Do You Know What Your Employees Really Want?

Yo, I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want. So, tell me what you want, what you really really want.
From “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls

Are financial rewards the best way to motivate employees?

In employee/employer survey after survey over the last 70 years, there has been a continuing disconnect between what employers think employees value most and what employees actually value most. The trend continues up through today.

Here are the survey results ranked in order — 1 being the most valued and 10 being the least valued: Continue Reading

Baseball’s Winter of Discontent

What can we learn from Major League Baseball’s currently unemployed players? Employee satisfaction has become increasingly important as employees expect fulfillment in their careers (both financially and with work-life balance programs and benefits). Whether unionized or not, it is important to analyze a company’s culture and the industry to consider what motivates employees. Continue Reading

#MeToo Movement Motivating State AGs to Seek Changes In Federal Law

Last week, the Attorneys General (“AGs”) in each state and U.S. territory all announced their support for ending mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment claims.  They wrote Congress that the “secrecy requirements of arbitration clauses” as applied to sexual harassment claims “disserve the public interest … [by creating] a culture of silence that protects perpetrators at the cost of their victims” and that victims “have a right to their day in court.” Continue Reading

“What Did You Make at Your Last Job?” – Is That Still a Question?

Amazon recently made a voluntary decision to ban the use of salary history questions during the employment application process. Why?

The idea is that banning questions about salary history aims to close the gender pay gap. According to the Census Bureau, women make 80% of every dollar a man makes. Many argue that the gender pay gap widens as women and men age. Furthermore, according to, “a woman who is asked about her salary history and declines to disclose earns 1.8 percent less than a woman who discloses. If a man declines to disclose, he gets paid 1.2 percent more on average.” Continue Reading

Morale Makes Money: How Starbucks Raised The Bar(ista)… Again

Last week, the CEO of Starbucks, Kevin Johnson, announced the ‘Partner and Family Sick Time’ benefits for all of Starbucks’ U.S. employees. Starbucks is giving employees a number of additional perks, including increased wages, stock grants, six-week paid parental leave for non-birth giving parents and five days of paid sick leave per year.  The $250 million stock and benefit package follows similar offerings by other American companies like Walmart, Apple Inc. and American Airlines Group Inc.. So, what is the upside? Continue Reading

Continued Work Authorization for Haitian Nationals in TPS

On November 20, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) terminated the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Haiti, with a delayed effective date of July 22, 2019. It was not until January 18, however, that the DHS provided guidance to Haitian nationals and their employers about what would happen come January 22, 2018, when the previously issued Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) are set to expire.

Haitian nationals wishing to remain in the U.S. in TPS must re-register during the 60 day period from January 18 to March 19, 2018. Haitian nationals must file Form I-821 during this 60 day window. There is no filing fee, but Haitian nationals age 14 and older must pay the $85.00 biometric fee. Continue Reading

Does Sexual Harassment Training Work?

The New York Times ran an article on December 11, 2017, titled, “Sexual Harassment Training Doesn’t Work. But Some Things Do.”

The article describes sexual harassment training as an exercise that consists of “clicking through a PowerPoint, checking a box that you read the employee handbook or attending a mandatory seminar at which someone lectures about harassment while attendees glance at their phones.” According to the article, the type of training to which we’re accustomed fails to achieve what should be the primary goal – preventing sexual harassment in the first place – because training is geared towards providing a defense to liability. Continue Reading

Tax Reform: Confidential Sexual Harassment Settlements Come With a Price

The recently passed tax act promises to have wide ranging impacts on businesses which go beyond the accounting department. There have been attempts by other agencies such as the SEC, EEOC, DOL and NLRB to limit the confidentiality of settlements.  The new tax act follows suit by including a provision which makes confidential payments or settlements including any related attorney’s fees for sexual harassment or sexual abuse nondeductible.

The specific language of the new act states: Continue Reading

Restaurants and Hotels: Are We Reaching a “Tipping” Point on Tips?

Florida and federal law allow restaurants and hotels to pay tipped employees minimum wage, less a credit of $3.02 per hour against tips received. Tips can be pooled and then redistributed to those who are in traditionally tipped positions.  However, if an employer wrongly allows non-tipped employees to share in the tips (e.g., supervisors, maintenance, cooks, dishwashers, chefs and other back-of-the house employees), the employer loses the ability to take the $3.02 per hour tip credit. Continue Reading

Work Authorization for Honduran and Nicaraguan Nationals in TPS

On Friday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Honduran nations will be extended by six months, to July 5, 2018, while the administration decides whether to continue TPS designation for Honduras. The DHS also announced that it would not renew TPS designation for Nicaragua and that TPS status for Nicaraguans would expire on January 5, 2019. Currently, nationals of Honduras and Nicaragua in TPS have work authorization to January 5, 2018, but with the announcements, both groups receive automatic extensions of their Employment Authorization Documents (EAD). Continue Reading