Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Show: My Session June 25, 2012 10:45am Social NOTworking

SHRM 2012 Annual Conference
Tomorrow I leave from LA to go to Atlanta, Georgia to speak at "The Show."  I know it is hard to believe that I have been in the business of counseling Human Resource professionals for over 15 years and have yet to attend or speak at the biggest Human Resource conference in the nation. For the most part, I was trying to keep my business small and local while raising three little kids.  Now, I am ready to go big or go home.  I envision this conference much like Bull Durham's Crash Davis described his experience in the Big Leagues of Baseball. He said, "Yeah, I was in the Show. I was in the show for 21 days once - the 21 greatest days of my life. You hit white balls for batting practice, the ballparks are like cathedrals, the hotels all have room service, and the women all have long legs and brains." So, if you see "my brain" at the Show, either because you are attending my session, Social NOTworking, on Monday, June 25 at 10:45am or we meet along the way, please introduce yourself.  If you have the time or inclination, pass a little "Crash Davis" advice along to me if you been to the Show before.  I'd love to make it at least 3 or 4 of the greatest days of my life.  Here is a little promo video I did for the SHRMStore to promote my book signing.  See you there. 

Monday, April 30, 2012

FINALLY! Social NOTworking The Book Is Available for Purchase or Download!!!

I have finally finished my book, Social NOTworking!  For those of you who have not heard me speak on this topic, I wrote about Social NOTworking for employers and HR so that you can help your companies EMBRACE Social Media in the workplace and still protect the company from Social Media related LAWSUITS.

It is chalk full of practical advice and guidance, especially for the HR professional who is often the person in the organization who is faced with "the dark side" of Social Media abuse when employees do not follow the "rules."  If your company doesn't have rules about Social Media, Social NOTworking also includes my Sample Social Media Policy and all the tips you will need to draft your own policy.

I truly enjoyed the process of writing this book.  I hope that you will enjoy it.  You can always download the first chapter free, but if you decide to buy it, please use the discount code SOCIAL to receive a 15% discount.  I'm so grateful for your continued support.

Social NOTworking covers:

Chapter 1:  I Like #SM
What is Social Media?
What is Social NOTworking?
What Are the Benefits to Social Media Use in the Workplace?
What Are the Detriments to Social Media Use in the Workplace?
Why Can’t You Just Stop All the “Madness?”
If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em
Chapter 2:  Designing Your Social Media Policy
A Pound of Cure
Leave Your Message At the Tone
What Do You Value?
Time Thief
Privacy Shmivacy
Don’t Pretend-Friend
Step Away From The Ipad
There Are Weiners Among You
Where’s Your Loyalty, Man?
Is It Chilly In Here? Ask the NLRB
Do You Know the Code?
Let’s Be Clear
Shh! That’s A Secret
Chapter 3: Which Laws Are Social Media Laws?
Oldies But Goodies
Social Media “Discrimination & Harassment” Laws
Social Media “Privacy” Laws
Social Media “Labor” Laws
Social Media “Intellectual Property” Laws
It’s Business, Not Personal. Or Is It Both?
Chapter 4:  Recruiters, Bloggers, PR, Oh My
The Sandbox Is Sandy
Online Recruiting: TMI
Best Practices for Online Recruiters
A Monster, Indeed!
Let’s Be Crystal Clear
Consistently Consistent
I Did Not Just See That
Am I Being Redundant?
You Will Love It Here
Bloggers “B-law-ging”
Best Practices for Bloggers
Again, Whose Opinions Are Expressed?
What’s Yours Is Mine
Mistakes Happens
Be Nice
Know Your Laws
We’re Probably Going To Be Sued For This
Best Practices for Public Relations Employees
The Domino’s Effect
Have You Hurd The News?
Seriously, No Comment
Chapter 5:  Watch Out For Selective Enforcement
May I Have This Dance?
Justify Exceptions to the Rule
What’s Good For the Goose Is Good For the Gander
Best Friends Forever
I Would Like to Recommend You, But…?
Chapter 6:  Choo! Choo! The TRAIN Stops Here
If A Tree Falls In The Forest
What Social NOTworking Prevention Training Looks Like
Make It A Priority
Appendix A:  Sample Social Media Policy
Appendix B:  Take The Social NOTworking Quiz

Friday, March 2, 2012

At the Speed of the Internet: It's Time to Update Your Social Media Prevention Policy

Get ready to recycle. If your Social Media Policy was written prior to January 2012, it is now trash. According to the recent Operations Management Memo issued by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB's) Acting General Counsel on January 24, 2012, social media policies that:
  • make broad prohibitions against "disparaging" managers
  • make broad prohibitions against disclosing confidential information
  • broadly prohibit employees from using the company logo
  • require employees to use disclaimers, such as "these opinions do not reflect the opinions of my employer"
  • use a "savings" clause, such as "this policy is not intended to interfere with an employee's rights under the National Labor Relations Act"
are too broad.

