Peter Wootton
Making the Workplace a Safe Place to Speak Up. Right now, organizations across the country are asking themselves what they can do to make their workplaces more inclusive, diverse, and equitable, particularly for Black employees. They’re hosting conversations, acknowledging areas where they’ve fallen short, and identifying opportunities for improvement. For these efforts to be successful, employees need to be able to speak freely, offering critical and candid feedback about individual behaviors, workplace practices, and organizational policies. None of this can happen, however, if people believe it isn’t safe for them to speak up. It often isn’t. Employees who report harassment and discrimination, speak candidly to their supervisors, or challenge the status quo often find themselves excluded from projects, denied a promotion, or out of a job. According to a study by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commision (EEOC), 75% of employees who spoke out against workplace mistreatment fac
Peter Wootton
Putting At-Will Employment at Risk “At-will” employment refers to a common-law rule that the employment relationship may be terminated by the employer or the employee at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice, for any reason (allowed by law) or no reason at all. The intent behind this rule is to allow either the employee or employer to terminate the employment relationship without financial liability to the other. To minimize the risks of wrongful termination claims, every employer needs to understand at least three big exceptions to the employment at-will concept. Illegal Reasons for Termination At-will employment only extends to reasons that are permitted by law. The law allows for pretty much any reason at all, so long as it is not based on a person’s inclusion in a protected class. For example, you could legally terminate an employee for coming to work with pink hair, but not because the employee revealed that they have social anxiety. However, you should be car
Peter Wootton
Do You Reimburse Employees For Individual Health Insurance? If you do, please read this important information. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will begin impacting employers of all sizes with additional changes in just another week. One of the lesser known regulations that will impact employers relates to offering reimbursements to employees to purchase individual health insurance outside of a company plan. The IRS issued guidance last year (Notice 2013-54) stating that tax-free employer payment arrangements are considered group health plans subject to the ACA restrictions. With a few minor exceptions, these plans fail to meet ACA requirements for a variety of reasons, the most important being that group health plans that are used to purchase coverage in the individual market cannot be integrated with individual market policies. This does not apply if if you only have one participating employee. If you have more than one employee participating in this sort of arrangement, you shoul

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