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Wessels Sherman Labor and Employment Law Blog

Lessons Learned: Effective Documentation

"The importance of documentation" is an axiomatic, and almost trite, battle cry that human resource professionals constantly beat into the psyches of their supervisors - quite often to no avail. But what, really, is "documentation?" When do you do it? How do you do it? And, what, exactly, are you supposed to document? More importantly, have you ever conveyed this information to your supervisors?

Employer Concern (Fear?) in 2018

As we open the book on Calendar 2018, there are various concerns for Employers. Obviously, the recent passage of a major overhaul of the United States Tax Code will present many opportunities to Employers, both from an accounting perspective (alleged tax savings) and also from a perspective of handling payroll systems. Obviously, this will be a continuing concern in 2018, but there are three (3) other areas that may "bode ill" for Employers.

All Employers in North Carolina Must Now Post an Independent Contractor Notice

There is a wide variation, state by state, as far as the treatment of the independent contractor versus employee classification issue. Laws regarding independent contractor status and unemployment insurance benefits, workers' compensation coverage, overtime, etc. vary widely from state to state. Yes, there are also Federal laws which impact independent contractor status; but, increasingly, states are enacting new and creative laws requiring employers to "jump through hoops" as far as permitting independent contractor usage.

Employers Need to Remain Diligent Regarding Discrimination/Retaliation Investigations in 2018

On November 15, 2017, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") issued its annual performance and accountability report. In the report the EEOC states that:

Take Steps to Avoid Overly Inflated Performance Reviews

As 2017 comes to an end, many companies will perform their annual employee performance reviews. Companies typically do performance reviews at the beginning of the calendar or their fiscal year or at the employee's anniversary with the company. No matter when you perform reviews, companies need to be careful that managers do not over rate their subordinates. Many managers (sometimes unconsciously) over rate the employees they are reviewing. There are numerous reasons this happens.

Can a Great Human Resources Department End Sexual Harassment in Your Company?

Unfortunately, no. The answer to stopping sexual harassment problems in a company is more complicated and difficult than just hiring an extremely dedicated and motivated Human Resources Department. Every person in the Company must be fully trained to understand the total unacceptability of sexual harassment (and, at the most basic level, fully understand what sexual harassment is-and how to complain when observing and/or experiencing it).

Private employers should have sexual harassment prevention training to prevent a "#MeToo" moment

Unfortunately, claims of sexual harassment are happening everywhere in today's society. Hollywood, Washington, DC and New York are prime examples. Illinois employers, don't be naïve - it happens in Illinois too!

Keeping Sexual Harassment Out of Your Workplace

Over the past few months (and if you go back a little longer, over the past few years), allegations of sexual harassment have permeated the media. Whether it be Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Bill O'Reilly, Al Franken, or Roy Moore, the media has had a field day in discussing sexual harassment issues. There have been numerous articles written about why "our culture" has allowed this phenomenon to exist. From the extremely high judicial standard in the Courts establishing within the Law proof of sexual harassment, to the fear of individuals to report sexual harassment because of its disdain, potential skepticism and shunning of the alleged victim, to the inability to fully investigate and document claims, all have been analogized as potential problem areas giving rise to the persistence of sexual harassment.

Illinois Employers Should Use Caution with Having Low-Income Employees Sign Covenants-Not-To-Compete

The unemployment rate in Illinois continues to decline, as is the case nationally. As of the time of writing this article, the state wide unemployment rate in Illinois is 4.6% and numerous experts predict that this rate will go lower as the economy continues to improve. Some cities in Illinois have unemployment rates as low as 3.4%. What this means for employers is that it may become even more difficult to fill open positions.

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