Do new hires have to be a culture club fit?

February 9th, 2018

Do new hires have to be a culture club fit? Patty McCord, former chief talent officer of Netflix doesn't think so. READ THIS deep dive (3500+ words) from Patty, SHRM and Harvard Business Review. 

In Patty's words: "The process requires: 

  • probing beneath the surface of people and their résumés
  • engaging managers in every aspect of hiring
  • treating your in-house recruiters as true business partners
  • adopting a mindset in which you're always recruiting
  • coming up with compensation that suits the performance you need and the future you aspire to."

But it is a whole bunch more than five bullet points.

This is for start-ups to multi-nationals. Again, READ THIS.

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Telecommuting or remote (control) workers

February 8th, 2018

With the advances in technology in the last 20 years, the need for some employees to commute to the office daily has dropped drastically. Telecommuting, or working outside the office (usually in the employee’s home), has become a popular arrangement as it offers some clear advantages for employees and employers, including:

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Remote workers and telecommuting

February 8th, 2018

Millions of employees work during normal business hours from a home office with the support of computers, Internet, faxes, telephones, smartphones and tablets. From 2008 to 2014, the percent of employers allowing telecommuting on a regular basis rose from 23% to 38%. Telecommuting has and will continue to raise special wage and hour considerations. Telecommuting also need not be an all or nothing proposition. Employers are experimenting with many different models for alternative work arrangements

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When former employees ask for references

February 7th, 2018

When former employees ask for references, you should: a.) go all Chatty Cathy, b.) reference EvilHRLady, or c.) channel Darth Vader and "deal with them" yourself.

Suzanne Lucas (aka Evil HR Lady) asked six labor and employment lawyers, including our authors at Constangy, and shared them in the article. Here is some of what she heard:

  • avoid them
  • be aware of legal obligations
  • scratch my back and I'll scratch yours
  • know the code
  • ad hoc is not a policy
  • be honest

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Model written lock out/tag out program

February 6th, 2018

Not all employers need a lock out/tag out program, but if you do, well, then here you go. Again, this is a MODEL program, so it is a place to start, not a finished product, which means you need to read through this and understand how this applies to you and your company and employees and then edit to meet your needs. 

All that said, it does come from our book Workplace Safety and Health Compliance Manual, which is authored by Edwin G Foulke, Jr. at Fisher Phillips, who was the head of OSHA for two and a half years, during which time workplace injury, illness and fatality rates dropped to their lowest levels in recorded history. So you would have that going for you.

So click on the "OSHA model written lock out/tag out program" above and have at it.

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Conducting internal I-9 audits

February 6th, 2018

For many years, an employer that wanted to conduct internal audits did its best based on legal advice and common sense without knowing what the government would think of its efforts and if, in attempting to correct errors, it might inadvertently have created other issues. 


In December of 2015, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (USCIS) and the OSC issued a joint document entitled “Guidance for Employers Conducting Internal Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 Audits.”  USCIS also updated its I-9 Central webpage with “Frequently Asked Questions: Self-Audits.”  An employer is still advised to consult with legal counsel if questions or issues arise while conducting an internal audit of its I-9 forms, but at least now employers have a better idea what position the government would take on certain issues relating to self-audits of the Form I-9.

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Wrong table cat

February 5th, 2018

Wrong table cat – there are new income tax withholding tables. SHRM shows you where to find them (use no later than Feb. 15), some FAQs, info on a new W-4 and the updated withholding tax calculator.

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They might be giants . . . transforming healthcare?

February 2nd, 2018

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase (not the 80s alt rock band) are the giants. Can they provide high-quality health care for a lower cost? 

Three perspectives:

  • SHRM breaks down how it might affect definitely-not-giant employers 
  • NPR provides a good overview
  • Forbes says it "could disrupt healthcare and capitalism as we know it" (cue R.E.M.)

Bonus if you can identify which of the giants used “tapeworm” in the announcement. Double bonus it you can pick out the publication that didn’t mention it.

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The Nebraska Chamber has issued a W-2 challenge to state taxpayers

February 2nd, 2018

In 2016, Nebraska families and businesses paid the state more than $2.2 billion in individual income taxes.  Yet many taxpayers have no idea how much they are paying in state income taxes.  

The Nebraska Chamber wants all state taxpayers to carefully examine their W-2 forms and know exactly how much they are paying in state income taxes. 

Nebraska Chamber members are encouraged to share this challenge with their employees, co-workers, friends and family.  This is especially important in a year in which lawmakers are examining possible changes to Nebraska's tax system

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The impact of super bowl(ing)

January 31st, 2018

The impact of the super bowl(ing) will extend far beyond the almost interminable pre- and post- and game. Approach this now with a nose hit and address gambling, dress codes, productivity and attendance.

Rich Meneghello, one of our anchors and frequent blog authors from Fisher Phillips, will fill you in and spares you the legalese with a split discussion: leading up to the game and the day after.

So don’t just be throwing rocks: pick a lane (not a blocked lane), set your maples, don’t be a hambone. With a clean sheet as your foundation, you can frame this not as a wash out or a turkey, but rack it up as a perfect game and maybe see a return with a cherry and not a sour apple. So leave the deadwood without a foul. Strike on, not strike out and everything will schleifer, just like it always does. Right?

Bolded terms courtesy of

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12 steps to handling violence in the workplace

January 30th, 2018

This blog is an excerpt from our book Workplace Safety and Health Compliance Manual by Edwin G Foulke, Jr. at Fisher Phillips. For more information, go to the Products tab above and subscribe.

  1. Adopt and publicize a zero-tolerance policy regarding threats, harassment, and violence in the workplace.

  2. Update/review employment application as well as pre-employment background checks and interviewing procedures to identify signs of potential problem applicants. Conduct thorough background investigation on all job applicants.

  3. Prepare and utilize release forms for personnel records from previous employers, course transcripts from educational institutions, certification records from training and professional organizations, credit reports from consumer credit reporting agencies and criminal conviction records from law enforcement agencies, subject to applicable federal, state and local laws.

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Workplace retaliation: don't give in to the Dark Side

January 26th, 2018

Workplace retaliation: don't give in to the Dark Side (e.g. get mad, get even, look silly). Instead, spend 8 minutes with this video from our authors at Constangy.

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Would you really want to work with a bunch of yous?

January 25th, 2018

Hiring more of you is a hiring bias. And could be illegal. And stupid (no offense). Thanks to our authors at Gunster for pointing us to 3 common hiring biases and how to overcome them at

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What is the ADA?

January 25th, 2018

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed by President George H. W. Bush in 1990. It became effective July 26, 1992. It was most recently amended in 2008 with proposed regulations issued in September 2009 as to these amendments.

The ADA’s purpose was to address and prohibit discrimination against persons with disabilities in matters relating to employment, housing, public accommodations, education, transportation, communication, recreation, health services, voting, institutionalization, and access to public services. According to initial Congressional findings, approximately 43 million Americans are disabled, either physically or mentally. This number will increase as the population becomes older and as the ADA Amendments go into effect. For more information, see Chapter 15, The ADA Amendments Act of 2008.

The ADA consists of five titles or sections:

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Monty Python should not write your job descriptions

January 24th, 2018

A job description is like a Monty Python sketch – you shouldn't have to explain it. @RealEvilHRLady has four pointers . . . for your job descriptions.

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