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
“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
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
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
Goodbye January! You always begin with so much promise. A month associated with valiant efforts (resolutions); excuses (“mom would be crushed if I didn’t have a big piece of her birthday cake), disappointments (“we need a new scale, this one says I gained five lbs. since last week!); and frustrations (“$3 a day for an annual gym membership only makes sense if you actually go to the gym more than three F@#*&%G days a month!) But, tomorrow starts a new month, a fresh start! We can do this!! Continue reading
Can you believe it’s already the end of another workweek? Once again, time went speeding by me like a new Corvette on the Autobahn (check out last week’s post). So, before we get too far into 2020, I want to discuss one of my favorite compliance topics. Wait! Don’t go; it’s not about I-9 forms this time! This week’s post is about exemptions from minimum wage and overtime. If you recall, I briefly discussed the new minimum salary requirements for exempt employees in the January 11, Fridays with Frank. So, let’s dive into some details! Continue reading
Another busy and exciting week is behind us! I remember when I was a teenager—or at least I think I do, that’s going back a few decades—days, weeks, and months seemed to drag on forever. If you were like me, you wished you were 16, so you could drive; then wished you were 18, so you’d be done with high school and on to college; then wished you were 21, so you could get into a bar (legally). My father used to say, “wish in one hand, and…” well, ummm, maybe I better not repeat that one. Anyway, my point is that the days, weeks, and months that dragged on forever when I was young are going by at warp speed today! Why? Because I’m “older,” 56 to be exact.Continue reading
Wait, isn’t the name of this outstanding publication FRIDAYS with Frank? OK, you caught me. But, since I took some time away for the holidays, I didn’t want to wait another week to get back at it. We’ve got a lot to catch up on! So, if you can overlook the minor timing issue, I’m sure you’ll find some great information in this Special Saturday Edition of Fridays with Frank!
I know it’s hard to believe, but there have been some changes to state and federal labor laws and regulations that are now in effect. Since most of our clients are in NY and ME, that’s where I’m focusing:Continue reading
This week, someone asked me if my business typically slows down in December. Nope. If fact, more people appear to “misplace” their good judgment during the holidays than at any other time of the year. Speaking of misplaced good judgment, this week I’m introducing, On What Planet Is This OK? In this occasional feature, I will answer questions that begin or end with, “On what planet is this OK?” Have a question about an employee issue that’s out of this world? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our very first question is from Ken:I started working for my employer in February, so this is my first holiday season with the company and with my co-workers. When everyone started decorating their work areas after Thanksgiving, I decided to join the festivities and bring in a few things – a tabletop tree with mini ornaments, a Santa candy dish, and the extra Elf-on-the-shelf we had at home. Everything was great! Then, the next morning, I opened my desk drawer and found the Elf posed in a sexually-suggestive position with a half-naked Barbie doll and a mini bottle of vodka! Next, I Continue reading
Don’t tell my wife, but the main reason I volunteer to go shopping at the wholesale club is for the free samples. Last weekend I had cheese, crackers, sausage, chicken, pasta, eggnog, and a cookie for dessert! I also enjoy talking to the people handing-out the delicious morsels (unfortunately, I haven’t seenGordon Ramsayat my club location). Don’t worry; this will make sense in a minute! Continue reading