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When to Use an Outside Investigator & Choosing an Outside Investigator

When to Use an Outside Investigator & Choosing an Outside Investigator

By Gene R. Thornton, Esq.  *

 

Whenever an employer receives a complaint of sexual harassment or other workplace misconduct, a prompt, thorough, and fair investigation should be conducted.  Following the investigation, appropriate remedial measures should be implemented.  That much is basic employment law and human resource management.  But who should perform the investigation?  Should it be done by the employer’s HR manager, office manager or safety officer, if any?  Should it be done by the accused employee’s supervisor?  Or should an outside investigator be retained and, if so, what qualifications should be sought in the outside investigator.

Simple Investigations—Outside Investigator Probably Not Needed

If the allegations concern performance issues, employee relations, then the employer can probably do without an outside investigator.  It will...

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Colorado Mandates Employee Paid Sick Leave for All

 

 

We knew this was going to continue to be a big year for legislation and it just keeps on coming. Be sure to follow our HR Branches Facebook as we will be going live to discuss these legislative changes now as well as in the future. Feel free to submit your questions in advance by emailing [email protected] or giving us a call at 719-244-9640.

Without further adieu, lets dive in shall we?

The federal mandate FFCRA (Families First Coronavirus Response Act) we reported on a few months ago was just the shallow end of the pool. Get your life vest- this isn't a kiddie pool folks, the "Healthy Families and Workplaces Act" is white water rapids for the small business community.  Carefully navigating these treacherous waters to keep your business afloat is going to be crucial.

On July 14, 2020 Colorado Govenor, Jared Polis signed the "Healthy Families and Workplaces Act" into law.  In the state of Colorado, only 60% of employees have paid...

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Rock, Paper, SCISSOR! (Know When to Cut Your Employees Loose)

Rock, Paper, SCISSOR!

Know When to Cut Your Employees Loose

                 Have you ever had that uncomfortable moment when you have to say the infamous phrase to an employee, “can I speak to you in my office?”. As an employer or manager, you may catch yourself in those last few minutes before they arrive reverting to your childhood with a good ole’ game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. It seems like it’s a fair way to try and get yourself out of the hot seat and place it onto someone else, right? Terminating an employee is sometimes like this game because no one wants to be the bearer of bad news by looking like the bad guy (or gal). Terminations have their challenges with even some risk, so it’s an emotionally difficult task. You want to ensure that you are confident with your decision, especially if the employee isn’t underperforming or violating any company policies....

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Getting “Bored” with Your Onboarding Process?

Getting “Bored” with Your Onboarding Process?

Make Onboarding and Training Fast and Easy!

 

For most of us, we have experienced what it’s like to be that “newbie”.  That’s right, a new face in a new company where countless thoughts of excitement, worry and anxiety flood our minds. If you are like many, those thoughts can turn into piercing questions or doubts. Did you make the right decision? Is this truly the right company for you? Where is the nearest exit in case you need to make a run for it?  

As an employer, hiring manager, or HR representative, your focus is guaranteeing that you can “walk the walk”. Your newly hired employee accepted the position for a reason, now it’s up to you to ensure that he or she continues to feel that this opportunity was too good to pass up.

So, how does this happen? Think about the first few days on the job and how much information and training was provided. It’s a...

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Bizarre Polices of Last Decade

Wow, what a decade it has been! There have been so many changes and updates in the HR world over the past several years; life for employers and HR professionals has probably gotten a bit overwhelming and a kind of stale at times.

Well, I am here to put a little cheer into your New Year! Let’s take a look back at some of the most ridiculous, bizarre, and just downright absurd policies and rules that employers have come up with to help run their business. Here we go!

  • Stand for the Boss: Bestlifeonline.com describes a work environment approach such as this one whenever France’s ecology and energy minister walks into the room. Employees are expected to stand regardless of what they are doing as she approaches them.
  • Only Mustaches Allowed: According to resumeprofessionawriters.com, a certain business gave male employees an ultimatum: maintain a full-grown mustache or no facial hair at all. Male employees could not have any in-betweens, or they were sent home.
  • No...
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Are You Ready for Big Wage Changes in 2020?

