover up his unlawful actions.

Let’s take a look at what this unscrupulous employer did, and then discuss what workers should know about their compensation.

Fictitious Employees

An individual and a management company owned nine pizza store franchises in New York state.

According to a recent investigation by the New York Attorney General, this man hit on an interesting strategy for increasing profitability at his stores : He refused to pay time-and-a-half to employees who worked overtime.

But there was one problem with the man’s system. The computerized bookkeeping program for the management company automatically calculated time-and-a-half for any hours worked over 40 by an employee in a given week.

However, a technological glitch wasn’t going to stop the franchisee. He developed

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Can an Employer Refuse to Hire You Because of Your Weight

When obesity is – and isn’t – a disability

Can a company deny employment to an otherwise-qualified candidate just because he or she is obese?

Many people would argue that a person’s professional competence has no relation to the number that shows up on their bathroom scale.

But what if a company flat-out admits that it didn’t hire someone because of his or her weight?

A recent court case considered this question. The ruling offers some insight into when and how overweight individuals may be protected from discrimination.

Conditional Job Offer

A man applied for a machinist position with a railway company. The company extended him a conditional offer of employment. However, because the position was safety sensitive, he was required to pass a medical exam first.

The man filled out the medical questionnaire and noted that he was pre-diabetic, but otherwise in good health. His physical didn’t reveal any medical problems. However, at two separate exams for the company, his Body Mass Index (BMI) was shown to be 40.9 and 40.4.

The company notified the man that he wasn’t qualified for the job because they didn’t hire anyone

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Dr Says Man is OK to Return to Work, but Company Says That’s Not Good Enough

Employer sued for disability discrimination over seizure disorder.

An employee has an unexpected seizure during the work day. After he recovers, he gets clearance from his doctor to resume his job duties.

The question is this: Does the employer have to allow him back on the job?

That question was recently considered in a lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). While this case settled before it went to trial, it provides an opportunity to examine workers’ rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Let’s take a look at what happened and what it might mean to you.

Sudden Seizure

An employee worked in the production area of a paper manufacturing company. One day, to everyone’s surprise, he suffered a seizure during the work day.

The company placed the man on medical leave. He was treated for a seizure disorder and was cleared by his doctor to return to work.

However, the company refused to allow him to come back to work until he could prove that he was totally free from the seizure disorder.

The staffer was uncertain that he’d ever be able to

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What Is a Hostile Work Environment

With global competition, competitive marketplaces and a culture in which employees are always expected to be available, greater demands are placed on employees. Supervisors may act inappropriately by cursing, yelling and threatening staff. While laypeople may consider such action “hostile,” the legal definition of a hostile work environment is much different than the colloquial term.

For a workplace claim based on a hostile work environment claim to be successful, the plaintiff must establish two elements:

Severe and Pervasive Offensive Conduct

The plaintiff must establish that he or she was subjected to offensive and unwelcome conduct that was so pervasive or severe that it altered the terms and conditions of the person’s employment. The conduct amounts to a hostile work environment when enduring this conduct becomes a condition of continued employment or the conduct is so severe or pervasive that a reasonable person would feel is abusive, intimidating, offensive or hostile. The severity requirement prevents claims regarding petty slights or annoyances from being successful. The pervasive requirement prevents isolated incidents from being actionable unless they are extremely serious, such as a physical or sexual assault.

Conduct that may rise to this required level may include slurs, racial epithets, name calling,

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Connecting Talent with Opportunity in The Digital Age

Online talent platforms are increasingly connecting people to the right work opportunities. By 2025 they could add $2.7 trillion to global GDP, and begin to ameliorate many of the persistent problems in the world’s labor markets.

Labor markets around the world haven’t kept pace with rapid shifts in the global economy, and their inefficiencies have taken a heavy toll. Millions of people cannot find work, even as sectors from technology to healthcare struggle to fill open positions. Many who do work feel overqualified or underutilized. These issues translate into costly wasted potential for the global economy. More important, they represent hundreds of millions of people coping with unemployment, underemployment, stagnant wages, and discouragement.

Online talent platforms can ease a number of labor-market dysfunctions by more effectively connecting individuals with work opportunities. Such platforms include websites, like Monster.com and LinkedIn, that aggregate individual résumés with job postings from traditional employers, as well as the rapidly growing digital marketplaces of the new “gig economy,” such as Uber and Upwork. While hundreds of millions of people around the world already use these services, their capabilities and potential are still evolving. Yet even if they touch only a fraction

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What is Your Pain Worth

Before settling your claim, it is important that you investigate a fair and accurate value for your damages.

Each year, millions of Americans are injured due to the negligence or direct actions of somebody else. Car accidents are the most common type of incident, with approximately 3 million serious injuries annually. Disturbingly, an estimated 2/3 of car crashes result in permanent physical or mental impairments, and cause about 40,000 deaths in the United States every year. Other types of incidents that often result in severe personal injuries include :
Truck and Motorcycle Accidents
Construction Site Accidents
Slip and Fall Accidents
Medical Malpractice
Dog Bites
Amusement Park Accidents

Unfortunately, when an individual is injured through the fault of somebody else, an insurance company will often jump at the chance to offer an inadequate amount of money in order to settle the claim as quickly and painlessly as possible. In some situations, insurance adjusters will actually offer less than half of what a claim is really worth; and some will offer nothing at all. In fact, throughout the past couple of decades, insurance companies have been settling injury claims for less and less.

Part of the

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How Business and Government can Bring Young People into Work

Structural youth unemployment is preventing millions of young men and women from gaining a foothold in the world of work. The consequences are bad news—not only for today’s generation of 15- to 24-year-olds facing tough labor markets but also for governments and businesses, which are seeing consumers with less spending power, workers with fewer skills and lower wages, and citizens skeptical about society and its institutions. While the ability of companies to influence government policy is often overestimated, business does have a powerful role to play in lowering youth unemployment. In a successful new program in Berlin, employers have partnered with government agencies and schools to jointly guide students into working life. Their coordinated approach holds practical lessons for other cities, regions, and countries struggling to bring down high youth unemployment.

The problem of youth unemployment

Severe youth unemployment affects countries at all stages of development, including advanced economies such as the United States and many countries of the European Union. As many as 73 million young people were out of work worldwide in 2013, and while economic growth is creating jobs, average youth unemployment remains alarmingly high. In Europe, for example, it tops 23 percent;

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How To Bring A Workers Comp Claim in Ohio

If you are injured or contract an occupational disease on the job, consulting with a competent workers’ compensation attorney promptly may ensure that your claim is allowed to the full extent of your injury and your interests are fully protected.

Under Ohio law, a worker who is injured or contracts an occupational disease “in the course of and arising out of” his or her employment is entitled to workers’ compensation. Ohio workers’ compensation is payable whether or not an injured worker was negligent (i.e., “at fault”) with regard to the injury. Compensation may include, but is not limited to wage compensation (e.g., “temporary total disability compensation” and “wage loss compensation”); payment of medical, chiropractic, psychological, psychiatric, or physical therapy bills; awards for violations of specific safety requirements; and compensation for permanent disability. Further, if an injury or occupational disease causes the death of an employee, his or her dependents may be entitled to compensation.

What is an “Injury” under Ohio Work Comp?

The term “injury” includes, but is not limited to: sprains, strains, broken bones, lacerations, bruises, amputation, loss of use, disfigurement, loss of hearing and/or sight, herniated or bulging discs, and aggravation or

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