Nemeth Law attorney offers some new suggestions for the time honored tradition of holiday work parties

Will your organization be hosting a holiday party this season? Whether it’s to celebrate the holidays or reward employees and celebrate a year of hard work, it’s best to establish guidelines to make sure everyone remains safe, happy and employed. Kellen Myers, an attorney at Detroit-based labor and employment law firm Nemeth Law, offers the following guidelines and considerations, some of which acknowledge the changing landscape of society and the workplace:

• Smile for the camera – but watch those social media party posts! Myers says it can be a great idea to share quotes and photos from a work party, but remind staff in advance of the celebration that the company’s social media policy still applies at the event.

“Inappropriate conversation or photos that end up on social media and reflect poorly on the organization or another staff member should be forbidden and may also be grounds for firing, especially if a particularly egregious post, video or photo goes viral. Employers don’t want the holiday party to be a breeding ground for social media feuds that spill over into the workplace long after the party has ended,” Myers said.

• For crowd control and better monitoring of party activities, limit parties to employees rather than adding clients and vendors.

“That being said, it can be fun to include spouses, significant others and even children of employees to a holiday party; their presence may help avoid inappropriate behavior and over-indulging, too,” Myers said. “If alcohol is served, though, be sure to implement and follow a “We ID” policy.

• Invite all employees to the party, but make it clear that attendance is voluntary. Not everyone celebrates the holidays, and employees should not feel pressured to attend a party that might offend their religious beliefs.

• Senior management and HR representatives should attend the holiday party.

“This is not necessarily a social time for company executives. They need to be conspicuously visible and exhibit model behavior,” Myers said.

• Don’t drink and drive should be the mantra. If possible, arrange for transportation in advance for employees who may not be able to drive. Shuttles and car services are an excellent option, but can be costly. Consider alternatives, including offering to reimburse employees for cab fares or ride-hailing services such as Uber.
• Remind employees that while the holiday party is meant to celebrate their contributions from the past year, the event is still a business function and inappropriate behavior may result in discipline.

No party planned this year? It’s not too late to host a breakfast/lunch event on-site and close the office early.

“With these types of informal gatherings, employees appreciate getting to leave earlier in the day and the timing eliminates problems that can arise with evening parties where alcohol is served.”

Is it possible to follow all these rules and guidelines and still have fun? Myers says yes.

“Our firm’s holiday gathering was a fowling event in Detroit in early December and it was a blast,” Myers said. “Last I checked, we were all still on speaking terms with each other and any photos that went viral were on the Nemeth Law social media channels – meaning they were approved for posting by the boss,” Myers said.

About Nemeth Law, P.C.

Nemeth Law specializes in arbitration, mediation, workplace investigations, employment litigation, traditional labor law and management consultation/training for private and public sector employers. It is the largest woman-owned law firm in Michigan to exclusively represent management in the prevention, resolution and litigation of labor and employment disputes.

American Society of Employers (ASE) annual Mid-Michigan Employment Law Workshop set for May 18

The American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations, will help bring clarity on changing employment laws to employers in the Mid-Michigan area with its annual Employment Law Workshop set for Wednesday, May 18 at the Horizons Conference Center in Saginaw.

“From the pending changes regarding overtime payments, questions about acceptable employee handbook language and the push for paid parental leave, employers are faced with a rapidly changing legal landscape in the workplace,” Mary E. Corrado, ASE CEO, said. “ASE’s Employment Law Workshop will cut through the often ambiguous areas of employment law to help HR professionals stay informed and up to date.”

The Employment Law Workshop will feature attorney-led panels and specialized interactive breakout sessions reviewing the laws and regulations that impact the day-to-day employer/employee relationship. Highlights of the workshop include:

• Overview of Federal and State law changes
• “Ask the Lawyer” open forum lunch session
• Tips and strategies for maintaining a harmonious workplace
• Clarifying the impact recent court decisions will have on employers
• Understanding how employee handbook content can help or hurt employers in legal claims

For a complete conference agenda and registration information, please visit the ASE website.

