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Get Managing Your Business In Your InboxWith the hazardous nature and physically demanding work associated with the construction industry, jobsite safety is vital. To ensure employees are protected when they are driving to and from jobs, it’s important to create and implement a comprehensive driver safety program. Driver education and training should be included in all safety programs because it can help to strengthen driving skills and improve behavior. To ensure employees are following company policy, fleet managers can use GPS fleet tracking technology to monitor behaviors such as speeding, harsh braking, rapid acceleration and sudden cornering.
In addition to speeding and aggressive driving, distracted driving can lead to vehicle crashes and expensive liability claims. As part of a safety policy, proper inspection and maintenance guidelines should be included to prevent accidents and keep vehicles running smoothly.
Creating a safety program requires involvement from everyone in the organization, starting with senior management. Employers have a legal and moral duty to protect their employees from harm where the harm can be reasonably anticipated.
With the globalization of the marketplace, more employers are sending employees overseas to work. While the business opportunities for a global employer may be limitless, so is the potential liability for failing to protect employees from myriad dangers they could face while traveling or working abroad. From political upheaval in the Ukraine to a breakout of viral hemorrhagic fever in Guinea to kidnapping in Pakistan or a poisonous spider bite in Australia, employers have a legal and moral duty to protect their employees from harm where the harm can be reasonably anticipated. At a minimum, employers should be familiar with the country’s medical system and understand what an employee needs to do to access emergency medical care. While it is always a good idea to provide employees with cultural sensitivity training for the travel destination, personal safety and security training targeted to the travel destination should be included, and employees should be aware of any plans to protect their safety. In addition to warning employees about the inherent risks of travel and any specific risks associated with the travel destination, employers should spell out the types of assistance available and give contact information for emergencies. Although employers must be sensitive to employee privacy concerns, prudent employers should have a general sense of where their employees are at all times. You must have JavaScript enabled to enjoy a limited number of articles over the next 9999999999 days. Join our community for unlimited access to the latest tips, news and information in the HR world. Covering the latest technology trends, tools and applications that are shaping the workforce in the 21st century. A mobile-native digest of HR news and analysis from around the web that provides readers with an easy-to-review summary of news related to HR management. How can business leaders prevent the productivity-crushing effects of burnout from plaguing their companies? Unfairness: Have you noticed any instances of favoritism or discrepancies in workload or pay at work? Conflicting values: Could any tasks or methods be at odds with your employees’ personal values? No recognition: Are you consistently rewarding employees through verbal praise, encouragement, or bonuses? Although your team will inevitably endure times of stress and uncertainty, you can promote a healthier way to cope with workplace woes.
Not everyone displays the same signs of burnout, so you need to get to know your employees personally to notice when something changes.
If the problem spans your organization, it might be time for a pep talk to reassure staff members that they can confide in you. Making a concerted effort to improve employee satisfaction can also positively influence your bottom line.
Yet in many transitions, owners don’t address the future of their employees in time to maximize value. Consider a baby-boomer business owner who wants to transition into retirement, and enters into discussions with a buyer.
The unprepared owner is left not only with a botched sale, but also too few key employees to continue running the business, reduced market value, a lack of adequate licensing, and a new competitor that will make regaining market value difficult. Many companies experience a direct increase in value if key employees and those with crucial client relationships are bound by an agreement that restricts what employees can do with the company’s proprietary information and relationships.
Unlike with long-term incentive programs, key employees may be comforted if they are promised financial gain in exchange for effectively transitioning operations to a buyer. There are many ways to draft short-term incentive plans to meet these goals, like a bonus plan, retention or stay plan, or other golden handcuff plans.
The first vested payment from the account, made at closing, would be large enough that the key employees would feel fully rewarded for their hard work preparing the company for sale, but not so large that they choose to follow the owner out the door. With an agreement like this, the key employees are encouraged to build maximum value in the company in the years leading up to a sale so that a larger amount of money is placed into the account. There are many other examples of short-term bonus plans that can achieve an owner’s goal to maximize, capture and keep the value of his or her business in a sale. Such agreements add value to the company in the buyer’s eyes because it ensures consistency in operations during a transition. Amanda Gamblin is a shareholder in the Portland office of Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt and a member of its business transitions group.
