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Limit Liability, Boost Recruiting with Accurate Job Descriptions

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job-descriptions-are-essentialAfter almost 25 years in Human Resources, I have definitely learned a thing or two about limiting liabilities.  Job descriptions, in my opinion, are one of the fail-safes in protecting any size business from employee-related liability. Coupled with a strong employee handbook, job descriptions define the employment relationship. In employment disputes, job descriptions regularly become the most important piece of evidence.  Reviewing and updating your job descriptions annually can strategically reduce the business risk, set employee expectations, assist with career succession planning, ongoing training, performance development and should provide flexibility for the employer’s changing goals and business cycles. Continue reading “Limit Liability, Boost Recruiting with Accurate Job Descriptions”

Do Summer Dress Code Violations Have You Flipping Out?

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Summer dress code violations - flipping outIn more than 20 years in human resources, I’ve seen my fair share of unprofessional and/or inappropriate attire in the workplace.  When summer arrives, it seems like the clothes get skimpier, the straps get narrower, and shoes look less like shoes and more like string bikinis.

Unless your business is located at a beach or around a pool, it probably does not warrant swimsuits, shorts, flip flops and tank tops in the workplace.  To ensure that employees are aware of and comply with the dress code rules, employers should:

    Continue reading “Do Summer Dress Code Violations Have You Flipping Out?”

Intern or Employee? Six Factors to Consider

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Summer internshipsSchool is out, and college students-turned-job-seekers may be knocking at your door.  Before adding summer interns to your office staff, make sure these additions won’t land you in legal hot water.

Before you decide whether or not to pay your summer interns, review the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) governing internship programs.  The Department of Labor (DOL) looks at six factors to determine whether an individual is properly classified as an unpaid intern, or should be considered an employee and paid at least the minimum wage: Continue reading “Intern or Employee? Six Factors to Consider”

Tell Me Why!

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communication, tell-me-whyAs an HR Manager for more than two decades, having experienced so many HR-related issues with employees, business owners and managers, it is a novelty to encounter a new situation. Recently, I had an eye-opening experience while training a prominent medical industry client.

While in their office, I noted their amazing atmosphere (meant to comfort children), the customer-friendly waiting areas and the overall buzz in the building that felt fast-paced and well-oiled.  It is an open-concept office where the staff members work in the center, with open views of their customers and vice versa. Continue reading “Tell Me Why!”

OSHA Requirements: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

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OSHA-complianceDo you know if your company is required to follow the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act)? Part of the United States Department of Labor, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to maintain a workplace free from recognized hazards, and establishes safety and health standards for workplace operations. The OSH Act covers any employer that is engaged in a business affecting interstate commerce. Continue reading “OSHA Requirements: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You”

Your HR Guide To Vacation Benefits

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vacation-benefits-101Vacation Benefits 101

Time-off benefits offered by employers can be one of the most important ingredients in an employee compensation package. The types of Paid Time Off (PTO) employers can offer include: holidays, vacations, sick leave, personal leave, and bereavement leave, discussed below. These types of time-off benefits can be a very valuable part of an employee benefit package, become an attraction for recruitment and also a perk for longevity. Continue reading “Your HR Guide To Vacation Benefits”

Why Job Descriptions Are Essential

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meeting with mannequins

How many times have you heard, “But it’s not in my job description,” from an employee?  I know I have heard this so many times in my 23-year career in Human Resources, it boggles the mind.  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not require that an employer have written job descriptions. However, if discrimination claims arise, the ADA will look at the job description and will consider the list of essential functions as part of the evidence in the claim.  Yes, I said it: there are zero requirements that current job descriptions be maintained by employers.  It’s hard to believe, since an accurate job description is such a useful and protective tool for employers. Continue reading “Why Job Descriptions Are Essential”

Productivity in a Team Environment

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shaking hands

I have been asked many times in my career as a HR professional, “How do we get more productivity from our staff?”  The key is to start from the beginning.  One of the most critical HR functions is recruiting.  Not JUST recruiting, but recruiting candidates that are the most qualified AND who fit the culture of an organization. There is no simple formula or checklist that can determine a good hire, but time, training and inclusiveness in organizational goals from the start will help tremendously. Continue reading “Productivity in a Team Environment”