About the American Society of Employers (ASE) – a Centennial Organization
The American Society of Employers (ASE) is a not-for-profit trade association providing people-management information and services to Michigan employers. Since 1902, member organizations have relied on ASE to be their single, cost-effective source for information and support, helping to grow their bottom line by enhancing the effectiveness of their people.

Learn more about ASE at www.aseonline.org.

ASE’s annual Human Resources conferences on March 5 will address opportunities and issues in the modern workplace

Livonia, Mich. —March 3, 2015 — The American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations, will hold its 12th annual People, Profit, Progress conference on Thursday, March 5 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. With more than 300 attendees registered, it is one of the region’s largest Human Resources conferences. ASE CEO Mary Corrado notes that HR practitioners are eager to stay on top of trends and best practices that help attract, motivate and retain employees in today’s rapidly evolving workplace.

“This year’s speakers are focused on both traditional HR topics such as employment law compliance, internships and supervision techniques, as well as emerging issues in the workplace including collaborating effectively across cultures, using corporate culture as a catalyst for innovation, and best practices for recruiting veterans and people with disabilities,” Corrado said. “Increasingly, corporate leaders and boards are looking to HR departments to address and resolve some of the most challenging issues ever presented in the modern workplace. HR pros are responding in kind, seeking knowledge and counsel from the country’s top HR advisors and practitioners.”

Keynote speakers are Greg McKeown, CEO of THIS, Inc. and the New York Times bestselling author of Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, and John O’Leary, President of Rising Above and the survivor of a horrific fire resulting in burns over 98% of his body. O’Leary will speak on empowering individuals to take back their lives, ignite their possibilities and change their world. McKeown will speak on challenging core assumptions about achievement to get to the essence of what really drives success.

For a complete conference agenda and registration information, please visit the ASE website.

About the American Society of Employers
The American Society of Employers is a not-for-profit trade association servicing Michigan employers. Since 1902, member organizations have relied on ASE to be their single, cost-effective source for information and support on all matters affecting the employer-employee relationship. For over 100 years, ASE’s principal function has been to provide people-management information and services. The purpose of these services is to help organizations grow their bottom lines by growing the effectiveness of their people. More information about the American Society of Employers is available at www.aseonline.org.

McGraw Wentworth Named One of the “Best Places to Work in Insurance” for Fifth Consecutive Year

McGraw Wentworth Named One of the “Best Places To Work In Insurance” for Fifth Consecutive Year

Troy, Michigan – October 21, 2012 – Business Insurance magazine named Michigan-based employee group benefits firm McGraw Wentworth, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company, one of the nation’s “Best Places to Work in Insurance” in the Small Employers category (25 to 249 employees) for the fifth year in a row. McGraw Wentworth is the only Michigan-based organization dedicated solely to employee group benefits named to the elite list compiled by Business Insurance magazine and the Best Companies Group.

“Our goal is to provide a supportive environment that makes it possible for our highly-skilled employees to succeed and thrive,” said Tom McGraw, president of McGraw Wentworth. “With the introduction of health care reform, our industry has experienced rapid and significant change. We commend our team for rising to the challenge and working together to guide our clients through this complex time. Their efforts are what make our firm a ‘best place to work’.”

The 2013 Best Places to Work in Insurance nationwide survey and awards program honors companies that foster an environment in which employees enjoy and excel. The Best Companies Group conducted the two-part survey, including a confidential employee satisfaction survey evaluating the company culture and employees’ workplace experience, accounting for 75% of each company’s score. The remaining 25% was derived based on each company’s benefits programs, workplace policies, practices, and other general information.

Sixty-five organizations are named to the 2013 list, forty-five of which are categorized as Small Employers, including group benefits agents/brokers, group life/health insurers, property/casualty brokers, property/casualty insurers, and reinsurers. An overview of the Best Places to Work For In Insurance program is available online, along with a profile of McGraw Wentworth.

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McGraw Wentworth, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company, is an award-winning group benefits consulting and brokerage firm based in Troy, Michigan. The company counsels clients on how to structure their group benefit programs and provides strategic planning, utilization review, benefit design, employee communications, compliance assistance and related services. The firm is supported by Marsh & McLennan, the premier global provider of advice and solutions in risk, strategy and human capital. Follow McGraw Wentworth on twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.