Category

Policies and Procedures

Social Media Is Putting People and Companies at Risk. Is Your Position Clear?

By Policies and Procedures, Risk Management & Safety, Technology in the Workplace

As the bad news grows regarding Facebook’s imprudent treatment of user information, you may be wondering if privacy violations are endangering your company or its personnel. At Marathon, we believe it is certainly possible. We recommend prudence as the best course of action. All organizations should have a clearly defined social media “posture” supported by firm policies regarding the use of social media. Companies in industries that involve vulnerable populations, such education, home healthcare (e.g….

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Contractor or Employee—Has a “Business Friendly” Administration Relaxed the Rules?

By Employment Law, Hiring, Policies and Procedures

Last year, President Trump withdrew two Obama-era Department of Labor (DOL) “Guidance Letters,” one of which had made it more difficult for companies to safely classify workers as independent contractors. Some national organizations hailed withdrawal of the guidance as “pro-employer,” but Marathon recommended companies continue to be very cautious with their determinations. Now, we are reiterating that stance. With the withdrawal of the guidance letter, a 2015 “multi-factor test” was no longer relevant. However, the…

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SHRM Weighs in on Employee Handbook Issues

By Best Practices, Harassment and Discrimination, Policies and Procedures, Pregnancy Leave, Risk Management & Safety

Two prominent human resources lawyers, the senior legal editor for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and a legal expert for HR information website ExpertHR, have jointly published an opinion asserting that “cookie-cutter” employee handbooks are no longer practical for many employers, especially those operating in multiple states. As the basis for their recommendation, they cite the trend toward federal deregulation and the volume of both state and local legislative actions. As detailed in the…

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Sexual Harassment Training: More Important than Ever

By Harassment and Discrimination, Policies and Procedures, Risk Management & Safety

With famous individuals falling like dominoes as allegations of sexual misconduct or harassment continue, business owners should be evaluating their corporate stance on sexual harassment. One problem that confronts business owners is defining exactly what does, and doesn’t, constitute sexual harassment. Fortunately, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has published guidance on this issue, and offers an innovative training program, “Respectful Workplaces,” which teaches skills for employees and supervisors to promote and contribute to respect in…

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Dealing with a Drug-Addicted Employee: Dismissal or Treatment?

By Benefits & Insurance, Drugs in the Workplace, Policies and Procedures, Risk Management & Safety

With drug addiction rates continuing to rise—especially for prescription drugs—employers are increasingly dealing with substance-abusing employees. Statistics* indicate approximately 70 percent of drug abusers are employed—some 10 million people. Traditionally, many companies have dismissed personnel who exhibited signs of substance abuse, especially if it happened on the job. Now, the problem has become so rampant—even among trusted personnel at the highest level—that many employers are asking themselves, “Should I dismiss people with substance abuse problems,…

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Top 10 OSHA Violations for 2017—Is Your Firm Safe from Them?

By Employment Law, OSHA Regulations, Policies and Procedures, Risk Management & Safety, Workplace Injuries

At the National Safety Council’s September, 2017 Congress and Expo in Indianapolis, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the top 10 cited violations for 2017.  As you might expect, the number one violation—fall protection—reflects the top cause of workplace injuries—falls. The next three—hazard protection, scaffolding protection and respiratory protection—also related to likely causes of workplace injuries. This list is a reminder to employers that workplace safety is a top priority, and that safety…

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Complying with Payroll Recordkeeping Requirements

By Best Practices, Payroll, Policies and Procedures, Recordkeeping

In the past, we have written about a variety of requirements and forms, from OSHA form to payroll and other accounting documentation. Today, we’ll cover some general guidance related to payroll recordkeeping. This task isn’t easy—although the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are straightforward, other state and federal laws can be complicated and confusing. Additionally, most of them change from time to time. As with so many workplace laws, one principle overrides…

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