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After 21 years as a building engineer for Macy's department stores, Kevin Schiller was left unable to work as the result of a 2010 workplace accident. Schiller keeps a note on his refrigerator to remind him to take his medicine every morning.
Bill Minick, president of PartnerSource, a Texas company that writes and administers opt-out plans for employers who want an alternative to state workers' compensation laws, says ERISA ensures that injured employees are treated fairly. Our unique background screening services check your potential employees for any red flags before hiring. An instant search of over 300 million criminal records from hundreds of sources in all 50 states as well as some international records. A search for crimes prosecuted at the Federal level which can include cases of embezzlement, fraud, drug trafficking and other federal crimes. A complete credit history specifically designed for employment evaluation; includes aliases, address histories, collections, civil judgments, bankruptcy filings, tax liens and other information. Multi-level search of healthcare industry databases from the OIG, GSA, FACIS and 800 other state and federal healthcare databases. Information obtained includes license status, and, if available, expiration date, adverse information and specialization. The Bankruptcy National Database contains 9.5 million records compiled of bankruptcy filings from January 1992 to present. This state requested report generally contains case numbers, date of injury, injury type and employer at the time of the injury. A report on the candidate’s commercial driving record in the state they are licensed. In addition to the 5 panel, the 10 Panel will also include Barbiturates, Benzodianzepines, Methadone, Methaqualone, and Propoxyphene. Regulated breathalyzer testing of an individual to determine breath alcohol level can be conducted with certified results through a medical professional. We have a wide range of occupational medical and physical exam offerings, including general and Department of Transportation (DOT) physicals, auditory and visual testing, TB tests and other blood tests, immunizations and more.
It also ranks drivers based on their performance, helping fleet managers pinpoint areas that need improvement and drivers that need more coaching. A distracted driving policy can help protect employees, other motorists and the company’s reputation. To help ensure maintenance is occurring consistently and on schedule, fleet managers can use fleet tracking features such as automated maintenance schedules, logs and reports. Once everyone is on board, drafting a written safety policy and using solutions such as GPS fleet tracking technology can help create a comprehensive strategy and culture.
Maybe the travel destination is not known for kidnappings political unrest or terrorism, but what if an employee falls in the shower and hits his head? State Department website ( is a good place to start with any risk assessment, and provides a helpful outline of risks for a particular country. The most frequent problems encountered by employees traveling overseas are petty theft and minor illnesses, but even minor incidents can escalate into big problems if the employee is unprepared. Before designating a resource, be sure that a person or group is available at all times (employees may be traveling to a country in a different time zone) and has enough local knowledge to assist in the event of a crisis. Urban is an attorney in the Denver office of national labor and employment law firm Fisher & Phillips.

Researchers and physicians have characterized burnout as a state of exhaustion, ineffectiveness, cynicism, and reduced personal fulfillment. While you can’t eliminate stress, you can monitor signs of burnout and identify vulnerable employees before they become chronically unhappy.
You may feel like tracking your employees’ emotional state is invasive, but keeping a pulse on your team members can save time and heartache in the end. Regardless of what they are, simply focus on your breath and let your thoughts wander around. When people are resilient, they confront challenges at work rather than ignore or avoid them.
They’re less motivated, less committed, and less interested in the customer experience.
Complaining, backstabbing, and belligerence can affect the tone and temperature of your office environment.
If you spot one or more symptoms of burnout, you could approach the individual and ask how he’s feeling. Ask employees whether they’re comfortable using a recognized tool to express burnout. You can stop burnout in its tracks by contextualizing every task in terms of the company’s overall goals and bringing each of your employees into a transparent discussion about their personal contributions. Work environments that achieve genuine satisfaction and fulfillment among employees significantly outperform others in the stock market. Srini Pillay, founder and CEO of NeuroBusiness Group, is a pioneer in brain-based executive coaching who is dedicated to collaborating with experts to help people unleash their full potential. The single most important factor giving rise to a company’s higher value, other than increasing cash flow, is the existence of a stable, motivated management team that will remain in place after the owner exits.
