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men vs womenEven though the gender pay gap has been narrowing in recent years, and discrimination typically isn't the primary cause, employers aren't immune from litigation based on charges of unequal compensation. This article reviews the laws that address the question of pay inequality and offers employers guidance on how to apply an ounce of prevention that could help you bypass the need for a pound of cure.

The widespread belief that pay discrimination is rampant, regardless of the underlying facts, is what puts many employers at risk. A recent Pew Research poll found 77% of women agreeing with this statement: "This country needs to continue making changes to give men and women equality in the workplace."

Employee HandbookThere is danger lurking in employee handbooks which are rarely or never updated. Employment laws change. New ones are added. New court decisions affect employment practices. And social changes also impact the workplace.

So regularly, perhaps once a year, employers need to review the policies in the employee handbook. To help you get started with your employee handbook review, the following is a checklist of the Top 10 topics to consider:

Workers over 50While some employers are determined to hire young workers, many smart business owners and managers have noticed older
 individuals have work skills and habits that make them especially valuable in the workplace.

 The percentage of older employees in the U.S. workforce is increasing. In the ten-year period ending in 2016, the Bureau of
 Labor Statistics projects the number of those in the workforce age 55 to 64 will rise by 36.5%. For those over 65, the projected rise
is at least a whopping 83%.

 As the percentage of younger workers continues to shrink, it becomes even more important for employers to consider how they can attract and retain mature employees who have the skills needed. Given the changing demographics of the workforce, this is true regardless of the economy.

To help employers achieve the goal of attracting and keeping older employees, the AARP released what the association calls the "Employer Best Practices for Mature Workers." This report is based primarily on an extensive review of the applications submitted by the 35 winning companies named in recent years as "AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50."

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The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) fielded about 650,000 calls from workers last year who believed they had a legitimate discrimination case against their employers. While only a small proportion led to legal action, the lesson is clear: Employees aren't shy about calling in the big guns when they have a gripe. To illustrate the many ways employers can find themselves in hot water with the EEOC, here's a sampling of recent investigations that prompted the agency to take action.

Darth Engagement

Do you know who your most valuable employees are? And are you doing the right things to motivate them? If you're being guided only by the cumulative effect of raises and other upward adjustments in compensation as the benchmark, think again. You might just be operating on autopilot, limiting your potential success. Here's more. 

 

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Online Learning

To be successful in today’s workplace, everyone – from HR Executives, to Students – should be continually learning and honing their skills. Online learning makes continuing education affordable, accessible, and even fun!  Sign up today!!

Human Resources Report

Our very own Jonna Contacos-Sawyer was recently featured in the Human Resources Report TM. Read the article which explores the role technology will play in HR's future.

*Reproduced with permission from Human Resources Report, 32 HRR 453 (May 5, 2014). Copyright 2014 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033)

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