Marathon HR News

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Be Prepared If Tragedy Strikes

By Employment Law, Hiring, Risk Management & Safety

This unfortunate topic is ripped from the headlines and from an email I received from a friend recently. In response to news of a workplace shooting, my friend wrote: “Disturbing – are you fully insured for this? Advice to companies as to how to handle?” Disturbing, indeed. It’s very difficult to create policies that adequately account for tragedies. However, I believe that the best insurance against problems is prevention. Could good hiring practices, background screenings,…

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A Cigarette is a Cigarette

By Drugs in the Workplace, Employment Law

As a follow up to an article in our May newsletter about e-cigarettes, I wanted to share an update with you from the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH). They recently released new recommendations that employers maintain completely smoke-free workplaces. This means treating e-cigarettes just like those made with tobacco. The recommendation comes in an attempt to protect workers from the occupational hazards of tobacco and secondhand smoke or emissions from e-cigarettes. It…

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Are You Sure You Should Ask That?

By Employment Law, Hiring

A 2014 Harris Poll conducted on behalf of CareerBuilder found that 20% of employers have unknowingly asked an illegal interview question. Further, at least a third of employers are unsure about the legality of some interview questions. “It’s important for both interviewer and interviewee to understand what employers do and don’t have a legal right to ask in a job interview – for both parties’ protection,” says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder….

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Safety in the Summertime

By Risk Management & Safety

Earlier this month, I conducted a safety audit with a client and the risk manager raised a few issues that I thought would be helpful to share. The first is the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the summer months. Often, workers will remove hard hats, safety glasses and heavy, steel-toed footwear because it is so hot outside. Employers need to remind workers of the importance of protective gear and enforce their policies about…

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To Pay or Not to Pay Summer Interns?

By Employment Law, Hiring, Payroll

If you are hiring – or have hired – summer interns, you need to do the requisite “summer reading” on whether or not you need to pay them. Traditionally, most interns worked over the summer for the experience and to build their resume. However, unpaid internships have gotten a little more complicated from a legal perspective in recent years. The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) mandates that interns in the “for-profit…

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More on Medical Marijuana

By Drugs in the Workplace

In the 2015 Georgia legislative session, the use of cannabis oil was legalized for medical purposes in the state. (See the Atlanta Journal Constitution article.) Georgia’s new law allows cannabis oil – and oil only – to be used to treat eight medical conditions: cancer, Crohn’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, mitochondrial disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, seizure disorders and sickle cell disease. People may possess up to 20 ounces of cannabis oil with a physician’s…

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Clearing the Air on e-Cigarettes

By Drugs in the Workplace

Most companies have a policy on smoking in place. Over the years, smoking policies have tended to become more stringent, limiting where and when employees may smoke or banning smoking in the workplace altogether. However, the introduction of e-cigarettes and vape pens or open-air vaporizers has created a need to revisit policy. The issue is not as black and white as you may think. E-cigarettes and vaporizers are a $2.5B industry that has seen significant…

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Who Benefits from Wage & Hour Law Changes?

By Employment Law, Payroll

Are the latest changes in federal wage and hour laws good for your business or only good for the government? In a session titled, “What’s New in Wage-Hour,” Matthew Simpson presented on the minimum wage and the impact of cities and states increasing the minimum wage. Simpson stated that raising the minimum wage in markets with a higher cost of living such as New York, NY and San Francisco, CA, is probably appropriate but that…

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Federal Investigators and Lawsuits – on the Rise

By Employment Law

Eight years ago, the federal government had 730 Department of Labor (DOL) investigators. Today, they have 1,000. That means more people available to investigate violations. Further, the process has changed. Employers used to be able to call the DOL and request a ruling by submitting position details. They would get a decision as to whether this was an exempt or non-exempt position and receive a pass on any past violations. Now, the DOL is less…

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The DOL Has an App for That

By Employment Law

Yes, even the Department of Labor (DOL) understands how effective online apps can be. This weekend, when you’re looking for a restaurant for dinner that is free of health violations, use the DOL’s app, Eat Shop Sleep. Users can search for places to eat, shop and sleep and see if there are any pending safety, health or labor issues attached to these businesses as well as read customer reviews. For employees that are using a…

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