In many cases, because of a failure to plan and anticipate, key employees become fearful of looming changes, and the company experiences reduced productivity and cash flow, a loss of good talent, or possibly sabotage – and all directly reduce a business’ sale price. The buyer begins its due diligence, reviewing the company’s financials, customer contracts and relationships, etc. The smart owner can maximize the value of the business by ensuring that key employees are prohibited from competing and are incentivized in the short run to see the company through a profitable sale and years of smooth operation under the new owner. An attorney is needed to evaluate the enforceability and assignability of existing agreements and a company’s options if no agreements are in place. If they are not hired by the buyer, they still receive their first vested payment, which is large enough to make them feel compensated for their hard work. Regardless of how the incentive plan is structured, it is essential to begin planning early.
The last thing a buyer wants is for the employees to jump ship just before or after the transaction closes.
With 21 years on the job, the building engineer for Macy's department stores had been in and out of every nook and cranny of many of the retail giant's Texas stores, including the storage room in the Macy's in Denton, Texas. We review Criminal, Civil, Credit and Social, Government & Spec, Verifications, Driving Records, Drug Testing and Physical records before you make a hiring decision.
Foreign Policy and National Security by The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of The U.S. Our electronic form are easy to use and can be connected directly to Homeland Security’s (DHS) E-Verify Program. Both test for Amphetamines (Crystal Meth), Cannabinoids (THC and Marijuana), Cocaine, Opiates (Codeine, Morphine, Heroin, Oxycodine, Vidcodin, etc.) and Phencyclidine (PCP). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of fatalities in the workplace–more than fires, explosions, trips, falls and equipment combined.
Communicate the importance of driver safety and the impact a safety program can have on the business. Online education is a valuable resource for construction businesses, as it allows employees to take courses at their own convenience. There are solutions available that eliminate distraction by preventing drivers from talking, texting, emailing and surfing the web while a vehicle is in motion.
This allows fleet managers to receive notification when it’s time for upkeep and repairs, as well as to keep track of services performed. Taking a proactive approach to safety can help reduce accidents, protect employees and keep operations running at full potential.
Because the brain’s emotional center connects to the thinking brain, burnout compromises innovation, risk assessment, and decision-making.
If you start to become preoccupied by your thoughts, gently take your attention back to your breath.
If the symptoms are more varied or severe, you could bring in a qualified professional to help.
If not, ask if they would be willing to submit their scores anonymously so you can track groups.
For people coping with stress, there’s nothing worse than feeling like their mental health is a burden. You can schedule professional development days, or give your employees the option to work from home to promote a positive work environment. In doing so, you’ll not only support your bottom line, but also create a positive feedback loop that will make everyone feel more connected and supported.
He also serves as assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and teaches in the executive education programs at Harvard Business School and Duke Corporate Education. The prospective buyer’s goal is to purchase a good business and make it even more profitable.
Alex, Brenda and Claudio have the direct customer relationships, and Claudio holds the necessary state licenses to engage in business in the industry.
Sales employees and others with key client relationships should be bound, at least, by nonsolicitation agreements to prevent them from moving to a competitor and calling on the company’s customers. When the sale closes, a percentage of the sale price is deposited into the account, with a small percentage vesting immediately and then greater percentages vesting each year for three years.
If they are retained by the buyer, they are motivated to continue working hard to maintain and increase cash flow because if they remain employed by the buyer, they receive additional cash from the account. And perhaps one of the greatest advantages to an owner is the assurance that if a deal falls through, the key employees will still be around to operate the company until the next transition opportunity arises.
You can scan and upload documents right on the employees form keeping everything accessible and secure for all your employees.
Once everyone is on board, create a written policy that clearly outlines procedures and driver expectations. Fleet managers can choose courses that cover a wide range of topics, such as aggressive driving, distracted driving and proactive defensive driving, to help meet each driver’s individual needs. This simple exercise can turn off anxiety circuits and turn on creativity circuits in your brain. The three key employees leave the company and start a competing business, leading to an immediate revenue loss of $50,000 per month.