(Remember, the Memorandum gives guidance to employers in how to craft policies in a manner that avoids infringing on employee's National Labor Relations Act, Section 7 rights. The actual limits on an employer's ability to regulate employees' social media activity has yet to be developed or addressed by the NLRB or by the federal appellate courts that review its decisions.)

In my experience, that is almost every Social Media Policy that I have come across to date. Therefore, in order to comply with the new Acting General Counsel's Memorandum's recommendations, it is time to revise or redraft your company's Social Media Policy as a narrowly drafted policy. Even if your company only recently created a Social Media Policy in the past year or two, it is time for a new one. Welcome to the speed of the Internet.

After reading and analyzing the Memorandum and cases mentioned therein, I have applied the recommendations to my own Sample Social Media policy and the 2012 Newly Revised Proactive Lawsuit Prevention Sample Social Media Policy is here for your viewing pleasure.

Take a look at the recent Memorandum and my policy and let me know what you think.

Remember, this is a SAMPLE policy and should not be considered legal advice. It should be reviewed by your own employment counsel to ensure it is consistent with the laws of your state, your industry and your company mission and goals. It also must be consistent with the many policies referenced within it that are already part of your company handbook or procedures.

As an aside, I'm sure this will be a hot topic at the upcoming SHRM Legislative and Employment Law Update. On the first day, 3/5/12, I will be on a Social Media Panel of experts called "#theafterchat" after Eric B. Meyer's presentation, "Social Media for HR: Practical Guidance from a Generation Y Attorney." Hope to see you there.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

On the Brink

As California employers (and employment lawyers) await the California Supreme Court's opinion on Brinker Restaurant Corp. et al. v. Superior Court of San Diego, S166350, which involves the duty of employers to provide meal and rest breaks to hourly employees, employers are still in Meal/Rest Period LIMBO. You can see the oral arguments on YouTube. The question we hope to have resolved soon (April 12, 2012) is whether employers have to make sure their employees take their breaks or whether they need only make the break times available. A recent California case, Flores v. Lamps Plus, Inc., held that "[i]t is an employer's obligation to ensure that its employees are free from its control for thirty minutes, not to ensure that the employees do any particular thing during that time." The Court continued that the mandatory language of the California Labor Code §§ 226.7 and 512 and the IWC Wage Orders does not mean employers must ensure employees take meal breaks, but rather, employers must only provide breaks. The Court interpreted the word "provide" in the Labor Code's meal period provision to mean "to supply or make available" and in its rest period provision to mean "authorize or permit." The Court rejected plaintiffs' assertion that employers must ensure employees take meal and rest breaks finding this "utterly impractical" for employers. The Court concluded that Lamps Plus made it clear to its employees it upheld California's meal and rest period laws and went so far as to discipline employees who skipped these required breaks.

This case provides temporary comfort to employers, at least until Brinker is decided similarly, which will allow employers to exhale. In the meantime, I am making my hourly nonexempt employee TIMESHEET for employees available to you. What I have noticed is that most employers have timesheets for these employees, but the timesheets do not have columns to document that rest breaks are taken, only meal periods. In other words, the employee is on the honor system for their 10 minute rest, which they are entitled to every four hours or major fraction thereof. That is, until they file a claim with the California Labor Commissioner for the wages/penalties owed for their missed breaks. Hopefully, you will find this helpful until we get some added clarification from the California Supreme Court.

Proactive Lawsuit Prevention Strategies to Prevent Meal/Rest Period Class Actions:
1) Have clear policies in your Employee Handbook that set forth that employees are required to take their meal periods and rest periods. Providing employees with a sample time table of when the meal and rest periods should occur in a typical shift is always helpful.
2) Have timesheets for your nonexempt hourly employees who do not punch time clocks. The timesheets should include a column for rest breaks as well as meal periods.
3) Train your managers to make sure that employees are actually taking their breaks and filling out their timesheets accurately each day.
4) Make sure supervisors know that a meal period is TIME AWAY from work and that they should not call or text employees during that time.

What is your opinion of Brinker? Are employers on the brink of salvation or disaster?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Upcoming Speaking Engagements for SHRM

I'm looking forward to two upcoming programs that I am presenting for the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM.) In March, I am presenting for their Legislative and Employment Law Update March 4-7 on Preventing Retaliation
and in June I am presenting at their Annual on Social NOTworking (June 24-27).
You can register here for either or both. I am also happy to host a meetup for Investigators as a member of the Association of Workplace Investigators at one or both of these conferences. (Time and place TBD.) If you are planning on attending, please let me know ( so that we can meet and I can add you to my network of respected colleagues (and friends.) For fun and as a preview, here is a video of me speaking recently for PIHRA at their various districts on these topics. Hope you enjoy!