Hiring Independent Contractors

The dilemma of whether to hire an independent contractor or a regular employee can be daunting, especially to small business employers. There are three rules: Know the law, hire carefully, and retain the knowledge. Check out this excellent article from Katherine Reynolds Lewis in The New York Times on the topic. Katherine’s bottom line: “Do…

In today’s business climate, we’re all moving faster and working harder than ever and trying to lead by example.  We want our employees to grow with the business, take initiative and “own” their projects.  Henry Browning from the Center for Creative Leadership has some great pointers in “7 Ways to Build Accountable Organizations” published in…

Michael Haberman of Omega HR Solutions posted a great blog recently about three steps to prevent sexual harassment issues. Those steps were: 1. With any new employee emphasize, in their introduction and orientation, the company’s harassment policy. Make it clear to them how and to whom they should report harassment, and that they are also…

Question:  My company has employees in New York and California.  With the upcoming presidential primary elections and caucuses, do we have to give employees time off to vote?  If so, do we need to pay them for that time?  Are there any other considerations we should be aware of? Answer:   Many states require employers to…

Question: Can I counsel an employee about wearing strong perfume in the office? Our View:  One of the touchiest subjects we handle as managers is the overall body odor issue – whether it is poor hygiene or overly strong perfume, it’s still tough as it is such an individual issue. Some individuals might believe that…

Question: Outside of our Workers’ Compensation carrier, does our business need to track and report on workplace injuries? Our View:  OSHA (the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration) does require businesses to keep records of work-related illnesses and injuries, unless the business employs 10 or fewer workers and/or the business is in a low-hazard industry. …

Question: Outside of our Workers’ Compensation carrier, does our business need to track and report on workplace injuries? Our View:  OSHA (the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration) does require businesses to keep records of work-related illnesses and injuries, unless the business employs 10 or fewer workers and/or the business is in a low-hazard industry. …

Question: We are a federal contractor and maintain an Affirmative Action Plan and file annual employer EEO-1 Annual Reports.  Can you tell us what reporting and records retention requirements there are for veterans, if any, that we should also be providing? Answer:  Your timing is great for this question, as the Department of Labor’s Veterans’…

Question: During an open enrollment election period, if an employee drops spousal coverage, would this be a COBRA-qualifying event for the dropped spouse? Our Response:  A group health plan is required to offer COBRA continuation coverage only to a qualified beneficiary after a “qualifying event” occurs.   A qualifying event is a certain event that would…

You probably have all of your plans in place for this year’s office holiday celebration to thank your employees for their contributions during the year.  Or maybe you have decided that this year you’ll skip the usual celebrations in favor of a more modest, low-key approach given the business climate.  Regardless of how you are…