And all employees should be bound by nondisclosure agreements that require employees to keep the company’s secrets confidential. Make sure each driver has a copy and have them thoroughly read and sign off to acknowledge they understand and agree to abide by the rules and regulations. Will the employee be covered under state workers’ compensation plans even while on overseas assignment? Schiller has hardly worked since, given persistent headaches, memory loss, disorientation and extreme sensitivity to bright light and loud sound. He now has to post notes on the front door and refrigerator of his apartment, reminding him to take medications and keep appointments. In case he is stopped by police, he carries a letter from his doctor that says he may appear drunk owing to a head injury. Millions more may join them as more states consider giving employers the right to opt out of state workers' comp systems.
As NPR and ProPublica have reported, many employers prefer this opt-out alternative to workers' comp, because the state systems, employers claim, result in expensive and long-lasting benefits, costly litigation and delays in treatment of injured workers. When employers opt out, they avoid state regulation and write their own workplace injury plans, which make it easier to deny and cut benefits, control medical care and limit appeals of their decisions.
But don't worry, employers contend, injured workers are still protected by a federal law — the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA. The 1974 law initially applied to pension plans but has evolved to include health care and other workplace benefits.
Minick and his company, PartnerSource, dominate a cottage industry, writing and supporting opt-out-workplace injury plans and lobbying for opt-out legislation in other states. But ERISA didn't do much for Schiller, and NPR found the law doesn't provide the protections promised by opt-out promoters.

They'd tell me point-blank, 'We're here to observe you, not treat you.' " Macy's did not respond to NPR's multiple requests for comment about Schiller's case. Legal documents, including witness statements, medical records, depositions and internal emails, show Macy's was skeptical of Schiller's injury from the very beginning. If Macy's had stayed in the state workers' comp system, Schiller could have appealed the company's denial of benefits to the Texas Division of Workers' Compensation and to state courts, where he would have expected an independent review of his case. ERISA blocks state action "because this is a federal question," says Richard Faulkner, an arbitrator and attorney in Texas who advised Schiller's attorneys. State law, you're irrelevant." Schiller was turned away by the state workers' comp agency and a state court, which cited a mandatory arbitration agreement in the Macy's opt-out plan. Most of the 50 Texas plans obtained by NPR and ProPublica contain mandatory arbitration clauses.
So Schiller first went through an internal appeals process at Macy's, which is typical of opt-out plans in Texas and Oklahoma. But federal judges, under ERISA, must first determine whether employer decisions are "arbitrary and capricious" and can only reject benefits decisions if employers were unreasonable or did not adhere to their plans.
These hurdles to going to court may explain why many employers include in their plans provisions that directly violate ERISA, according to Handorf.
Injured workers also lose benefits in many plans in both Texas and Oklahoma if they don't report injuries by the end of their shifts or within 24 hours, even if supervisors are witnesses or the injuries initially don't seem serious. These provisions are "an impediment to bringing claims and really isn't what ERISA is designed to do," says Handorf. The federal law explicitly states that it does not apply to plans "maintained solely for the purpose of complying" with state workers' comp law. So Minick and PartnerSource added a strategic benefit to 90 percent of the opt-out plans in Oklahoma. Minick says that any misuse or violations of ERISA will be addressed by federal regulators.
Spokesman Michael Trupo says the agency "is aware of, and studying, the issues you note." Trupo also says the agency has never litigated a single case involving possible misuse or violation of the law by employers who have opted out of state workers' comp. The agency has not received a single complaint, Trupo adds, which "may be due, in part, to workers not knowing their rights under [ERISA]." ERISA requires employers to inform workers of those rights and of the process for filing complaints. Plans reviewed by NPR and ProPublica typically contain that information, but most are more than 50 pages long. Schiller, Chalk ruled, suffered a "mild" traumatic brain injury and was subjected to "scattered, intermittent [and] non-focused" medical treatment. Chalk also said medical records failed to show "any serious attempts to thoroughly examine, diagnose, and treat Mr. Schiller's job-related injury." But Schiller would likely recover within five years, Chalk ruled. Ted Lyon, Schiller's attorney, believes his client would have done far better if the case had gone to state court. Schiller "would have worked until he was 65, so that's a million and a half dollars at least," Lyon says. He wants others to know what can happen to injured workers, despite the promised protections of ERISA. I mean I've gotten no, no justice." Most of the arbitration award paid legal fees, arbitration costs and existing medical bills. Transcript RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: We return now to an ongoing NPR and ProPublica investigation of workers' compensation. That is now possible to do in Texas and Oklahoma, but NPR's Howard Berkes has found that federal law doesn't protect injured workers as promised. HOWARD BERKES, BYLINE: Fifty-four-year-old Kevin Schiller sits in the dark in his apartment outside Dallas, holding a doctor's note addressed to police. Schiller was a building engineer at a Macy's department store five years ago when a mannequin fell 12 feet from a shelf.
