HR White Papers

White Papers from leading HR experts provide great insight and research on timely relevant HR topics.

Paying Bonuses to Non-Exempt Employees: Avoiding Class-Wide Overtime Violations

June 27, 2017

Nonexempt employees must receive overtime pay based on their hourly wage. How do bonuses fit in? The law states that employers have to pay their employees overtime based on their hourly wage. Not all employers are aware of the requirement that overtime premiums could also be required to be paid on supplement compensation as well. Bonuses are a common example.

What’s Preventing You From Having an Energy Audit?

May 18, 2017

Energy audits are one of the best ways to discover money-saving opportunities in an existing building. A commercial or industrial energy audit, also called an energy analysis, will identify how much energy a building uses, how efficiently it uses that energy, and where changes and improvements can be made that will impact both the occupant comfort and the bottom line. If you have ever wondered whether an energy audit of your office building, industrial park, school, or hospital would be worthwhile, the answer is emphatically YES.

An Owner’s Guide to Related Claims

April 14, 2017

Time impact claims are some of the most hotly contested claims in construction law. Owners and contractors frequently dispute every aspect of the claim, including whether timely notice was provided, causation and proper measure of damages. Often these claims result in large judgments and awards. Thus, it is important that the parties to a construction contract closely monitor the progress of the work, periodically update the schedule, provide timely notice of potential impacts and attempt to quantify the potential impact of a delay when it occurs. Otherwise, they may discover that time is truly money.

5 Exercises For Overcoming Shyness in New Situations

April 13, 2017

Does the idea of starting a conversation with a stranger terrify you? You can overcome that fear with a little practice. If you get a lump in your throat every time you enter a room full of strangers, don't worry. You are not alone. New situations where you don't know a soul is scary, and introducing yourself to a complete stranger feels a lot like public speaking. Public speaking is the number one fear of most people - above even death! But you can overcome your shyness (without facing death) by using these five exercises. Melanie Hope is the owner of Hope Speaking LLC, a Partner of SPiTshine Presentation Training, and a professional copywriter and editor. She has travelled 43 states and 4 continents conducting seminars and workshops to both private and public enterprises. Ms. Hope has written five books about networking/marketing, leadership/communications, and writing/publishing; and is the author of multiple e-books on writing and goalsetting.

New IRS Tax Rules - 2017

April 6, 2017

Will you or your clients be affected by the new 2017 tax laws? Change is coming for standard and itemized deductions, personal exemptions, alternative minimum tax exemptions, and foreign earned income exclusions. Estates are also facing more complex tax planning as tax rates continue to increase. Review your tax planning strategy for income tax and asset protection benefits. Gary S. Wolfe has more than 34 years of experience, specializing in IRS tax audits and international tax matters including: international tax planning/tax compliance, and international asset protection.

Panama Papers Update - February 2017

April 6, 2017

New twist in Panama Papers case as founders of Panamanian law firm arrested and jailed in bribery case. On February 10, 2017 Juergen Mossack & Ramon Fonseca, founders of Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca were arrested and jailed following Panama probe into creating companies linked to Brazil corruption in the bribery case of Brazilian company Odebrecht. The Panama Papers consist of millions of Mossack Fonseca documents that show how the rich used offshore companies to avoid taxes. Gary S. Wolfe has more than 34 years of experience, specializing in IRS tax audits and international tax matters including: international tax planning/tax compliance, and international asset protection.

California Sets Standards for Tribal Subsidiaries’ Sovereign Immunity

March 16, 2017

California is home to 100+ tribes. Tribal corporations will find difficulty in asserting sovereign immunity as a result of the recent court decision. The California Supreme Court issued a major sovereign immunity decision in December 2016 that directly impacts California tribes. The Court identified five factors that should be considered to determine whether an entity is an arm of the tribe entitled to share the tribe’s immunity. It also clarified the burden of proof that applies when a tribal corporation asserts sovereign immunity. This decision will likely influence other courts as well.Brian Pierson is a shareholder with Godfrey & Kahn, S.C. As leader of the firm's Indian Nations team, his primary objective is to draw on the knowledge and experience of Godfrey & Kahn's attorneys to assist tribes in formulating and implementing strategies that strengthen tribal sovereignty, with a particular focus on business development, environmental protection, renewable energy and housing development. Mr. Pierson frequently advises tribes on tribal constitutional, ordinance and governance matters. He has extensive experience representing developers, lenders and others who partner with tribes to pursue Indian country business opportunities.

