Frankly Speaking – August 25, 2020



I’ve missed every one of you, my millions thousands hundreds dozens handful of loyal readers. It’s been quite a while since I published anything remotely resembling a blog–April 17, to be exact. There were several reasons I decided to take a break. COVID-19 monopolized every waking moment of every day; hastily written laws, regulations, and agency guidance continued to change at a blinding pace; and Becky and I were each working 15-hour days, seven days a week.

Well, as of today, I’m back! After a few “frank” [please tell me you didn’t just do that] conversations with people I trust, I realized two things: 1) I have the ability to present otherwise indecipherable, boring, but vitally important information in an understandable and often funny way; and 2) writing allows me to keep our clients informed, is a great marketing tool, and is a much-needed outlet for my everyday stress. [Hey, your favorite alter ego here, I’m the funny one, not you!] I also realized that the “Fridays” part of Fridays with Frank was adding to my stress. So, rather than recommitting to the pressure of a weekly blog, I’ve decided to launch Frankly Speaking, which will be published regularly but not on a set schedule.

The Important Stuff

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Fridays with Frank – April 17, 2020


Hello! How are you? I hope you and everyone you know and love are healthy in body, mind, and spirit.  

In the midst of the biggest health crisis in a century, Becky and I were blessed with the birth of our second grandchild. Our perfect angel, Mackenzie Grace, is happy, healthy, and safe at home with her parents and big brother. 

In a move Becky and I are convinced was intended to keep us from being with our new granddaughter, Gov. Cuomo extended NY on PAUSE until at least May 15. Although it doesn’t feel like it right now, there will come a day in the relatively near future when we’ll spend some time with Mackenzie…sorry, when our workplaces will reopen to our employees and others. Regardless of exactly which day that will be, today is the day employers should develop plans to keep employees and everyone who enters their workplaces safe and healthy when that time comes.   

To help you begin thinking about a plan, we’re going to start with a group exercise. (I hate group exercises, isn’t there a checklist you can give me?) Repeat after me: “I understand work can’t go back to the way it was before COVID-19, and I accept responsibility for making significant and necessary changes to our workplace.” Once more, and I want to hear everybody this time! “I understand work can’t go back to the way it was before COVID-19, and I accept responsibility for making significant and necessary changes to our workplace.” (OK, I said it; happy now?) Awesome!   Continue reading

Fridays with Frank – April 10, 2020


COVID-19 moneyHello! How are you? I hope you and everyone you know and love are healthy in body, mind, and spirit.  

Earlier, I was cleaning up this site and saw an earlier post, which began, “It’s March, and I couldn’t be happier!” Clearly, I was a little premature with that celebration! (Ya think?)

I apologize for being absent last week. As some of you know, I’ve been sending a daily update email on everything  COVID-19 to a few hundred people for weeks. So, by the time last Friday came around, I needed a break from thinking and writing. But, I’m back! (We’ll see if that’s good news or not.)

 If you’ve had children home with you for a few weeks, I’m guessing you’ve heard, “that’s not fair!” a time or two. When our kids were young, and fairness challenged, I told them, “life is never fair, it’s just more obvious when you can’t have something you want.” (Right. I’ll bet that calms a screaming five-year-old instantly.) But, what is the appropriate response when adults feel shortchanged?

More than a few clients have called and emailed concerning CARES-envy. (I know you made that name up.) This soon-to-be wide-spread issue occurs when employees who are, and have been, working during the COVID-19 crisis learn that co-workers are being paid their full wages—or more—even though they’re not working. From my conversations, I’ve identified two forms of this malady: Continue reading

Fridays with Frank – Mar 27, 2020


Hello! How are you? I hope you’re healthy and taking care of yourself.  

Some people are good at taking care of themselves. If you’re one, I admire and secretly envy you. (Right… that’s not what you said about them this morning!) Amid the stress and craziness of turning your life upside down, working from home, and being isolated and almost never alone—both at the same time—you’re going for walks and taking mental health breaks every day. I decided to give it a try a couple of days ago, so I took a 15-minute break. When I got back to my desk, there were nine emails, four texts, and two voicemails screaming for my attention. That was an epic fail!  Continue reading

Fridays with Frank – Mar 20, 2020


One week. Seven days. One hundred sixty-eight hours. As I sit at my desk in the corner of our living room tonight, I can hardly believe how dramatically the world, as I knew it, has changed in such a short period of time.

Last Friday—one hundred and sixty-eight hours ago—Becky and I ate a late dinner while commiserating about another “crazy” week. The country was coming to understand the Coronavirus as a serious threat, Becky had been immersed in one conference call after another with her employer’s emergency response teams, and I continued preparing resources for my clients. Hearing what she was involved with at a corporate level emphasized to me that small businesses don’t have the money, internal experts, employee teams, plans, or strategies in place to quickly and effectively address emergencies like the spread of the Coronavirus. Little did we know what a difference one hundred sixty-eight hours would make. Continue reading

Fridays with Frank – Mar 13, 2020


Happy Friday!

What a freaking week, right? I wasn’t sure whether to start Fridays with Frank with my usual greeting. Then I realized, those two words might be the happiest thing many of us have heard all week!

So let me say it again, even louder, HAPPY FRIDAY! 

