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The Modern Workplace

Posts from November 2013.
Social media and technology seem to be doing more harm than good in the workplace this week. A new study suggests that some employers may be using Facebook profiles to discriminate against job applicants based on legally protected information. Other employers have expressed concern about employees' overuse of social medial during the work day. The challenges also extend beyond the workplace walls. For example, employees who are non-exempt under wage and hour laws can bring lawsuits for minimum wage or overtime compensation if not properly paid for work done outside of the ...
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As turkeys and pumpkin pie ingredients fill grocery carts across America, employee privacy issues fill the workplace.  A recent survey shows that younger employees, ages 18 to 25, are more concerned about their privacy in the workplace than their older counterparts.  Meanwhile, some employers are beginning to use surveillance cameras in the workplace to improve safety and efficiency, the way coaches use game film to improve their sports teams performance.  But, back to Thanksgiving.  In the holiday spirit, were providing you information about apps to help you stuff ...
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Posted in Wage & Hour

Many employers have implemented direct deposit payroll systems to reduce the transaction costs associated with paper payroll checks and the risks of the loss or theft of paper checks. A payroll card is an increasingly popular method used by employers to provide for the direct deposit of wages, particularly for employees without a deposit account at a financial institution. A payroll card is a debit or prepaid card onto which the employer loads an employees wages. The employee may then access those wages through withdrawals of cash at an ATM machine or by making purchases using the ...

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This week, Dropbox unveiled its new "Dropbox for Business" initiative, which gives employees a greater ability to establish digital work-life balance.  The product includes two data folders - one for business data and one for personal data so that businesses and workers have the ability to segregate digital work and personal data.  The Dropbox announcement came on the same day that Amazon unveiled a similar product. Airbnb also frequented the headlines this week, both for its new, streamlined app and for the scrutiny its vacation and home rental business is under from regulators.  ...

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Last Thursday, November 7, 2013, the U.S. Senate passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) by a vote of 64-32. Similar to existing federal nondiscrimination laws, ENDA would be enforced by the EEOC and would prohibit most employers with 15 or more employees and labor organizations from taking adverse employment action or treating employees differently because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Although this is a significant step forward for this bill, ENDA still faces tough opposition in the GOP-led House of Representatives, where ...
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From communication methods to office space, technology continues to affect workplace norms. During the week of November 4th, for instance, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case involving the line between technological gear and clothing in the workplace. In the case, steelworkers are seeking to be paid for the time spent putting on flame-retardant jackets and pants, protective leggings, Kevlar sleeves, gloves, steel-toed boots, hard hats, safety glasses, earplugs, and hoods. Under the federal wage and hour law, an employer must pay employees when they engage in a ...

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The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) appears ready to extend its jurisdiction over certain private and religious schools that were previously thought exempt from the NLRBs reach. If it does assert jurisdiction in these cases, the NLRB will act to protect union efforts to organize the schools faculty and other workforces. And just as significantly, an assertion of NLRB jurisdiction over these schools will clearly usher in the potential for direct NLRB involvement in deciding school policies.
The NLRB has several cases involving religious schools lined up for review, the ...
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In the last few years, driving safety initiatives have focused on the dangers of texting while driving. With the rapid evolution of technology, however, new dangers seem to be emerging all the time. Someone received a citation for driving while wearing Google glasses. Its anyones guess what may be next.  Twitter was also front and center this week. The company introduced a new photo preview in its Twitter feeds, Starbucks created gift cards that can be sent via Twitter, and two companies sued Twitter for over $100 million dollars for allegedly hiring them under false pretenses to ...

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