The Top 10 Labor and Employment Issues Retailers Will Face in 2017

March 14, 2017

It is a new year and a new administration. 2017 will bring change for retail employers but just how much and in what areas is yet to be seen. Employment issues are not new to retail employers. Each new year holds the potential for new rules and regulations to navigate. This year retailers are faced with many unknowns that could range from rolling back previous executive orders and rules to the uncertainty of the ever increasing state and municipal laws. No one knows what the future will hold but this author has compiled a list of 10 issues in labor and employment that all retailers will want to keep an eye on. Diane Saunders is a Shareholder in the Boston office of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. Ms. Saunders is the co-chair of the firm’s Retail Practice Group, and a member of the firm’s Steering Committees for the Class Action Practice Group and Professional Development. She has been helping employers with their labor and employment issues and business disputes for over 20 years.

Report Underscores Importance of Whistleblower Rewards and Protections for Internal Auditors

March 10, 2017

Many auditors feel pressure to suppress or make changes to their audit findings. In North America the pressure is greater than the global average. Auditors find themselves in the ultimate role to find and disclose fraud. Auditors find themselves protected against retaliation for blowing the whistle on possibly illegal and unethical activities. However, many auditors also find themselves faced with pressure to not report their audit findings. In a recent study 25% of auditors surveyed in North America are feeling that pressure. Considering that laws in the U.S. offer auditors strong protection and robust incentives, that statistic is alarming. Rewards for whistleblowers and protection for auditors is more vital than ever. Jason Zuckerman litigates whistleblower retaliation and rewards, wrongful discharge, and other employment-related claims, and authors the Whistleblower Protection Law Blog. His broad experience includes serving as Senior Legal Advisor to the Special Counsel at the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, the federal agency charged with protecting whistleblowers in the federal government. In 2012, the Secretary of Labor appointed Zuckerman to serve on the Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee, which makes recommendations to the Secretary of Labor to improve OSHA’s administration of federal whistleblower protections. Matthew Stock is an associate at Zuckerman Law, where his practice focuses on representing whistleblowers in whistleblower rewards and whistleblower retaliation cases. Mr. Stock has audited a broad range of industries, both domestically and internationally, including large public companies and financial institutions. He uses his auditing experience to help IRS, CFTC and SEC whistleblowers investigate and disclose complex financial frauds to the government.

OSHA Whistleblower Update: Curious Case of Expanding Agency

January 12, 2017

Did you know that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforces and investigates claims under 22 different federal whistleblower laws, ranging from Section 11(c) of the OSH Act to the Clean Air Act, the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010, the Safe Drinking Water Act, Sarbanes-Oxley and the Surface Transportation Assistance Act? Given the number of laws that fall within OSHA's purview, it should come as no surprise that the agency has sought to expand its reach of late in ways that may leave employers scrambling to understand the risks and obligations they face when a whistleblower comes forward. In 2009, OSHA awarded $13.25 million in damages from whistleblower complaints. By 2013, that number exceeded $25 million – an 89% increase. In fiscal year 2016, the awards have been eye-popping: a Michigan janitor was awarded $193,139, an Alaskan aviation company was ordered to pay a pilot over $500,000 and a railroad conductor received over $250,000 in punitive damages alone. Download this white paper to continue reading … Elliot G. Cole is an Associate in the Chicago office of Vedder Price and a member of the firm’s Labor & Employment practice group. He focuses his practice on representing management in collective bargaining negotiations with public worker unions and ADA, FMLA and Title VII cases. He also administers client trainings on employee discipline and corrective action plans, hiring employees with disabilities and performance evaluations. Aaron R. Gelb is a Shareholder at Vedder Price and a member of the firm’s Labor and Employment practice area. He represents employers in all aspects of equal employment opportunity, wrongful discharge and labor relations litigation before federal and state courts and federal, state and local fair employment and administrative agencies such as the EEOC, Illinois Department of Human Rights, Cook County Civil Rights Commission, Department of Labor, National Labor Relations Board and OSHA.

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