NLRB speak on Employee Handbook Provisions (again). Private Sector Employers Take Note.

Coastal Industries, a Jacksonville, Florida employer, thought it had an employee handbook that was compliant with the dictates of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). After a NLRB review of its handbook, however, it got a rude awakening. Remember, the NLRB can find workplace policies to be unfair labor practices at both union and nonunion companies alike.

Within the last couple of years, the NLRB has begun using a test, called the Boeing test, which places workplace policies in one of three categories: (1) lawful, (2) unlawful, or (3) it depends. In reviewing the “it depends” policies, the NLRB will look at both the impact the policy has upon expression covered by Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) (which protects what is known as “concerted activity”) as well as whether the employer has a good business reason for creating the rule.

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A Four Day Workweek?

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It sounds dreamy doesn’t it? The other morning on my drive to work, I heard a story on the radio program Marketplace about four day workweeks.  According to the most recent Marketplace – Edison Research Poll, nearly two-thirds of the workers polled said they would prefer a four day workweek with ten hour days over the standard eight hour, five day workweek. I suppose the allure of the four day workweek depends on the nature of your work.  For me, the thought of work piling up in my absence and having to play catch-up – each and every week – would create more stress than benefit.  Apart from the issue of balancing the continuous flow of work, the Marketplace story made me wonder about employment law implications of a ten hour, four day workweek. Continue Reading

Covering Summer Interns Under Your Employee Benefit Plans – You Can’t Just Forget About Them

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It is prime time of the year for hiring “interns.” They usually are high school, college or even graduate students looking for work experience. Certain interns may be unpaid (the analysis of whether interns must be paid is an important issue but beyond the scope of this blog post). However, many companies provide paid internships. If the interns are paid employees, you may have to cover them under your employee benefit plans.  At a minimum, you can’t just think “oh, those are interns, not real employees; I don’t need to worry about them for benefits.” Think again. Continue Reading

Is It Already Hurricane Season Again?

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It is time to stock up on bottled water and fresh batteries and consider trimming those trees. It is also time for businesses to dust off and freshen up their emergency policies and procedures. Please see our suggestions below on what to review. Continue Reading

Gourmet popcorn, a lunch buffet, and the Dating Game

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What do gourmet popcorn, a lunch buffet, and the Dating Game have in common? They were all a part of our Annual Labor & Employment Law Seminars in Tampa and Miami. For those of you who need a refresher or weren’t able to join us, we’ve included our top takeaways from both seminars below.

We look forward to sharing even more advice in 2020- cheers to avoiding a “Nasti Law Zoot” and congratulations to our blog contest winners! You will receive complimentary registrations to your choice of one of our 2020 Seminars. Continue Reading

Grooming Standards: No Longer So “Hair-Larious”

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After seeing several players’ hair covering their jersey numbers during a performance of the Star Spangled Banner, former New York Yankees’ owner, George Steinbrenner, instructed the players to cut their hair. It was then, in 1973, that the New York Yankees’ grooming policy was born.  The official team policy states that, “all players, coaches, and male executives are forbidden to display any facial hair other than mustaches (except for religious reasons), and scalp hair may not be grown below the collar.” Over the years, many have commented about the policy and some have openly rebelled. Continue Reading

Comparing Apples to Apples: How Do You Prove Discrimination?

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On March 21, 2019, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers employers in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama) issued a decision that helps us answer this question: How do employees prove they were victims of unlawful discrimination in the workplace? Lewis v. City of Union City, Ga., No. 15-11362 (11th Cir. Mar. 21, 2019).  For those of you with lots of time on your hands, you can click on the hyperlink and read the 100-page decision. Yawn.   For everyone else, here’s the skinny on this case. . . Continue Reading

Biometric Time Keeping and Employee Tracking – Thumbs Up or Down?

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Unless you recently woke up from a cryogenic slumber, your biometric information is out there. In today’s world, devices scan our palms before taking standardized tests. We unlock our phones with our fingers and our face. And we bicker with our named audio speakers in order to turn down the tunes. But whatever the method, biometric identification devices are mainstream, and employers will have to decide whether using this technology is worthwhile. Continue Reading

An Ounce of Benefits is Worth a Pound of Pay

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The United States is currently nearing full employment with the unemployment rate under 4%. Such a hypercompetitive labor market calls for innovation and creativity in luring and retaining top talent. A new study that sheds light on how employees value benefits may help employers maximize the “bang for the buck” of benefits packages offered to prospective and current workers.

An article published by Bloomberg highlights a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper that reveals which benefits employees prefer, and actually assigns a dollar amount that employees are willing to forgo in the form of wages in exchange for each benefit. The study’s data (displayed below) shows that in many cases American workers are willing to forgo “substantial” earnings in exchange for specific non-wage benefits that more than offset the equivalent cost to the employer of offering such benefits. Continue Reading

Reading Your Employment Policy Documents Probably Won’t Win You $10,000- It Could Be Worth Much More

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Recently, an insurance company released a story about a secret contest it launched offering $10,000 to the first person who read their insurance policy. The catch: the only way you could find out about the contest was to actually read the policy. 73 policies were sold and sent out before someone claimed the prize.

Insurance policies are not the only important documents that people fail to read. Most people receive a hefty stack of paperwork when starting a new job such as the employee handbook, benefits documents and other important documents. Most people just read the first few pages before signing a form stating that they agree to all the terms and conditions. Continue Reading