Top 5 Reasons to Attend Your Company’s Holiday Party

In general, most people enjoy attending parties. Something that is not as frequently talked about however, is the company holiday party. It may not seem like a very big deal, but there are some very good reasons for both having and attending a company holiday party. Here are our top 5 reasons why you should attend your company’s holiday party.

holiday party

One of Trojan Labor’s (temporary staffing company) holiday partiestop 5 reasons to attend your holiday Holiday party:

1. Camaraderie

A Holiday party is a great opportunity to socialize with your coworkers and boss in a more relaxed setting. Take the party as a chance to build relationships with coworkers you do not get to interact with on a regular basis at the office/worksite etc. Having some friends at work can come in handy if you ever get behind or need help with anything.

2. It might be assumed that you will attend

The party might not be mandatory, but your boss may have the assumption that you will be attending. Just in case, it is a good idea to try to go to the party if you can.

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Holiday Gifts for some Trojan Labor customers

3. Free food! (usually)

This one speaks for itself.

4. Networking Opportunity

Similar to reason 1 but with business in mind, A holiday party is a great opportunity to network.

5. Morale Booster

Because of the above reasons, attending your company’s holiday party can be a morale booster. It can make you and y our coworkers feel more like a team and ready to start the new year strong and motivated.

Supreme Court Rules Staffing Company Does Not Have to Pay Employees for Mandatory Security Screenings

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that a staffing firm did not have to compensate its employees for the time they spent waiting to undergo and actually undergoing security screenings. The staffing firm, Integrity gavelStaffing Solutions, required its hourly warehouse workers, who were employed to retrieve products from warehouse shelves and package them for delivery to Amazon.com customers, to undergo a security screening before leaving the warehouse each day.

 

A group of former employees sued Integrity claiming that the Fair Labor Standards Act required Integrity to compensate them for the roughly 25 minutes per day they spent undergoing the security screening.

 

The former employees argued that Integrity required the screenings, that the screenings benefited Integrity and its customers, and that Integrity could have taken reasonable measures to significantly decrease the amount of time the employees spent waiting each day.

 

The Supreme Court was not persuaded by these arguments and held that Integrity did not have to compensate its employees for time spent on the screenings.  The Court relied heavily upon the Portal-to-Portal Act which exempts employers from payment for “activities which are preliminary to or postliminary to” the “principal activities” which the employee is hired to perform.  “Principal activities,” which an employer must compensate an employee for performing, include those activities which an employee necessarily must do in order to safely or effectively perform the duties he was hired to perform.

 

For example, a butcher in a meat packing plant must be compensated for the time spent sharpening his knives because dull knives lead to accidents and damage the product, and employees at a battery factory must be compensated for time spent changing into gear that protects them from toxic chemicals used to manufacture batteries.

 

These activities are indispensable to the performance of the duties which the butcher and battery line worker were hired to perform and are, therefore, included in the category of “principal activities” for which the employees must be paid. The Supreme Court held, yesterday, that the security screenings Integrity required were not compensable “principal activities.”  Instead, they were postliminary to these principal activities.

 

Integrity’s workers were hired, not to undergo screenings, but to retrieve products from warehouse shelves and package them for shipment.  Unlike sharpening knives in the case of the butcher and donning protective clothing in the case of the battery line worker, going through a post-shift security screening was not an intrinsic part of what Integrity’s employees were hired to do.

 

Employees could have skipped the screenings without impairing the safe or effective completion of their principal activities.  In fact, the Court pointed out that Integrity could have done away with the screenings altogether without impairing the employees’ ability to complete their work.

 

The bottom line is that an employer does not have to pay employees for all activities simply because it requires employees to participate in them, the activities directly benefit the employer, or the employer could reasonably have reduced the amount of time spent on the activities.  Instead, whether an employer must compensate an employee for time spent on an activity which occurs at the beginning or end of a work day depends on whether the activity is an intrinsic and indispensable part of the productive work which the employee is employed to perform.  If it is not, it is preliminary or postliminary, and non-compensable.

 

The case is Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, et al., and can be located here.

EEOC Charges Company Using Medical History During Hiring Process

On November 20th, 2014 the EEOC filed  charges against Amsted Rail Co. Inc and Amsted Industries, Inc because they allegedly used medical tests and reviewed medical histories in the hiring process. Amsted manufactures  steel castings for the rail industry.

The testing and histories were to determine an applicants likelihood of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. However, the tests are not supported by most medical researcher to be accurate indicators of someones likelihood to develop carpal tunnel. According to the EEOC’s statement,

 

” the company asks applicants if they have a history of carpal tunnel syndrome and gives them a nerve conduction test, even though the most current relevant published medical literature does not support the use of such tests alone, or the use of prior medical history alone, to predict the development of carpal tunnel.”

 

The EEOC alleges that at least 50 applicants were denied a position with the company due to their medical history, their test results, or a combination of the two.  EEOC Regional Attorney Andrea G. Baran also stated,

 

“Employment decisions, including hiring decisions, must be based on a person’s ability to perform the job, not on stereotypes, assumptions or conjecture. An individualized assessment of the applicant’s present ability to safely perform the job duties is required if an employer screens out an applicant based on medical tests or exams in the hiring process.”

Employment and discrimination law is growing increasingly complex. Even unintentionally, a company can get themselves in trouble if they are not careful.

 

 

 

New Openings in November!

November was a busy month for new openings! Trojan expanded back into Texas, reopened a location in Tennessee, and debuted in Wyoming and Nevada! Join us in welcoming new teams in Dallas, Clarksville, Cheyenne, and Las Vegas to the Trojan Labor family!