KEVIN SCHILLER: All I heard was a loud crack, and I found myself looking up on people looking down on me.
BERKES: Stuttering, memory loss and confusion persist, along with headaches from bright light.
But Macy's downplayed the injury, according to legal documents including medical records, witness statements, internal e-mails and depositions. I have made $80,000 a year at times, and I'm going to give that up to be on a Social Security check or food stamps? But workers are still protected by federal law, they say - the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA. BILL MINICK: ERISA comes in and says the benefits must be administered in the best interest of employees. BERKES: Bill Minick and his company, PartnerSource, sell and service benefits plans that are alternatives to workers' comp. BILL MINICK: And there are very detailed claim procedures that must be followed to make sure that the employee gets a full and fair review of their claim, including opportunity to appeal any denial of benefits, and then access to state and federal courts. He wasn't able to appeal to the independent Texas Workers' Comp agency because Macy's had opted out of the state system.
State court was cut off by mandatory arbitration, a feature of most Texas plans we've reviewed. BERKES: ERISA also strictly limits the role of federal courts when they consider benefits denials according to Karen Handorf, a former ERISA official at the Labor Department. KAREN HANDORF: You really have to show that it was irrational or contrary to the terms of the plan.
BERKES: So employers will likely prevail no matter how unfair their plans may seem, as long as they don't violate the plans.
RICHARD FAULKNER: Consequently, you have to think long and hard about what exposures you may be generating for a client if you attempt to pursue some of these ERISA remedies because ERISA can be incredibly dangerous for an injured worker. BERKES: So Schiller was stuck with the Macy's appeals process, where people paid by Macy's decide whether Macy's is fair. Employer-controlled are common in dozens of alternative injury plans in Oklahoma and Texas, where Jeffrey Dahl is an ERISA attorney. JEFFREY DAHL: ERISA's been turned on its head, really, in my mind, because initially, it was passed for protection of workers, but it in fact has become a shield for employers that operate these ERISA plans. They also get nothing in Texas and Oklahoma if they don't report injuries right away, even if they seem minor at first or are witnessed by supervisors. Former Labor Department official Karen Handorf calls these rules - HANDORF: An impediment to bringing claims, and really isn't what ERISA is designed to do.
ERISA is based on the idea that you get your right to make the best claim you can for benefits. BERKES: But Bill Minick of PartnerSource says employers who defy ERISA risks sanctions from federal regulators. Department of labor has enforcement authority over that, so there are a variety of checks and balances in the process.
RICHARD FAULKNER: The Department of Labor has civil and criminal authority that, if it chooses to exercise it, can go in, look at these things. He also confirmed that the agency has never had an ERISA case involving this alternative to workers' comp. If Schiller's case made it to state court, he would have won big, says his attorney, Ted Lyon. TED LYON: He would have worked 'til he was 65, so that's a million and a half dollars at least. In addition to that, pain and suffering damages and the egregious way that they treated him. Most of it paid legal fees, arbitration expenses, medical bills and living costs, and most of it's gone.
The arbitrator did find that Macy's was negligent and failed to thoroughly examine, diagnose and treat Schiller's traumatic brain injury. And after dealing with the whole process I went through and nowhere to go, I have gotten no justice. It hides cases like Schiller's, and protects employers like Macy's, which did not respond to NPR.
We only know about Kevin Schiller because he decided to talk about the failed promise of ERISA protection.

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