Sep 072012
 
Make the Right Decision! - Exempt vs Non-Exempt vs Independent Contractor

Employers are always looking for ways to cut costs.  Be aware, however, that it can be easy to make risky decisions on how to classify your employees.  Whether it is with existing employees or additions to staff, be sure you are making informed decisions on what category your employees should be in and why. We understand that with these challenging times, business owners try to find as many ways as possible to control costs. Many are not aware that there are risks in making the wrong decision, even if it is out of “ignorance”. We all know that when it comes to the law, ignorance is no defense. Employers look at the rising cost of health benefits, coupled with high [...]

Jul 282010
 

Many employers are facing turnover issues that they may not have had to deal with in the past. Some of the turnover is downsizing due to a tough economy. That type of turnover is not the common turnover that employers deal with consistently. It is usually a one time issue and hopefully will go away as the economy turns around. The turnover I’m talking about is the “revolving door” of employees being hired, staying for a little while, and then leaving. This type of turnover can be symptomatic of a deeper, organizational problem. Some employers say, “So what. Turnover is inevitable and if the employee doesn’t want to stay, they should leave.” These employers don’t seem to understand how costly [...]

Dec 222009
 
If You Don't Own a Circus... You Shouldn't Be Hiring Clowns!

A Layman’s Journey to Effortless Human Resources, author Lola Kakes As a business owner, you want to expand your company by building a solid team, not a three-ring circus. There’s a reason human resources work is often compared to running a daycare center. Managing employees can cause headaches for a company of any size, but especially for a small company where one person is doing the hiring, managing and firing. Written as a layman’s guide to human resources, this book provides the tools you need to operate your company professionally and legally before your organization grows large enough to hire an entire HR department. You’ll find essential tools that include checklists, tips, sample forms and letters, charts of important legal [...]

Sep 082009
 
Understanding Diversity in the Workplace

As a business owner, consultant, and entrepreneur I have been told by many small business owners that “diversity” is really only applicable to larger businesses. When asked what diversity means to them (the small business owner), many respond it is about differences in race or gender. It is not about making the workplace a better place in which to work, but more about following the law. I believe that diversity is really about being open to the global community and being prepared to respond to inquiries and ideas from a diverse community. If one truly understands the diverse culture we all bring to the table, we will have more open communication, better understanding, cultural and economic agreement, and less conflict. [...]

Oct 212008
 
From Employed to Engaged

Mary Weather is one of your key employees. The customers ask for her by name and she is one of your best team leaders. Today she comes into your office and tells you that she has accepted an exciting opportunity. You are taken aback. What happened, you ask yourself? Of course, you’ll have an exit interview, but it’s too late to save Mary, Turnover is costly: At least one and a half times an entry level employee’s salary – much higher for management level staff. Affects other employees – someone will have extra work until the new person is hired Delays the company in meeting its goals Upsetting for the customers – they don’t like to “train” new people The [...]

Oct 022008
 
Political Discussions in the Workplace - Danger Zone

Discussions regarding the Presidential Campaigns seem impossible to avoid. The media is bombarding us with information as this election year there are many “firsts” in our history. Freedom of speech is our right – but is it right to discuss politics in the workplace? Politics, personal finances and religion are topics that are best avoided in the workplace. You cannot assume that because a person may share your views on sports, entertainment, books, etc., that they also share your political views. If you are unsure of your colleague’s views, it is best to avoid political discussion Most companies do not have a formal policy for political discussions in the workplace. However, business owners, executives, managers and supervisors need to be [...]

Sep 182008
 
Privacy Compliance - Disclosing Health Information Has its Consequences

Some businesses are unsure how to handle privacy compliance in regards to HIPAA regulations. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 has created more work for businesses in that they have to spend endless hours researching HIPAA regulations, training employees, rewriting contracts, internal documents, patient forms and policy and procedure manuals. If office administrators, practice managers or physicians are unsure how to handle privacy compliance, then there could be consequences which can include hefty fines. The types of business entities that are affected by the law include, health plans, health care clearing houses, and those health care providers who conduct financial and administrative transactions (e.g., electronic billing and funds transfers) electronically. In order to ensure the security of [...]

Sep 022008
 
The Past, Present and Future Workforce

As a “seasoned” Human Resource generalist, it is interesting to listen to all the pundits and professionals talk about the generational differences in the workforce. That is not to belittle the fact that there are generational differences, but I believe most of those differences could be captured and utilized effectively if organizations would look to the past and the present to determine how they will get to the future. According to business surveys, there are currently 4 generations in the workplace. Those born before 1945 (called Veterans), those born between 1945 and mid-1960 (called Boomers), those born between 1965 and 1980 (known as Gen Xers), and those born after 1980 (either Nexters or Gen Yers). This creates a minimum age [...]

Aug 262008
 
Age Discrimination Lawsuits Carry Great Financial Penalties

Image via Wikipedia The Supreme Court’s ruling in Smith v. City of Jackson, Mississippi, has upheld the notion that persons who sue for age discrimination do not need to prove that an employer intentionally discriminated based on age. Instead, a person only needs to show that a workplace policy has a disparate impact on older workers. Due to the gray areas within this ruling, additional litigation has surfaced. Plaintiffs sue for emotional distress caused by age discrimination, and the typical age-bias cases average $150,000, while state law wrongful discharge lawsuits can run upwards of $1 million. Age discrimination lawsuits carry great financial penalties because the damages are based on the earnings of the plaintiffs and the time that they are [...]

Aug 192008
 

The liabilities of a sexual harassment suit are not just limited to big business. Employers of 15-100 employees can be liable for up to $50,000 in compensatory and punitive damages, and management personnel can also be sued personally for sexual harassment violations. Here are the facts: Employers with 15 or more employees are covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In 1991, Congress amended Title VII to permit victims of sexual harassment to recover damages, including punitive damages, under federal law. In 1993, the U.S. Supreme Court broadened the reach of this law by making it easier to prove injury. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) expects to double its cases of sexual harassment over the [...]