North Dakota News & Analysis

  • Workplace Trends

    Research finds lack of mentorship and coaching. New data from media agency network Mindshare U.S. found that 42% of U.S. employees said their companies either don't offer mentorship programs or don't offer enough of them. Men were more likely than women to say they either got enough or more than enough mentorship programs at work, at 57% versus 42%. The research also found that 66% of U.S. employees rank ongoing feedback or coaching on their work as an important or very important benefit in the workplace. Yet 28% of people surveyed said that they either don't get enough ongoing coaching or feedback or that their companies don't even offer it. The data showed that women were more likely than men to feel that way, at 31% versus 25%.

  • North Dakota Supreme Court upholds termination of UND faculty member

    Although all signs point to Mark Kennedy soon leaving the North Dakota University System to fill the presidency at the University of Colorado, he isn't out of the North Dakota news just yet. Recently, the North Dakota Supreme Court heard the appeal of former University of North Dakota (UND) faculty member Frank Cuozzo, who was terminated by Kennedy. Cuozzo argued that Kennedy and UND breached his employment contract, but the supreme court disagreed and sided with the university and its president. Read on to find out more about the case and the court's reasoning.

  • DOL says FMLA leave mandatory for employees and employers

    After more than 25 years, you might think questions regarding proper interpretation of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) would be settled. It's a highly regulated law, and it provides employers far more detail and clarity than they get with most other labor and employment laws.

  • Tips to ensure you are prepared for a deposition

    For an HR professional, giving a deposition is a lot like visiting the dentist. You know it's necessary, but you probably aren't looking forward to it. You may be asked questions you don't want to answer (like how often you actually floss). And finally, consistently responsible practices should reduce your stress levels about the event, make it go a lot smoother, and prevent worse problems in the future.

  • Here we go again: DOL proposes new overtime rule

    On March 7, 2019, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a long-awaited proposed rule that could make more than a million additional American workers eligible for overtime.

  • Agency Action

    NLRB chair claims joint-employment comment review not outsourced. Responding to concerns from congressional Democrats, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Chair John F. Ring says his agency is not outsourcing the review of public comments on the joint-employer standard. In March, Ring wrote a letter to Bobby Scott, chair of the House Committee on Education and Labor, and Frederica S. Wilson, chair of the House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor & Pensions, saying the Board has not outsourced the substantive review of comments on its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on what constitutes joint employment. Instead, he said the NLRB decided "to engage temporary support on a limited, short-term basis to perform the initial sorting and coding of the public comments." He said the process ensures confidentiality protections are in place, and the Board's professionals will perform the first substantive review of the comments.

  • Workplace Trends

    NFIB speaks out against predictive scheduling laws. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) issued a statement in March in opposition to state and local laws requiring employers to provide hourly workers their work schedules weeks in advance. The organization said such laws aren't always possible or realistic for small businesses. "It severely limits owners' control over their scheduling decisions and urgent business needs," the statement said. The organization pointed to laws in Oregon, Seattle, and San Francisco and said the unpredictability of staff needs in certain industries like construction and hospitality raises concerns. "The laws not only prevent employers from adjusting to market changes, bad weather, or other demands outside their control, but they also prevent employees from picking up additional work hours at a moment's notice or requesting unanticipated time off," the statement said.

  • North Dakota Supreme Court reaffirms proper termination procedures

    The North Dakota Supreme Court recently addressed the proper pretermination and posttermination procedures for public employees. Although the court's decision applies specifically to public employees with due process rights, its findings regarding proper notices, evidence explanations, and response opportunities provide sound guidance for all employers operating in our state.

  • Working remotely may not be a reasonable accommodation, even with a flesh-eating disease

    The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all North Dakota employers) recently addressed and clarified what an employer is and is not required to do with respect to accommodating an employee under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when an employee fails to return to work upon the expiration of his Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave.

  • Why you shouldn't automatically discipline employees for social media posts

    As social media continues to play an increasingly more prominent role in daily life, it will naturally influence the workplace as well. So can you use information from social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, in disciplining employees? The answer depends on various factors, including the posts' contents, whether and to what extent they affect your workplace, and how you came to view or learn about them.