On January 1, 2020, we are going to wake up to two significant wage changes that will impact most Colorado small businesses. Are you prepared for these changes?

 

What’s Changing?

 

  • Hourly Employees: Colorado Minimum Wage- Colorado minimum wage has been on an increased schedule of $.90 per year for the past 2 years. In January 2020, you will see the third and final $.90 minimum wage increase. Effective January 1, 2020, Colorado Minimum Wage will be:

 

Colorado Minimum Wage- $12.00/ hr

 

Colorado Tipped Employees- $8.98/ hr

 

*Denver increased its local minimum wage to $12.85 per hour effective Jan. 1, becoming the first local government in Colorado to set its minimum higher than the statewide level per a new statute passed by the legislature in 2019.

 

  • Salaried Employees: Minimum Salary Rate (Federal Overtime Rule)- The minimum annual salary for exempt (salaried) employees is going to increase in 2020. Effective January 1, 2020, the Federal...
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Small Business and Employee Ethics- Avoid Disaster!

Small Business and Employee Ethics- Avoid Disaster!

 

Have you taken the appropriate measures to makes sure that you are protected from the dishonest actions of your employees?  Employees ethics is a HUGE risk for all small businesses.  Make sure that you are protecting yourself and your business.   

 

For most small businesses, employees can be the businesses most significant risk.  According to The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimates that companies lose 5% of their annual revenue to employee fraud and abuse.  Unethical employee actions hit small businesses the hardest.  Most small businesses do not have the financial ability to sustain the hit of significant employee fraud or theft occurrence.  Unfortunately, the cost of employee theft isn’t only the cost of the theft.  Employers also need to factor in the additional expense of legal fees, employer time spent on legal action, loss of employee...

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How is Overtime Paid? A Small Business' Guide to Overtime Laws

How is Overtime Paid? A Small Business Guide to Overtime Laws

Are you at a loss wondering, "How is overtime paid?" Find out everything you need to know in our comprehensive guide.

UPDATE:  Effective January 1, 2020, salaried employees should earn $684 per week (or $35,568 per year).  Please click HERE for updated information.


Of course, you already know to pay your employees at least the minimum wage. But the laws surrounding overtime are complex and quickly become confusing.

Employees who work longer than normal hours are dedicating extra time to help you continue building success, so you want to make sure you do right by them. Plus, it's important to know the overtime laws to prevent legal trouble for yourself and your business.

If you're wondering how is overtime paid, you've come to the right place! In this guide, we'll tell you everything you need to know about federal overtime laws and how they pertain to your state.

Overtime Laws and Regulations

Although...

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4 Company Culture Ideas that Will Bring New Life to Your Business

4 Company Culture Ideas that Will Bring New Life to Your Business

Company culture is an important element in every business. Does yours need a makeover? Read these 4 company culture ideas for a renewed environment.

Depending on the industry that you're in, the cost of onboarding an employee can cost you upwards of $25,000. If you're not working to keep everyone you have and help your most talented employees thrive, you're not working to build a stable company culture. If you're searching for company culture ideas, don't run to order ping pong table and beanbag chairs when it's your employees that make the culture.

Here are four ideas you should consider to build a better company culture.

1. Make Collaboration a Must

If it's not already baked into what you do, you need to create a culture by having your team collaborate more often and more effectively. Without a team building effort and an atmosphere that inspires people to work together, you won't have much of a culture at all....

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Your Guide to Creating an Employee Handbook

Your Guide to Creating an Employee Handbook

Creating an employee handbook is a great way to set out your expectations as well as your company aims and ethos. We look at how to create one right here.

 

Are you wasting paper and printer toner making handbooks that no one reads? Or, are you spending valuable time sending it via email to your staff?

Here's the truth: if your employees don't feel motivated to read it, they won't.

There are a ton of ways to write an employee handbook that actually gets read. You can still include important rules and guidelines. But, the way you put this important book together must change.

Creating an employee handbook can be easy. These steps will take it from paper waste to the important file; keep reading to find out how.

1. Don't Be Dull

One reason your employees don't care about the handbook is that it's boring. Employee handbooks are often written like legal contracts full of threats.

Consider how you talk to your staff. Do you encourage open...

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