Month: October 2023

Create a Healthy Work Environment: Frequent Check-Ins

Check ins between employees and supervisors

Check ins between employees and supervisors
Frequent check-ins with your team are a great way to create a healthy work environment and boost wellness in the workplace.

These can be 1-on-1 meetings or a team office hours format, depending on the size of your team, the way you work, your industry, etc. Ideally, they would be 1-on-1 sessions – but do what works best for your company! Research shows that employees who check in with their managers at least once a week as opposed to less frequently are:

  • More than 2x as likely to trust their manager
  • Nearly 2x as likely to respect their manager
  • 5x less likely to be disengaged
  • Nearly 2x as likely to believe they can grow within the organization

Check in with your company’s health insurance provider OR ask your TripleTrack HR consultant for other ideas for creating a healthy workplace!

Governor Hochul Signed into Law Two New Mandates for NY Employers 

employees seating and waiting while holding paperwork

employees seating and waiting while holding paperwork
Unemployment Notice Requirement

Under this new legislation, employers must provide written notice of eligibility for unemployment benefits to any employee who has been terminated, temporarily separated, experienced a reduction in hours or any other interruption of continued employment that results in total or partial unemployment.

This information must be disclosed on a form furnished or approved by the Department of Labor (DOL). And, the Department of Labor has not yet published the required form to comply with the law which takes effect November 13, 2023. When the form is released by the NYS DOL, we will get it to you!

Social Media Disclosures

Many employers demand that individuals grant access to their personal social media accounts during both the application process and disciplinary investigations. This legislation effective March 2024, aims to curtail such practices by generally forbidding employers from:

  • Requesting, mandating, or coercing employees or applicants to divulge their usernames, passwords, or any other authentication data required for accessing personal accounts.
  • Observing an individual’s personal account while in the presence of the employer.
  • Replicating, in any manner, the contents of personal accounts, such as photographs, videos, or other information.

In this context, a “personal account” is precisely defined as “an account or profile on an electronic platform where users can generate, share, and view user-created content. This includes the uploading or downloading of videos or photos, blogs, video blogs, podcasts, instant messages, or internet website profiles or locations, solely intended for personal use by an employee or applicant.” Consequently, this legislation would encompass virtually all personal social media accounts held by both employees and applicants.

It is important to note that this law includes certain exceptions and limitations. For instance, an employer is permitted to access an electronic communications device if it has been fully or partially funded by the employer, provided that the condition of access was clearly communicated to the employee beforehand, and the employee expressly consented to it. Nevertheless, the employer remains prohibited from accessing any personal accounts on the said device.

There are other nuances and we would anticipate some additional clarification as we get closer to next year’s effective date. TripleTrack will monitor this employer mandate, and will provide more information as it becomes available.

Employee Termination Checklist

employee termination

Employee termination is usually not an enjoyable experience, but covering all of your bases can make the process easier. Avoid future compliance pitfalls with our Employee Termination Checklist listed below.

If you want your own copy, feel free to download the document here.

Type of Termination

Voluntary

  • Received employee’s resignation letter. (If verbal resignation, provided employee with a written confirmation of resignation).
  • Exit interview scheduled.
  • Exit interview completed.

Involuntary

  • Provided employee with termination letter.
  • Provided employee with severance agreement if applicable.
  • Received signed severance agreement.
  • Provided employee with WARN notice (if applicable).

Benefits

  • Provided employee with termination/continuation of employment insurance benefits information (COBRA, life insurance, supplemental insurance, etc.)
  • Checked medical FSA/HSA participation and informed employee of remaining funds and reimbursement deadlines, if applicable.
  • Checked dependent care FSA participation and informed employee of remaining funds and reimbursement deadlines, if applicable.
  • Checked PTO balance and informed employee of any remaining PTO and how it will be processed at termination of employment. (Employer’s PTO policy should give information about circumstances for pay out upon termination, if applicable.)
  • Informed employee about retirement plan account options, if applicable.
  • Notify employee benefits broker and/or retirement plan administrator of employee’s termination.

Compensation

  • Provided notice of policy regarding any outstanding balances for money owed to company (educational loans, for example).
  • Notified payroll department to process final paycheck.
  • Informed payroll of any unused but earned PTO amounts due to the employee, if applicable.
  • Notified payroll to process severance pay and whether lump sum or salary continuation (if applicable).

Contracts/Legal

  • Provided written notice to employee of any legal obligations that continue post-employment (e.g., noncompete/confidentiality agreements/employment contracts).

Records

  • Pulled personnel file to be stored with terminated employee files.
  • Pulled Form I-9 to be stored with terminated employees’ I-9s.

Information Technology

  • Disabled e-mail account.
  • Removed employee’s name from e-mail group distribution lists; internal/office phone list; website and building directories.
  • Disabled computer access.
  • Disabled phone extension.
  • Disabled voicemail.

Facilities/Office Manager

  • Disabled security codes, if necessary.
  • Changed office mailbox.
  • Cleaned work area and removed personal belongings.

Collected the following items, if applicable:

  • Keys (☐ office ☐ building ☐ desk ☐ file cabinets ☐ other)
  • ID card
  • Building access card
  • Business cards
  • Nameplate
  • Name badge
  • Company cell phone
  • Laptop
  • Uniforms
  • Tools
  • Other

If you want help throughout the employee termination process, reach out to us! At Triple Track HR, we have over 85 years of collected human resource experience and have helped many clients in the Western New York area navigate employee terminations.