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Your Update from XpertHR...

December 11, 2013

Featured Content

Payroll Year-End Preparation
These tools and resources can help an employer ensure a successful year-end that is free of noncompliance penalties and fines.

How to Protect Trade Secrets When Employing a Mobile Workforce and Telecommuters
This new How To offers step-by-step guidance for safeguarding trade secrets from vulnerabilities that can result from employees working at home or remote sites.

New California Employment Law Developments Affecting HR
Our latest podcast covers a range of developments in this bellwether state, from paid family leave to criminal background checks.

Content Spotlight:
Performance Appraisals

As the calendar year draws to a close, many supervisors will begin the task of preparing to conduct a performance appraisal. Employees may take part in the process as well, whether by performing a self-evaluation or by contributing 360 degree feedback.

Regardless of the format, supervisors should ensure that any concerns discussed during an appraisal meeting do not come as a surprise to the employee. An employee's performance should be evaluated on a regular basis, so that he or she receives contemporaneous praise and constructive criticism in order to improve job skills.

Employees should receive an accurate and fair appraisal of their work: supervisors should reject the practice of "grade inflation" in order to avoid an uncomfortable conversation. If addressing poor performance, a supervisor may elect to place the employee on a performance improvement plan (PIP) in order to communicate not only specific performance concerns but also practical performance goals.

Marta Moakley

Marta Moakley is the legal editor for the training and development, employee retention, performance appraisals, promotions, employee communications, managing employees in special situations, employee discipline, and recordkeeping and minimizing liability content in the employee management section of XpertHR.

Prior to joining XpertHR, she worked as an assistant attorney general with the Florida Attorney General's Office, and as an Equal Opportunity Specialist for the US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights. Marta also served as a law clerk to the Hon. Paul C. Huck, Senior US District Judge for the Southern District of Florida.

State News

Ohio Federal Court Rules "Crying Spells" Formed Basis for FMLA Claim
Missouri's Minimum Wage Will Rise to $7.50 in 2014
With Help From Feds, California Fines Restaurants for Minimum Wage, Overtime Violations


Federal News

Quest Diagnostics Study Reveals Workplace Drug Use Declined Over Past 25 Years
$2.75 Million ARAMARK Settlement Shows Risks of Rounding Employees' Work Time
NLRB to Charge Wal-Mart for Retaliating Against 2012 Black Friday Protesters



January 9 - Bundles of Joy, Bushels of Paperwork: Pregnancy and Postpartum Issues in the Workplace
Previously Recorded - How to Make Your Workplace Holiday Party Sparkle ... With No Legal Hangovers
Previously Recorded - Yes, the National Labor Relations Act Applies to YOU! The NLRA and NLRB's Impact on Non-Union Workplaces


Contributor Spotlight

Barbara G. Stephenson is a shareholder/director at the law firm of Sheehan & Sheehan, PA in Albuquerque, NM. Ms. Stephenson has more than 30 years of legal experience and, since 1990, has worked exclusively in employment defense work. Read more...
Barbara G. Stephenson, Sheehan & Sheehan, PA

From Our Blog

Four Headaches Facing Multistate Employers in the US
Keeping Secrets Secret in a Mobile Workplace
Avoid Holiday Party Hazards by Following These Dos and Don'ts


New on XpertHR

Updates were made to four country guides in our International Manual on issues such as minimum wages, part-time workers and apprenticeships.

What criteria will a court use to evaluate whether an employee or employer owns a social media account used for business purposes?

A court will review the following factors in determining whether an employer or employee owns a social media account that is used for business purposes: 1) Whether the employee and employer entered into a social media account ownership agreement; Read more...
Coming Soon

How to Investigate a Claim of Workplace Harassment or Bullying and more...

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XpertHR covers a wide range of employment law and HR topics, and we often send out press releases to showcase the latest developments about our product, such as studies we've conducted and new trending news articles. Most recently, our Top 10 LGBT-Employment Friendly States press release was covered by The Huffington Post, AOL Jobs and other reputable sources. To read our most recent releases, select Press Releases from the Quick Links box on the homepage.

Editor's Message
Are you having a workplace holiday party? Every year I get sent the mock email thread from the poor HR Manager who is planning a holiday party but finds out the hard way some of the sensitivities and risks involved in the planning and communications. Sadly, most in HR can relate to the sometimes-painful truth behind the humor.

We were fortunate to have Robin Shea, JD, of Constangy host a webinar on this very topic on Dec. 2. Feel free to listen to the complimentary recording. We've also compiled a hot topic on holiday parties that includes a myriad of tools to help you plan an enjoyable party while minimizing risks to your employer.

Peggy Carter-Ward
Head of Content

Avoid Legal Hangovers From Your Office Holiday Party
Key Social Media Issues Affecting the Workplace
OFCCP's Rule Changes Bring Big Implications for Contractors

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