Since questions and information related to “the novel Coronavirus” have dominated every waking minute of my life this week, I didn’t have time to think about, or write, a witty and informative post (oh please, don’t hurt your arm patting yourself on the back) you’ve come to expect.  However, never fear, I’m sharing an equally witty and informative article I wrote (you’re shameless, aren’t you?) that was published in the Daily Record newspaper on Tuesday. With a title like, “HR compliance is easy and cheap, said nobody ever,” how could it be anything less than riveting! (Yep, completely devoid of all shame!) 

Stay safe and healthy, and send me a text if you find hand sanitizer or disinfecting wipes anywhere! 

That’s a wrap on another Fridays with Frank. Thanks for spending a small part of your day with me, and have a great weekend! 

Posted by Frank Cania, president of HR Compliance Experts LLC.

© 2020 HR Compliance Experts LLC

Please feel free to contact Frank at, or 585-380-1566 with questions or for more information.

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only, does not constitute a legal opinion, and is not legal advice. The facts of each situation should be considered and analyzed individually. Therefore, you should always consult with competent employment counsel regarding any issues discussed here.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Frank Cania and HR Compliance Experts LLC.

Fridays with Frank – Mar 6, 2020


Happy Friday!

It’s March, and I couldn’t be happier! I’ve never had a good relationship with February. Although it has the fewest days, February has always felt like the longest month to me. It may be time Becky and I start taking February vacations to warm tropical places. Maybe that’s where I’ll find the answer to a question that has vexed HR professionals since the dawn of time. That’s right, “On what planet was that OK?” 

Warning! The following should not be read by anyone offended by foul language, in the presence of children, in an area where others may be disturbed by the repeated muttering of “are you f-ing kidding me?,” or if one more story of reprehensible workplace behavior will forever destroy your faith in humanity. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

On Tuesday, March 3, 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) announced a settlement agreement with Ithaca, NY-based Porous Materials, Inc. According to the press release, the employer “will pay $93,000 and furnish other relief” to settle a lawsuit brought by the EEOC on behalf of the complainants. Continue reading

Fridays with Frank – Feb 28, 2020


Happy Friday!

“Check. Check. Check—one—two.” If you’ve ever done a microphone check, you’ve probably said those exact words. Of course, I prefer random useless facts, like, “did you know Thomas Jefferson and John Marshall were second cousins (once removed) and they hated each other?” Anyway, there’s something about being recorded that makes me want to ensure I’m speaking clearly and precisely. Easy enough as long as I’m aware I’m being recorded. The problem is, there are microphones and recording devices everywhere! (Oh, no! Please don’t start with the conspiracy theories and big brother stuff again!) Every smartphone and tablet has a microphone and recording app. There are even pens and other office supplies with built-in recording devices! At any moment, every word you say could be recorded. Including that comment you made last week about where the new employee could stick their accommodation request to bring their emotional support Mastiff (appropriately named Thor) to work every day. (insert thunderclap followed by ominous music)  

Yes, cellphone videos are a part of everyday life. We’re all inundated with cellphone videos of everything from adorable babies and crazy cats to tragic accidents and heart-wrenching memorials. For many, video recording everything—from the mundane to the incredible—has become as much a reflex as taking their next breath. Unless they don’t want you to know they’re recording. In those situations an old school audio recording does the trick. Continue reading

Fridays with Frank – Feb 21, 2020


Happy Friday!

We’re all creatures of habit to some extent. It’s just part of our charming personalities. Right? (Go along with me for now, I promise there’s a point buried somewhere in this post.) I know mixing things up is better for my brain, but sometimes not having to think is the way to go. For me, the uninterrupted flow of my morning routine has been a pillar of stability in my otherwise unpredictable workdays for years—until last week. That’s when the reality of two very frightening words entered my life—bathroom remodeling. For two weeks, I’ve been a guest in my spouse’s sacred domain: scheduling showers, cautiously using counter space, and doing my best to erase any signs of my presence as soon as I’m done each morning. Fortunately, today marks the end of that adventure and a return to our separate morning routines—our marriage still intact.

Many of us have also developed habits and routines at work. Raise your hand if you get annoyed when someone parks in “your” parking spot at the office. Or, maybe you like to arrive 20 or 30 minutes early to have your first cup of coffee and go through email.

Ken (not his real name), by all accounts, is a good employee and manager. With the company for more than a decade, Ken’s dedicated to its success, and respected by his employees. One of Ken’s most appreciated traits is that he takes personal responsibility for any issues involving his team. He takes the focus off the problem and moves everyone forward to a solution. To do this, Ken has a habit of using self-deprecating humor to diffuse potentially tense situations.  Continue reading

Fridays with Frank – Feb 14, 2020


Happy Friday…and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Did you miss me last week? Or even notice I was gone? Well, either way, my absence was for a good reason. I was traveling to NJ for a special event. My grandson, Connor, turned two last weekend, and Papa had to be there to celebrate. Although I really enjoy my time with all of you each week, sometimes a papa’s gotta do what a papa’s gotta do!

If you recall, in my last Fridays with Frank I bared my soul to you about the impact that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (“ADHD”) has had on my life. Both personally and professionally. (I know, it really explains a lot!) 

Clearly, I am not alone. It’s estimated that four percent of adults in the U.S. have ADHD. However, less than 20 percent have been diagnosed, and fewer still are treated. Although a significant number of people have managed to turn the challenges of ADHD around to their advantage, many more struggle with ADHD-related issues every day. (“Hey Frank, can we move this along? Remember, it’s Valentine’s Day, and a lot of us have plans.”)  Continue reading