button Vol. 5
No. 3
Winter 1999

line INSIDE line

Workplace Romance -
How About a "Love Contract"?
line 'Right to Organize'
- THE Hot Labor Issue To Test Candidates in the Year 2000, Says Sweeney
line Disgruntled Workers Air Corporate 'Dirty Laundry'
on Internet World Wide Web Sites
line Supreme Court Rulings and ADA, 1999 Review
line Answers about Employee Break Periods
line BCG Has a New Address! line Briefs

Braun Consulting News
News on Personnel, Labor Relations and Benefits

See our Archive Pages for Back Issues of Braun Consulting News!

button Briefs

- Nursing Moms Get Rooms from DOD.

Recently the Pentagon has joined over 300 corporations in devoting space and facilities for nursing mothers to extract breast milk. Supervising Nurse Shirley Baldwin said employee response was considerably greater than expected when the facility, open to all ranks, was announced July 30th. Three hospital-grade pumps are available, along with a refrigerator to store the milk.

Congress and many state legislatures are considering measures to encourage breast-feeding among working mothers. Minnesota already requires employers to make reasonable efforts to provide time and facilities for mothers to extract breast milk.

- "Federal Supervisors and Poor Performance" Report Released.

A report by the Merit Systems Protection Board released recently said that "bad apples" in federal workplaces have a much greater impact on their agencies' performance than numbers suggest, and agencies must do a better job selecting supervisors with a knack for human relations. The report suggests that agencies should examine how well their employee selection methods identify good performers in the first place.

The board, which handles federal personnel disputes, said problems with performance management stem less from the legal system than from factors such as organizational culture, management support for supervisors' decisions, and selection of employees and supervisors.

- Unusual Perk for Recruitment used by Chiropractic College

The Los Angeles College of Chiropractic is rolling out a discount program for pet related expenses for its workers. A service provided by "PetAssure" of Dover NJ provides a flat 25 percent discount for most veterinary care within a nationwide network of providers. For an organization with 250 workers or fewer, the discount plan would cost each employee $85 a year, according to PetAssure. This benefit is expected to please employees and prospective employees... finally, a program for a major, but often overlooked, group of employee dependents: pets.

- Time Spent in Mandatory Drug Testing Compensable

Employees who undergo drug or alcohol testing required by their employer must be paid for that time under the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to a recent opinion letter issued by the Department of Labor's Office of Enforcement Policy.

When an employer stipulates that an employee must meet certain requirements to begin or continue work, the time spent fulfillment those requirements, "is regarded as indispensable to the performance of the principal activity the employee is hired to perform."

Activities like physical exams and drug and alcohol testing would fall into that category. Even if the testing takes place outside of normal working hours, the testing time must be counted as compensable hours worked.

(Source: Wage and Hour Opinion Letter, Jan 1999)

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