Tag: Privacy

Debunking Common FMLA Myths

by Joseph C. Pettygrove The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was very complicated when it was originally enacted in 1993. The sheer number of complaints filed with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the courts since then confirms that employers and employees have long disagreed about how the law applies in their individual […]

Health Care Reform Gives Employer Wellness Programs a Boost — But Be Careful

by  Susan Fahey Desmond Well, here it is — the Health Care Reform and Control Act. Beginning January 1, 2014, every individual will be required to have “minimum essential coverage” through individual market, employer-provided or certain other coverage (e.g., Medicare or CHIP).  Also, beginning January 12, 2014, any employer who employed an average of 50 […]

Supreme Court Rules Public Employee’s Text Messages Not Private

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a public employer did not violate an employee’s constitutional privacy rights by searching his personal (and often sexually explicit) text messages that were sent and received on his employer-issued pager. The Backstory The City of Ontario, California, issued pagers that could send and receive text messages to Ontario […]

Employee Fired for Disseminating Inappropriate E-mail at Work

By Alix Herber While many employees are allowed to access and use the Internet and e-mail on company computers for “limited” personal use, it’s not uncommon for them to misuse this privilege. In Poliquin v. Devon Canada Corporation, the Alberta Court of Appeal was asked whether an employee could be fired for cause because he […]

Using Wellness Programs to Reduce Health Care Costs

by Susan Fahey Desmond In addressing the ever increasing costs of health care in the United States, Congress is looking at options that would theoretically make health insurance more affordable to Americans. The task of making health insurance more affordable to all is monumental. President Obama has said, “There’s no quick fix; there’s no silver […]

Employers Should Be Prepared in Case Swine Flu Strikes

On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the H1N1 virus, commonly known as the swine flu, has officially reached the level of a pandemic. Swine flu first became big news in the U.S in late April and early May, but within a couple of weeks was off most people’s radars. Although it […]

The Facebook Generation: Social Networking and the Hiring Process

Imagine that you’re a hiring representative for your employer (in this case, a Burger King restaurant), and you’ve just discovered how to use MySpace. You decide to check the profiles of the employees who work the midnight shift. While perusing one employee’s profile, you notice a link to a video. As you click on it, […]

A ‘Routine’ Background Check in Canada? There’s No Such Thing

by Derek Knoechel In 1990, a 21-year-old woman was caught shoplifting. She then pleaded guilty to a charge of theft, receiving a conditional discharge. Some five years later, she applied for a position with the Montreal police force. So began a 13-year legal odyssey culminating in a Supreme Court of Canada decision (Montréal (City) v. […]

What Can HR Do About Workplace Gossip?

Let’s face it. We’re living in a society that’s fascinated, if not obsessed, with the private lives of other people. As much as you may want to deny it, you know you’ve looked at the National Enquirer more than once — even if it was just while you were waiting in the grocery store checkout […]

Ministers in the Workplace

Normally, employees take their work-related problems to HR departments. They may, for personal problems, bend the ear of a concerned manager or supervisor. More and more, however, employers have begun to use what they believe to be an even better approach to the needs of their employees: corporate chaplains. In an effort to create the […]