Column and Beam

A blog for design and construction professionals.

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Are Your Architects and Engineers Exempt?

Navigating employment laws can be challenging for design and construction firms, particularly in today’s uncertain climate.  One concept that is surprisingly complex and requires careful attention is the classification of employees as exempt or non-exempt.  Most employers assume it’s an easy distinction, especially regarding seasoned career professionals, but what about unlicensed intern architects and engineers-in-training (ETIs)?

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Should You Monitor Employee Use of Company-Issued Devices?

Ever wonder what your employees are really up to while they’re on the clock?  You’re certainly not alone.  Many companies place restrictions on employee activities.  According to a recent survey, 40% of companies have a formal social media policy and monitor social media activities on company-owned equipment.  Another survey showed that 76% of companies have rules regarding email use and content, and half reported that they regularly monitor workers’ incoming/outgoing emails.  Is it legal and ethical to monitor what employees are doing with their company-issued devices?

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What You Need to Know about Document Retention for Employment Records

Is your company a small group of five or a large team of five hundred?  Whatever the case may be, you have important and confidential employment records.  These can include a wide variety of paper and electronic documents, including time sheets, emergency contact forms, performance evaluations, and medical leave requests.  Your employment records should be kept in a secure location, but there’s no need to retain them indefinitely.  The following are federal requirements regarding document retention.

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Records to Get and Keep When Hiring

All businesses, including architecture and engineering firms and construction contractors, have to fill vacant or new positions from time to time.  There are a number of records that such firms must obtain during the hiring process.  There are other documents that some employers elect to obtain, like drug and alcohol tests, credit reports and other background reports.  There are legal requirements for how long each of these documents must be kept and how they must be destroyed.

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Smart Document Retention Policies

Imagine that your architectural, engineering, or construction firm just finished a  project that generated thousands of documents including contracts, drawings, specifications, memoranda, emails, calculations, requests for information, and change orders.  Now, you’re faced with a number of questions:

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