North Dakota News & Analysis

  • It's the season of love (contracts)

    Many couples celebrate their love on Valentine's Day by exchanging cards, gifts, chocolates, and affection. Are any of your employees celebrating with one another this year? According to a 2017 CareerBuilder survey, 36% of employees have dated a coworker at one point or another. Some workplace relationships (31%) have culminated happily with marriage. Other relationships don't end as well and may create more problems for the couple and their employer just by existing.

  • Telecommuting GPS: mapping out the detours of working remotely

    Everybody loves telecommuting and has nothing but great things to say about it. According to many articles you read these days, it's clearly every employee's dream. But is telecommuting really the key to happiness for employees and employers? Maybe.

  • Sometimes, you can have your cake and eat it, too!

    Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit (which governs the federal courts in North Dakota) held that an employer could treat payments to employees as nontaxable expense payments when reporting to the IRS and, simultaneously, as wages for purposes of minimum wage calculations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

  • Agency Action

    NLRB names new solicitor. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in December announced the appointment of Fred B. Jacob as its new solicitor. The solicitor is the chief legal adviser and consultant to the Board on all questions of law regarding its general operations and on major questions of law and policy concerning the adjudication of NLRB cases in the courts of appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. The solicitor also serves as the Board's legal representative and liaison to the General Counsel and other offices of the agency. Jacob has spent more than two decades practicing labor law and advising federal agencies on ethics, administrative law, and government operations.

  • Workplace Trends

    Survey finds lack of understanding of when workers will retire. U.S. employers are rethinking their approach to managing the retirement patterns of their workforces, according to a study from Willis Towers Watson. The 2018 Longer Working Careers Survey found that 83% of employers have a significant number of employees at or nearing retirement, but just 53% expressed having a good understanding of when their employees will retire. Additionally, while 81% say managing the timing of their employees' retirements is an important business issue, just 25% do that effectively. The survey found that 80% of respondents view older employees as crucial to their success.

  • New year, new audit: how to conduct an internal wage and hour audit

    Employers often ask when their company should do an internal wage and hour audit. The best answer is usually, "Yesterday."

  • Earning employee trust can reduce your legal liabilities

    "Trust" is a slippery concept. What does it mean for your employees to "trust" you or "distrust" you? And why should you care?

  • Minimum wage increases heat up the competition for hourly workers

    It's no news to most anyone with experience in federal wage and hour laws that they tend to lag far behind the times. The federal minimum wage—which has stood at $7.25 going on 10 years now—certainly falls into that category. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' CPI Inflation Calculator, today's equivalent of the 1978 minimum wage (which was $2.65) would be $10.72. According to the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, if the rate had risen at an appropriate pace since 1968, it would be close to $20.

  • What to do when a poorly performing employee mentions suicide

    Q I recently issued a performance improvement plan to a poorly performing employee, and during the course of the meeting, she stated to me that sometimes she doesn't "want to go on living." Is there anything our company is legally required to do? Can we still move forward with the disciplinary plan?

  • Workplace Trends

    Turnover hits all-time high. Research from indicates that total workplace turnover in the United States hit an all-time high in 2018, reaching 19.3%. That's nearly a full percentage point from 2017 and more than 3.5% since 2014. The report contains data from nearly 25,000 participating organizations of varying sizes in the United States. By industry, hospitality (31.8%), health care (20.4%), and manufacturing and distribution (20%) had the highest rates of total turnover. Utilities (10.3%), insurance (12.8%), and banking and finance (16.7%) had the lowest. By area of the country, the South Central region (20.4%) and the West (20.3%) had the highest rates of total turnover. The Northeast (17.3%) had the lowest rate of total turnover in the country.