Has Spring Already Sprung?

According to the calendar, spring is just a few weeks old. If you look at the weather, only the hardiest of flowers and trees have started awakening from their winter slumber, and the temperatures are anything but balmy. Nobody I know has put away their winter coats for the season. The housing market seems to hold a completely contrary opinion, however. According to statistics from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the spring market began weeks ago! February existing home sales rocketed to an 11.8% increase from the prior month, while economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal had expected […]

The Equality Act Comes Closer to Reality

The Equality Act is an important topic for our readers. Over the course of the last four years, there has been a significant increase of Congressional support, jumping from 178 members to 239. In addition to this support, some large corporations have publically come on board as well. When first introduced in 2015, only Apple, Levi-Strauss, and Dow Chemical had supported the Equality Act. Joining this group are Google, Facebook, General Mills, and American Airlines. As of now, there are over 150 companies that support this bill. The Human Rights Campaign organized this corporate push with its Business Coalition for […]

Workplace Safety

Preparing for workplace safety has been top of mind for many employers. While in the past the focus had been on Occupational Health & Safety (OSHA) i.e., providing a work environment free from safety and health hazards that could cause physical harm, nowadays there is increased emphasis on workplace violence. How do we define workplace violence? This definition will be organization-specific, but for the sake of this article, I will define it as deliberately causing physical injury to another person, such as shooting, hitting, and other forms of physical abuse, as well as threats of violence (including emails, texts, social […]

Does Social Media Prepare You to Buy a Home?

For many years the general public had solid confidence in the idea that real estate – especially owning your own home – was the best investment that an individual or family could make. The housing market crash and resulting Great Recession after 2008 put a dent in that public confidence. I last wrote on this subject in 2015, after a Gallup poll had confirmed that real estate was still considered the most reliable form of long-term investment, but down from past surveys.  The prolonged economic recovery has reassured most home owners that their investment was a wise one, if only […]

Mold: Major Problem or Minor Nuisance?

Just about everyone has heard something about the growing issue of mold in residential structures over the last ten years. There’s a lot of information – and misinformation – going viral on the internet. Here’s a dose of truth: if your house has wood components (studs, flooring, joists, rafters) or drywall, then you already have some level of mold in your house. It doesn’t matter how old the house is, or how well you’ve maintained it. It’s there. Most likely it’s a very insignificant amount, but over the last few years of major rainfall totals and flooding events – and […]

Drug Testing in the Workplace

Now that some states have legalized marijuana use, it is a good idea to take a look at where things stand legally when it comes to it’s use in the workplace. Company leaders have had discretion when deciding whether to subject employees to drug testing, either pre-hire or during employment. Recently, a federal court affirmed this when it found that a New Jersey company did not have to waive a post-accident test for a worker who was a registered medical marijuana user. This decision means in the state of New Jersey, businesses can still dictate the terms of employment to […]

Beware Hidden Recording on the Real Estate Hunt

It’s a pretty good bet, these days, that you have been video recorded for some length of time every time you leave the house. Between store surveillance, police dash cams recording license plates and body cameras, and security cameras of all stripes, someone has been watching just about “every move you make.” And in Maryland, that’s pretty much legal. According to the lawyers at Avvo.com, audio recording is a little more questionable and dangerous. Maryland is a “two-party consent” state. For audio recording to be legal requires the consent of both parties in the conversation, particularly if the conversation takes place in […]

Medicare Basics

My clients often report Medicare as the most confusing aspect of their retirement financial picture. With all of the options available through Medicare, just deciding on which coverage to elect can get someone’s head to spin. Understanding the basics can help you feel more comfortable as you sort through the decision process. In this article, I’ll cover some of the main aspects of Medicare as well as providing some resources where you can learn more. When can you sign up? Most people will become eligible for Medicare at age 65 and can sign up as early as three months prior […]

It’s a New Year: Reflect and Resolve Ten golden rules

The end of the year is a good time to reflect on your business’s progress over the past 12 months and a good time to plan business goals for the New Year. It’s a great time to ask and answer questions, such as, do you want increased success in the coming year, or more chances to enjoy success you may have achieved? These top New Year’s resolutions are designed to help you do both: strike a better work-life balance and increase business success in the New Year. 1) Learn to delegate, and do more of it. There are so many […]

Planning for the End of Year Party

As we embark on December’s festive season, many of us in Human Resources prepare for traditional year-end holiday parties. Given the multi-cultural mix of employees in most organizations, for some, these holiday celebrations can leave some folks feeling negative, left out and unhappy. Given the backdrop of our political climate, tension and emotions are high, and the opportunity for misunderstandings increase tenfold. Some employees will embrace the idea of a more inclusive approach to the holiday party, and some will not appreciate this approach at all. Although the US population continues to grow more diverse, Christians still make up about […]