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SHRM Annual 2017: When HR Goes Marching “All In”

Perhaps it was the Jazz riffs greeting us as we made our way through the conference halls, or this year’s theme and call to action for HR to go “All In” regarding their commitment to the HR profession, but SHRM’s 2017 Annual Conference in New Orleans was high-energy, thought-provoking and inspiring.

Sobering Results: Recent Study Suggests Drug Use Is Up Among American Workers

A recent study conducted by the drug testing company Quest Diagnostics indicates that the rate of positive drug test results among the U.S. workforce is at a 12-year high, driven by increased cocaine, amphetamines, and marijuana use. The study’s results track an alarming trend that highlights the continued need for vigilance for signs of use and abuse in the workplace as well as comprehensive prevention, testing, and treatment programs.

Mid-Year Employee Handbook Checkup: Get Ready for 2018

If things get quiet around the workplace this summer, it may be a good idea to revisit your employee handbook and check out policies that may need to be reviewed and/or revised based on recent changes in federal, state and municipal law. With the first half of 2017 under our belts, some areas have been extremely busy in terms of legal developments affecting handbook policies.

Strengthening Data Security Through Human Resources and Information Technology Teamwork

Human Resources (“HR”) and information technology (“IT”) departments play unique and important roles within an organization. With instances of data breaches on the rise, however, companies should be mindful of the importance of regular communication and collaboration between employees in these departments with respect to issues of data security. Addressing such issues should not be tasked only to HR employees or IT departments but, rather, employees from both departments should work in collaboration toward creating and maintaining data protection processes.

NYC’s “Freelance Isn’t Free Act” Might End Up Impacting Businesses Across the Country

Many workers are leaving the comfort and stability of traditional 9 to 5 jobs in favor of more flexible options. This paradigm shift may be new to the general public, but it certainly does not appear to be a passing fad. In fact, in 2016, almost 53 million Americans made a living working in the gig economy. To be clear: that’s nearly 34% of the American workforce (wow!). Recent projections forecast that by 2020, nearly 43% of the American workforce will be comprised of freelancers. So why are workers opting for opportunities in the gig economy over more traditional employment options?

Diversity Ownership: Does It Really Matter Who’s Running the Show?

For those organizations that don’t have a dedicated Diversity & Inclusion Officer, many continue to experiment with where to house their D&I efforts. HR? Legal? Operations? Which departments are driving diversity in most U.S. organizations today, and what are the opportunities and challenges associated with those choices?

Employer Drug Testing in the Age of Legalization

With medical marijuana now legal in 29 states and recreational marijuana use permitted in eight states plus the District of Columbia, some employers are understandably concerned about this trend, especially with a recent Quest Diagnostics report showing drug use at its highest level in 12 years. But these legalization laws don’t mean your company drug testing program necessarily needs to go up in smoke.

Workplace Violence Occurring At Alarming Rate: Time For Employers To Be Proactive

It’s a news headline we’ve seen too often, including several times in recent weeks: another disgruntled employee or former employee has entered the workplace and killed or injured coworkers. What can you do to minimize the chances that your workplace will suffer such a tragedy?

Next Crack In The Wall: NY Uber Drivers Held To Be Employees

Back in October, we reported that there appeared to be the first crack in the wall when it came to classifying Uber drivers as employees instead of independent contractors. At that time, it was reported that the New York State Department of Labor made the determination while granting the drivers unemployment benefits. We weren’t sure how much of an impact these cases would have, however, and concluded by saying “it's unclear how far worker advocates will push these decisions. If they do go to their next levels of review, it is possible for New York's appellate courts to be called upon to step into the fray.”

Dear Littler: Do I Really Have to Let an Employee Bring an “Emotional Support Pig” to Work?

Dear Littler: One of our employees here in Iowa has requested to bring a pet pig to work for “emotional support” purposes. A pig! In a factory! Do I need to entertain her request? And if so, what do I tell other employees?
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