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Many Factors to Consider When Employing Unpaid Volunteers

It is highly unlikely that a for-profit business can make use of unpaid volunteers; the organization would generally have to be nonprofit to do so.   Determining Volunteer Status   When determining whether one is a volunteer, the intent of the parties is the controlling factor.   If the person intends to volunteer his or …

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What to Do About E-Cigarettes and the Workplace

The relatively recent introduction of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and personal vaporizers is adding new complications to the issue of smoking in the workplace. These products vaporize liquid containing nicotine so the vapor can be inhaled by users. The increased popularity of the products is raising new questions about the exact nature of e-smoking and whether …

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Employee (Un)Engagement: Unhappy Employees Are Costing You Billions

70 percent of American workers are unhappy at work and it’s costing businesses billions of dollars per year. Find out what a recent survey says about the cost of unhappy employees.   Gallup recently reported on the state of the American workplace, and it’s not pretty.   Twenty percent of workers are actively disengaged, and …

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Is an EEO Policy Statement Required? Q&A

Q:       We know that we cannot discriminate against people because of their race, religion, gender, etc., and we assume our job applicants and employees know that we cannot, and would not, do that as an employer. So, should we include an EEO policy in our handbook?   A:        Absolutely. Interestingly, employers that do not receive …

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Retaliatory Discharge: How Much Are You Exposed? Q&A

Q:       We have supervisor who is recommending the termination of an employee who recently complained she was being harassed by a coworker. The supervisor says her performance has declined over the last few weeks and that she has been tardy several times. We resolved the harassment complaint, but should we be concerned that she may …

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Visible Tattoos, Other Dress Code Issues Arise in Warmer Weather

We have a strict no visible tattoos policy as we work with a very conservative population. We hired a new employee recently, and when he reported to work today, he was wearing the company-mandated short-sleeved shirt revealing heavily tattooed lower arms. Can we rescind our offer of employment?   Tattoos do not typically fall within …

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Can We Ask About Back Problems Before Job Offer? Q&A

Q: Can we ask applicants about potential back problems? We have hired a couple of employees who had significant back problems that were not apparent during the interview process and now their problems are causing lost work and productivity.   A: As a general rule, asking applicants about their medical histories, including back problems, is …

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Money As A Powerful Demotivator (Don’t Let This Happen To Your Employees)!

A friend recently confided her salary to me, and I was shocked at how little she makes. I know my friend is worth a lot more, and I’m pretty sure her organization could pay more. But never mind my feelings. More importantly, my friend has some feelings on the matter, and they aren’t positive. In fact, I’d …

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