West Virginia News & Analysis

  • I miss kindergarten: why napping at work is good for business

    Many of you may recall reading Robert Fulghum's All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. If you take a look at his list of rules, you'll find it describes several policies you already follow and enforce in your workplace. "Don't hit people" certainly describes your no-fighting policy. "Put things back where you found them" and "Clean up your own mess" are a couple of policies you've probably instituted to prevent workplace injuries and keep the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) away. "Don't take things that aren't yours" epitomizes your no-stealing policy. Your wellness programs probably address the adage "Live a balanced life." But what about "Take a nap every afternoon"? Napping is taboo in most workplaces. It's equated with laziness in corporate culture. Some employers are viewing naps in another light, however.

  • Avoiding hairy situations with your grooming policy

    Over the past few years, accommodating religious head coverings, hairstyles, and facial hair in the workplace has been a much discussed topic. Many workplaces have implemented hair and grooming policies either for appearance purposes or for safety reasons. While such policies may seem reasonable and important to employers, employees may have religious or even medical reasons for wearing certain hairstyles or facial hair. Employers must make reasonable accommodations for religious or medical reasons. If you aren't sufficiently informed, you may inadvertently crimp your employees' rights.

  • Workplace violence: erring on the side of safety

    Among all the challenges you have as an employer, dealing with workplace violence is at the top of the list. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), "Workplace violence is any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the worksite. It ranges from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicide." The ultimate act of workplace violence, homicide kills between 500 and 700 employees every year. The majority of those deaths are at the hands of third parties. The usual motive: robbery. But what do you do when the threat is down the hall or across the plant floor?

  • NLRB vacates Hy-Brand decision, leaving more questions than answers

    In late February, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued an order vacating its decision in the Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors, Ltd. and Brandt Construction Co. case. The decision to throw out the ruling came on the heels of a determination by the NLRB's designated agency ethics official with the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) that new NLRB Member William Emanuel should have been disqualified from participating in the Hy-Brand proceeding.

  • New tax credit rewards companies that offer paid FMLA leave

    Employers that offer paid family and medical leave may get an unexpected tax benefit next year at tax time. The tax reform law that passed earlier this year contains a little-noticed tax credit for employers that provide qualifying types of paid leave to their fulland part-time employees. The credit is available to any employer, regardless of size, if:

  • WPCA now permits employer to recover cost of replacing company equipment

    Q We provide our employees the tools they need to perform their jobs, with a requirement that they return the equipment to us when they leave the company. However, some departing employees don't return company-issued property such as hand tools or cell phones. Are we able to deduct the value of the equipment from an employee's final paycheck?

  • Workplace Trends

    Women more likely to see pay disparity, survey finds. Nearly a third of women (32%) participating in CareerBuilders Equal Pay Day survey in April said they dont think they are making the same pay as men in their organization who have similar experience and qualifications. That compares to 12% of men who think that way. The survey also found that men are more likely to expect higher job levels during their career, with 29% of men saying they think they will reach a director level or higher, compared to 22% of women. The survey also found that 25% of women never expect to reach above an entry-level role, compared to 9% of men. Almost a third of the women in the survey (31%) said they think theyve hit a glass ceiling within their organizations, and 35% dont expect to reach a salary over $50,000 during their career, compared to 17% of men who expect that salary.

  • WV law gives new option to recover costs of unreturned tools, property

    Changes to the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act (WPCA) during the recent legislative session provide employers a new option for recovering the cost of items not returned by employees upon separation from employment.

  • 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.

  • HR spring cleaning: Clean up your policies, training, and evaluations

    As the weather finally turns from cold and bleak to warm and hopeful, it's a good time to take stock of your current situation and perform some spring cleaning in your HR world. While we are all busy with our day-to-day tasks, all of us need to take a moment to address the broader issues that may affect our organizations. This article discusses various HR areas that you should review and address to potentially make your job easier.