Protected Activity – Discussing Wages, Benefits and Working Conditions 

Many companies at one point or another have experienced the negative impacts of “water cooler talk” on staff morale and productivity. To alleviate the effects of employees discussing their wages, many companies enforce a policy prohibiting discussion of wages. However, if you are a private sector employer in America, a policy prohibiting discussion of wages is a violation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which provides employees the right to discuss the “terms and conditions of employment” with one another, including their wages, benefits, etc. This right applies in both union and non-union settings, as well as on social media platforms.

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From the Desk of Kristina Dietrick

From the Desk of Kristina Dietrick
President, HR Partners

Since I have been in the Human Resources field for over 25 years, it is rare that I learned 5 “new to me” items. I would like to share:

  1. PTO May Not Be Stacked with Other Paid Leave During FMLA

During FMLA leave, an employer may not require an employee to “stack” PTO and paid disability leave. 29 C.F.R. Section 825.207(d) states that because leave pursuant to a disability benefit plan is not unpaid, the provision for substitution of the employee's accrued paid leave is inapplicable, and neither the employee nor the employer may require the substitution of paid leave. However, employers and employees may agree to have paid leave supplement the disability plan benefits, for example, where a plan only provides replacement income for two-thirds of an employee's salary.

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How to Handle Difficult Personalities in the Workplace

There are certain types of difficult behaviors and attitudes that occur in the workplace. Below, we have outlined the most common personalities that employers encounter in the workplace and how to approach their behavior.

Type 1: This employee has a tendency to quickly point out errors, bad results, or mistakes. As a result, this employee tends to come across as condescending to other employees and undermine innovation and morale.

Approach:  This employee has critical thinking skills that need to be put to good use. Challenge this employee to improve upon others’ ideas, rather than discounting the ideas completely. Coach this employee to help make his/her presentation and style more palatable, but still offer constructive suggestions that lead to improvements.

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Congratulations, Allison Zerbe!

On April 26, 2019, Allison Zerbe and her husband, Alex, celebrated Allison’s passing of the Missouri State Bar at her swearing-in ceremony in Jefferson City, Missouri.  HR Partners is proud to have Allison on our team, where she will also be practicing law with the Law Offices of John R. Dietrick, P.A.  Allison will soon be admitted to practice law in Kansas, as well.

Zerbes

Employee Retention: Competing for Talent

With the tightest labor market in the past fifty (50) years, companies across the United States are shifting their focus to retaining talent within their workforce. According to a study by the Work Institute, based upon statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an estimated forty-one (41) million people voluntarily quit their jobs in 2018. That number is expected to continue to climb. By 2020, the Work Institute expects this figure to reach forty-seven (47) million.

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What our clients say...

Capper Foundation

Sandy Warren

VP Operations

Capper Foundation

"Consultation services provided by HR Partners proved a valuable resource for personnel matters and in updating our personnel handbook.

As we continued to grow in staff size, we found an on-going retainer with HR Partners a great fit to support management, policy and training needs. The HR Partners team is professional, knowledgable and creative in their approach and we can have confidence in managing employment matters with their involvement and understandnig of our organization."