Benefits and Compensation

Hassles: Old—Harassment—and New—Technology

Segal, a partner in the Philadelphia office of Duane Morris LLP offered his tips at the SHRM Annual Conference and Exhibition, held recently in Atlanta.

Harassment Remains a Problem

Before 1986, sexual harassment was not recognized. Then came the 1986 Vinson case and the 1991-Hill-Thomas hearings. They raised public awareness on sexual harassment and there was a dramatic increase in sexual harassment claims. Subsequently, there has been an increase in claims of other kinds of harassment, such as race, color and religion.

Harassment prevention is valuable and necessary, but sometimes there’s an overbroad definition of harassment, and sometimes employees claim appropriately managing them is harassing them.

Define harassment broadly but not endlessly, says Segal. If the alleged offense is not harassment but just management, say so and support management.

Also, says Segal, teach safe cross-gender mentoring.

2525? Employee right to Select Manager Act


Compensation.BLR.com, now thoroughly revamped with easier navigation and more complete compensation information, will tell you what’s being paid right in your state—or even metropolitan area—for hundreds of jobs. Try it at no cost and get a complimentary special report. Read more.


Hassles of Today’s Technology

We’ve come from letters through fax and email to social media, Segal notes. Here are his social media suggestions.

As for the question of social media background checks, Segal says, the legal worry is finding out demographic information you don’t want, like sex and age. But once you’ve interviewed the person, you pretty much have that data, so the risk of the social media search is reduced.

If you do discover something that leads you to reject a candidate, Segal says, for instance, offensive ethnic jokes or partying and drinking and driving, print out the page and write “bad judgment” on it. (Print it because it might be gone tomorrow.)

Avoid ‘friending,” says Segal, because, again, you’ll find out things you don’t want to know:

  • “The medication is helping.”
  • “I just found out my mother has cancer and her mother died from it.”
  • “I’m being harassed” (and you didn’t read that day)

As for Twitter, find out who’s following you, says Segal. It might be a plaintiffs’ lawyer.

2525? Computer chip in brain so you can receive messages directly without reading 

Lawyerws following you on Twitter? Just one of many issues with which comp and benefits managers must deal. There’s no shortage of challenges, is there? “Maintain internal equity and external competitiveness and control turnover, but still meet management’s demands for lowered costs.” Heard that one before?  Many of the professionals we serve find helpful answers to all their compensation questions at Compensation.BLR.com, BLR’s comprehensive compensation website.

And there’s great news: The site has just been revamped in two important ways. First, compliance focus information has been updated to include the latest on COBRA, Lilly Ledbetter, and FMLA. Second, user features are enhanced to make the site even quicker to respond to your particular needs:

  • Topics Navigator—Lets you drill down by topical areas to get to the right data fast.
  • Customizable Homepage—Can be configured to display whatever content you want to see most often.
  • Menu Navigation—Displays all of the main content areas and tools that you need in a simple, easy format.
  • Quick Links—Enables you to quickly navigate to all the new and updated content areas.

The services provided by this unique tool include:

  • Localized Salary Finder. Based on reliable research among thousands of employers, here are pay scales (including 25th, 50th, 75th, and 90th percentiles) for hundreds of commonly held jobs, from line worker to president of the company. The data are customized for your state and metro area, your industry, and your company size, so you can base your salaries on what’s offered in your specific market, not nationally.

Try BLR’s all-in-one compensation website, Compensation.BLR.com, and get a complimentary special report, Top 100 FLSA Overtime Q&As, no matter what you decide. Find out more.


  • State and Federal Wage-Hour and Other Legal Advice. Plain-English explanations of wage-hour and other compensation and benefits-related law at both federal and state levels. “State” means the laws of your state because the site is customized to your use. (Other states can be added at a modest extra charge.)
  • Job Descriptions. The website provides them by the hundreds, already written, legally reviewed, and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandate that essential job functions be separated from those less critical. All descriptions carry employment grade levels to current norms—another huge time-saver.
  • Merit Increase, Salary, and Benefits Surveys. The service includes the results of three surveys a year. Results for exempt and nonexempt employees are reported separately.
  • Daily Updates. Comp and benefits news updated daily (as is the whole site).
  • "Ask the Experts" Service. E-mail a question to our editors and get a personalized response within 3 business days.

If we sound as if we’re excited about the program, it’s because we are. For about $3 a working day, the help it offers to those with compensation responsibilities is enormous.

This one’s definitely worth a look, which you can get by clicking the links below.

Click here to get more information or start a no-cost trial and get a complimentary special report!