Bourgon HR Blog: HR Advice & Outsourcing Tips for Small Companies

HR Legal Compliance: Do You Understand Furloughs?

Posted on Wed, Nov 16, 2011

hr legal compliance furloughsA furlough, typically defined as a temporary layoff for work, is often considered by employers as a layoff alternative. It's important to understand exactly what a furlough is -- and how it's implemented -- in order to maintain your hr legal compliance.

Furloughs allow employers to keep people employed and maintain institutional knowledge during a time of financial hardship. They can result in much-needed cost savings without having to incur financial and emotional costs of layoffs and can leave an organization better prepared to take advantage of an anticipated upswing in financial performance.

What is a Furlough?

A furlough is either a voluntary or involuntary unpaid leave of absence from employment. In the private sector, assuming that the targeted workforce terms and conditions of employment are not governed by a collective bargaining agreement or individual payment contracts, employers may choose to utilize furloughs as a means to saving money for their company through planned or emergency procedures to reduce payroll costs. This reduction is normally effectuated on an hourly, daily or weekly basis.

How does this differ from layoffs?

Generally a workforce layoff constitutes a group termination and the employees selected to participate in the layoff are usually not expected to return to work; in contrast, furloughs contemplate that the employees will remain with the company but at a reduced labor cost.

How are furloughs implemented?

For private employers there are no special implementation procedures. Rather, furloughs can be planned as a means of saving money or utilized in an unexpected emergency. However, an employer is wise to provide employees with an advanced notice. Many states require such an advanced notice under the general notice requirements of their wage payment laws and some specify amount of notice for their reduction in compensation.

Contact Bourgon HR Solutions if you have any questions regarding the HR legal compliance of your furloughs and layoffs. This will help to protect you from claims of unlawful termination of employment.

Tags: furloughs, hr legal compliance

Increase in Age-Based Employment Discrimination Lawsuits

Posted on Wed, Oct 26, 2011

With discrimination claims continuing to rise as aging employees are claiming unlawful termination of employment, employers are taking a long look at their policies and training programs.

aging emploment discriminationPreventing age discrimination in the workplace requires not only that strong HR policies and training programs are in place but also that employees know and understand the rules, particularly in these continually troubled economic times.

“We’re seeing an increase in age discrimination claims because of the volume of reductions in force that are occurring throughout the country,” said Janine Yancey, HR Lawyer and CEO of Emtrain. “Any different group can make a claim that they are adversely affected by reductions in the workforce, but there do seem to be more age discrimination claims than others, in large part due to age being associated with disproportionately higher salaries.”

It is time to update diversity programs. HR says it’s a difficult challenge to balance three to four culturally different generations in today’s workplace.

“HR needs to issue policies in a way that whatever they are saying within the organization will not have a disproportionate effect on older workers,” says Yancey. “Although diversity programs may already exist in an organization, they should be updated to include generational diversity.”

Tags: employment discrimination

Partnering with AIA for Employee Handbook Seminar in Minneapolis

Posted on Mon, Oct 03, 2011

Bourgon HR Solutions is proud to announce that we're partnering with our friends at Associated Insurance Agents of Minnesota for a seminar on focused on the importance of the small business employee handbook.

We'll be providing HR training on updating or creating an effective employee handbook or manual.

bandaid crackedwall SMLToo many companies take a band-aid approach to fixing the cracks in their HR policies, and the employee handbook ends up leaving the employer open to potential litigation.

We're thrilled to be providing this seminar for Associated Insurance Agents, Inc. and their clients in September. We'll be training them how to:

  • clearly communicate company expectations
  • create an affirmative defense against litigation
  • ensure compliance with state and federal requirements

If you have an interest in having Bourgon HR Solutions conduct a workshop for your company on creating anemployee handbook, please contact us here.

Tags: employee handbook, hr seminar