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128223shutterst_00000077047The warmer weather and longer days can only mean one thing – summer is upon us! With the summer season comes a few things in particular that companies need to consider. Here are a few hot topics:

Company Picnic Liability and Planning – A company summer picnic with food, games and entertainment can be a great time for employees and the company, if planned appropriately. In addition to making sure that the invite list, date, location and budget are all set, companies need to ensure they follow steps to mitigate certain risks associated with company events. Issues related to workers compensation, sexual harassment and alcohol consumption are all things to keep in mind and be prepared for to help reduce the risk, to both employees and the company, at the event. Also, be sure to let employees know that attendance at the picnic is voluntary and not a requirement of the job.

Dress Code – The warmer season is a great time to revisit your company dress code and remind employees of what your guidelines are for appropriate work attire in the summer season. There are a few different factors to consider when it comes to a companies dress code such as the company culture, the image the company expects employees to portray as well as the risk associated with certain attire. No matter what the dress code is, what is important when it comes to the dress code is that the policy is written, clearly communicated to employees and enforced.

Summer Employment of Teens – Summer means no more school for the kids and some teenagers are eager to get a temporary summertime job and therefore, employers need to be aware of the requirements related to hiring minors. Both state and federal child labor laws have restrictions around what employees under the age of 18 can do for work, what equipment they can/can’t use and the hours they can work. It is important for employers to do their homework on the child labor laws applicable to their business if they are going to be hiring minors over the summer, or at any time of the year.

Hot Weather Safety – As the temperature outside rises, so does the risk to employees that work outdoors and/or are subject to the weather conditions in their work environment. It is the employer’s responsibility to protect employees from the hazards of the heat and take steps to prevent heat related illnesses and injuries. Water, shade and rest are key safeguards companies can incorporate during periods of warm weather and high temperatures.

Hurricane/Disaster Planning – Hurricane season is from June 1 through November 30, and although hurricanes don’t apply to everyone, severe weather or disasters (unfortunately) do apply at one time or another. Therefore, employers should take the necessary steps now to complete a disaster preparedness plan applicable to their business. When creating a plan companies should determine the risk, identify key employees, have a plan for data backup, communicate the plan and practice your plan. Other things to consider for a disaster preparedness plan are payment of wages, continuation of benefits, employees that take a leave of absence, etc. For companies that already have a plan in place, it is a good idea to review that before the summer season and make any necessary updates.

Summer Vacations/Flextime – Great weather and no school is a recipe for vacations and more time off from work over the summer months. Companies need to be mindful of and prepare for employee vacation time as to ensure continued productivity while eliminating the need to contact the employee while away from work. Flexible work arrangements and time away from the office are top perks for employees now more than ever before and can be great for overall morale and productivity.

Summer time is a great time of year and is even better when companies are prepared and able to provide a great overall work experience for their employees.

Deanna Arnold, PHR, is the president and owner of Cornelius, N.C.-based Employers Advantage LLC, which provides practical and sound solutions to meet the needs of your business in all aspects of human resources, including but not limited to, recruiting, benefits, employee relations, compliance, performance management, HRIS, workers compensation, safety, facilities/office management, and budgeting. She can be reached by emailing [email protected] or calling 980-422-7953.www.employersadvantagellc.com

Article courtesy of TIRE REVIEW.

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Deanna Arnold
Deanna Arnold, PHR, is the president and owner of Cornelius, N.C.-based Employers Advantage LLC (www.employersadvantagellc.com), which provides practical solutions in all aspects of human resources, including recruiting, benefits, employee relations, compliance, performance management, HRIS, worker’s compensation, safety, facilities/office management and budgeting. She can be reached at [email protected] or by calling 980-422-7953.