News & Analysis

A treatment plan for negative online employee reviews

The Wall Street Journal recently reported on its discovery that, after analyzing millions of online reviews of various companies by their current and former employees, it appeared that more than 400 employers might be gaming the system. Each of the companies experienced unusually large single-month increases in the number of reviews posted by their employees to the jobs website Glassdoor. The surges tended to be disproportionately positive not only for the months in which they occurred but also by comparison to the surrounding months. The clear implication was that someone in a position of authority at the companies had spearheaded a campaign to get employees to post positive reviews to the site in an effort to counteract the overwhelmingly negative ones already posted.

Should you be an HR leader?

Whether you are a salesperson or a CFO, you should be thinking about the people in your organization. You may think, "I'm in sales, why should I care about the people in my organization?" or "I'm the CFO, numbers are my thing, not people," but you are dead wrong. It's part of your job to think about your organization and its employees.

Is someone watching me? Do's and don'ts of workplace video surveillance

For many years, it has been common practice for banks, retail stores, gas stations, and other employers that regularly interact with the public to use video surveillance to prevent theft and ensure security. But what if an employer wants to use video surveillance in the workplace to monitor the conduct and performance of its employees?

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Find out what it means to your employees

Leadership is a two-way street, loyalty up and loyalty down. Respect for one's superiors; care for one's crew.

Agency Action

DOL announces new compliance assistance tool. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in February announced the launch of an enhanced electronic version of the Handy Reference Guide to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The new online version of Wage and Hour Division (WHD) publications aims to assist employers and workers with a resource that provides basic WHD information as well as links to other resources. The WHD established the electronic guide as part of its efforts to modernize compliance assistance materials and provide accessible information to guide compliance. The tool offers a new design—reformatted for laptops, tablets, and other mobile devices—and provides additional resources and related information, including plain-language videos.

Workplace Trends

Most professionals negotiate salary offers, survey finds. Research from staffing firm Robert Half finds that 55% of professionals surveyed tried to negotiate a higher salary with their last employment offer, a 16-point jump from a similar survey released in 2018. Among workers in the 28 U.S. cities polled, Miami, San Diego, and San Francisco had the most respondents who asked for more pay, while Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and Cleveland had the fewest. A separate survey showed that 70% of senior managers said they expect some back-and-forth on salary. About six in 10 are more open to negotiating compensation than they were a year ago.

Interactive process can be employer's shield rather than employee's sword

Claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) continue to multiply, and your duty to engage in an interactive dialogue with your employees regarding reasonable accommodations is increasingly a focus. A recent case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, which governs the federal courts in Nebraska, illustrates how careful attention to the interactive process can be an employer's best defense.

Know the legal issues you face when employees work past 65

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), about one-third of Americans between the ages of 65 and 69 are still employed. That number has been steadily rising, and it's expected to reach 36 percent over the next five years.

Walmart greeter fiasco provides important employment lessons

Have you ever walked into a Walmart and been greeted by an employee—frequently disabled or elderly—who seemed to have no responsibilities other than to welcome customers to the store? Did you ever wonder what the point of the position was or why a corporation the size of Walmart would pay so many people to do it?

Dealing with potential abuse of intermittent FMLA leave

Q We have two employees who are married and work at the same facility. They both have medical certifications for intermittent Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave from the same doctor. Our records show that they always request intermittent leave at the same time. What can we do to curb this obvious abuse?