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That’s Good HR Weekly News Update – December 2, 2011

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December 1, 2011
snowWith the first snowfall of the year we are reminded of the importance of being prepared as the weather takes a turn for the worse. I thought I was prepared, as I pro-actively purchased yet another snow scraper for my car well over a month ago. This is a fancy one with a retractable handle and double brush. This would be the shining star of my snow scraper collect
ion. Yesterday, upon emerging from my warm office at the end of the day to brave the snowy drive home; it occurred to me that while was proactive in the purchase of the snow scraper, my failure to leave it in my car rendered it useless to me in my time of need. Lesson learned.

My hope for you is that  my weekly news updates contribute to your ability to be prepared for HR and legal issues and challenges as they develop. Preparing for a storm is one thing, but staying on top of the daily maintenance of small issues before they become big ones is just as important (if not more important). Here are some of the top HR and legal news updates I came across this week.

20 States to See Tax Hike on Employers: Federal unemployment taxes will rise for employers in 20 states and the Virgin Islands. Those employers are losing part of a credit on federal unemployment taxes in 2011 because their state governments have unpaid balances for two or more years on federal funds borrowed to pay state unemployment claims. (Staffing Industry.com)

Checking Social Media on a Potential New Hire? Here are some Tips: According to this recent SHRM survey, only 18 percent of companies have used social media to screen job candidates. Most cite the legal risks of screening candidates as the reason for not implementing a social-media background check. (tlnt.com)

Bill to extend payroll tax cust to be introduced by Democrats: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Monday that he plans to introduce legislation this week that would extend the payroll tax cut that is due to expire at the end of the year. (benefitnews.com)

Why more folds are waiting to Retire: A recent Wells Fargo survey of 1,500 Americans between the ages of 20 and 70 reveals that 20% of them believe that they will “need to work until at least age 80” to live comfortably into retirement. (recruiter.com)

A current snapshot of the Indianapolis/Marion County economy is now available for you to view.  Inside you will find current economic indicators including: Employment Statistics, Current Real Estate Statistics , Recent Jobs Announcements (developindy.org)

Good Tips here on How NOT to fire someone: 5 common mistakes: Unless you’re a natural bully, firing someone is never fun. It is, of course, a necessary part of being a manager, and it’s a skill that can be honed. (cbsnews.com)

Employer Reactions to Internet Use at Work: Though it’s expected that workers will use the Internet for non-work purposes during breaks, lunch hours, and in moderation, Web activity spilling into work time is when many employers put their collective feet (adorned with 50 percent off Black Friday Blowout shoes, thankyouverymuch) down. (thehiringsite.careerbuilder.com)

Do you Measure Performance? Some: Management gurus like Peter Drucker have long since put to bed the idea that measuring performance really does improve performance significantly more than if you don’t measure. But this isn’t the reason driving most people’s participation in performance measurement. Let’s look at a few of the most common reasons, and see how compelling they are. (staceybarr.com)

Office Distractions – 6 of the Biggest: When productivity is high, your business provides better service and you are most likely making more money. But when it is low, or there are distractions among your staff, it can have a big impact not only on productivity, but on customer service, team morale and the overall state of your business. (openforum.com)

Free Guide by the NLRB Teaches Employers about Social Media Policies in the Workplace: A new employer guide entitled, “Can I Fire This Twit Over That Tweet?. Theisguide will assist HR managers in understanding social media labor laws and what behaviors at work constitute employee misconduct. (recruiter.com)