Gross McGinley LLP

gross-headerimg-3
Blog Disclaimer

Blog Disclaimer

This Blog is intended for educational and informational purposes and intended to only provide you with a general understanding of the law, not to provide any legal advice, including on the subject of the Blog. Laws that may pertain to this Blog will vary by jurisdiction, and the information on this blog may not apply to you. The content within this Blog is not intended, and should not be construed, in any way to be legal advice and thus you should not rely on any information provided in the Blog as legal advice. You should consult with appropriate legal counsel concerning any issues for which legal advice may be needed. Your review or use of the Blog and the content therein is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Please contact us if you have any questions about a Blog or would like more information, but, by contacting us, no attorney-client relationship is formed between you and Gross McGinley, LLP, including the Blog author. Do not send any confidential information to Gross McGinley, LLP or the authors of the Blog without first speaking to one of our lawyers and receiving our permission to provide confidential information. Unsolicited confidential information sent to us may not be subject to an attorney-client privilege and may not be treated as confidential. This Blog is not published for advertising or solicitation purposes. Gross McGinley, LLP disclaims all liability to all persons for any claim, loss, liability or any damages that may arise in connection with the Blog and any content or information contained in the Blog. Even though we strive to create our Blog content based on our current understanding of the law, we cannot and do not guarantee that the content and information in the Blog is current, accurate, or complete. Gross McGinley, LLP owns the copyright in the Blog, which is protected by federal and state laws, including copyright laws. The Blog cannot be altered or modified in any way. A copy of the Blog may be used and printed only for personal, educational, informational and noncommercial purposes. The Blog cannot be used for any other purpose without the express permission of Gross McGinley, LLP.

Manufacturing Workforce Changes

Written by: Thomas E. Reilly, Jr. on September 26, 2018 | Category: Blog | Tags: ,

The manufacturing workforce is changing rapidly as companies hire more diverse and multifaceted employees. The region’s low unemployment rate and the competition for a trained and qualified workforce has also led to increased competition and retention challenges never seen before in the industry. Automated processes and enhanced technologies have created new demands for a skilled and knowledgeable workforce that is more diverse than ever before. These changes present unique challenges that businesses in the industry have previously never faced.

Gross McGinley’s Business Services Group recently provided a seminar to members of the Manufacturers Resource Center on the changing face of the manufacturing workforce. Presented by Attorneys Tom Reilly, Jack Gross, and Loren Speziale, the discussion highlighted process considerations and employment policies that can help attract and retain a qualified workforce while protecting business interests.

Manufacturers face a variety of issues including hiring and retaining skilled workers, an aging workforce, growing diversity, changing employee expectations, blurred distinctions between management and employees, competition, and government intervention. Our presenters provided the following considerations that can help differentiate a business and proactively avoid what can be costly legal troubles.

  1. Intellectual Property: A valuable business asset for manufacturers, protection of intellectual property (IP) is imperative. Manufacturers need to be aware of how the law is applied regarding employee-created IP, independent contractor or consultant-created IP, and how to ensure they own the rights to those assets. Steps can be taken to prevent misappropriation and infringement, including IP educational programs for employees and management, appropriate contracts with contractors/consultants, IP covenants in employment agreements, handbook policies, and certain procedures including exit interviews.
  2. Data Security: Manufacturers that either store credit card information or social security numbers should seriously consider their security measures and the need for holding such information. However, even if they don’t store sensitive information, businesses need to be aware of the type of access they have to other companies’ networks and where security risks may exist. Costly mistakes happen every day, including an employee falling victim to an email phishing scheme as well as attacks on subcontractor systems.
  3. Employment Policies: Given the changing manufacturing workforce and challenges highlighted above, certain employee policies should be considered when revising employee handbooks and addressing internal procedures.
    • EEO Policies: Employers need to identify the classes that will be protected (and can be broader than that required by local, state, and federal law); provide a mechanism for reporting discrimination and harassment; detail the investigation process when a claim is made; and confirm that retaliation will not be tolerated.
    • Paid Time Off: While not required by Pennsylvania law, certain types of paid time off can be a differentiating factor for an employer looking to compete in the hiring market. Beyond vacation and sick time, manufacturers can decide to include family-related leave, maternity leave, and paternity leave.
    • Off-Duty Activities: Manufacturers need to consider their stance on an employee’s off-duty activities and if/how they wish to address such activities including social media use, criminal conduct, and political activities.
    • Recordings in the Workplace: Due to Pennsylvania’s wiretap laws, employers can be exposed to significant legal liability if certain surveillance methods are use. It is important for manufacturers to be aware of what is captured on video and audio recordings on their property.
    • Background Checks and Drug Testing: Manufacturers should consult legal counsel on how they implement these procedures into their hiring and employment processes.

Key takeaways from the seminar included the importance of reviewing internal written policies and handbooks to ensure documents are up-to-date. It is also important for manufacturers to ensure their internal practices are consistent with the policies set forth in these documents. Best practices include consulting with an attorney to also ensure that employment policies and practices are appropriate for the changing landscape of the manufacturing workforce.

Next Previous
View All Attorneys
View All Practice Areas
View Blog