West Virginia News & Analysis

  • Don't be in the dark: what to know about accommodating SAD employees

    Ah, fall—cooler temperatures, vibrant leaves, and football. Unfortunately, the dreaded end to daylight saving time also arrives not long after we welcome fall, signaling shorter days and dark drives home from work. For many of us, the transition to fall is often a pleasant change of pace from a long, hot summer. However, for some people, the beginning of falland the inevitable time changeprompts the onset of a type of depression known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

  • NLRB's resolution to the debate over joint employment

    More than three years ago, employers were aghast when the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) greatly expanded the standard for deeming companies "joint employers" after decades of stability on that issue. The Browning-Ferris Industries decision became one of the most highly criticized NLRB decisions in recent memory, largely because it wholly changed the landscape for how companies do business.

  • HR for the holidays

    (To the tune of "Jingle Bells")

  • Help your attorney defend your case: Document your disciplinary actions

    Except in the most egregious situations, many employers use progressive discipline. We all know the main purpose of progressive discipline is to help employees improve their performance, whatever the issue may be. Employers expend a lot of time, energy, and money hiring, training, and working with employees. Therefore, most employers would much prefer that employees do good work and abide by the rules so they don't have to fire them for failing to do so.

  • How to give your workforce a shot in the arm this flu season

    Knock, knock, it's flu season! This flu season alone, manufacturers plan to distribute between 163 million and 168 million doses of the flu vaccine along with a nasal spray. But with an estimated 9.2 million to 35.6 million reported cases of the flu each year, employers have reason to worry—and not just about reduced productivity when employees fall ill. Many employers attempt to avoid a potential flu pandemic in their workplace by requiring employees to get the flu shot as a preventive measure. This article explains the religious concerns some employers are now facing in their flu battles and provides some alternatives to vaccines.

  • Wellness programs are about more than health insurance costs

    When attorneys talk or write about wellness programs, it's almost always from a highly legal perspective. We could talk all day about the convoluted and overlapping requirements of the various laws that apply to such programs. But this month, we want to take a different approach and look at wellness programs from more of a business perspective.

  • Simple misconduct vs. gross misconduct under unemployment law

    Q We recently suspended an employee for performance issues. We asked him to produce a performance improvement plan (PIP) when he returned, but he didn't, so management created a PIP for him. When he refused to sign the plan, we fired him. Is he eligible for unemployment benefits?

  • Thanksgiving: a time to be thankful for good employees

    All too often, the employment law advice that we provide as practitioners focuses on issues that relate to problem employees. You know these folks—they're the troublemakers, the harassers, the pot-stirrers, the chronically absent, and the habitually tardy. They're the underperformers, the rule breakers, the constant complainers, the leave abusers, the policy violators, the workplace bullies, and the list goes on and on. Often, it's this squeaky-wheel segment of the workforce that receives and monopolizes the vast majority of HR's time, energy, and resources. Such workers are also the ones who command the attention of upper management.

  • Key to investigating workplace harassment claims: Before you assume guilt, listen

    Although not necessarily occurring more often since the #MeToo movement, employees seem to be more apt to report issues and concerns regarding harassment in the workplace. You must take these allegations seriously, but allegations alone aren't enough to presume wrongful conduct. You must conduct a prompt, thorough, and effective investigation to ensure everyone's protection. Every complaint has the potential to result in a lawsuit, so you should not only investigate every complaint, but you must also do it correctly and in a manner in which it can be presented in court.

  • Conducting effective investigations in the workplace

    As an HR professional, you wear many hats during the day. One of your hats is that of an "investigator." From time to time, you may be called on to conduct an investigation regarding various issues that occur in the workplace. Certainly, a thorough investigation can be critical to defending the employment decision you make based on its results. Additionally, it can be used to assist you in any subsequent litigation that results from that employment decision.