Aug 132008

Many employers are looking for tips and advice to survive the maze of employment issues that come with having employees. While there are many important factors to consider, the following is my Top 10 List of ways to avoid litigation. Take a good hard look at your employment application, as well as all other employment work related documents that an outsider may look at and say the documents seem to be biased or slanted. Your applications and any offer of employment should not only outline the job but should be signed, so make sure you have the candidate sign both of them. Do not hire over-qualified individuals as they will most likely become bored and will probably not stay engaged. [...]

Aug 072008

Everyone is feeling the pain of the poor economy, particularly small businesses. Keeping your valued employees is especially critical at this time. You can’t afford to alienate your customers by eliminating employees and diminishing customer service. Consider the following before passing out the “pink slips”. Eliminate nonessential meetings and travel. Critical training should not be eliminated, but consider local resources and on-line seminars. Audit your office supply expenses. Employees need the tools to get the job done, but do you need 12 different colors of post-its and 6 different kinds of pens Ask your employees for their input on how you can save money. Employees are more likely to “grin and bear” the necessary cuts if they have a say [...]

Jul 112008

As a Human Resource consultant, I have been asked, “How important is it to have an employee handbook/manual” And the add-on question is, “What goes into an employee handbook” The first question can be pluses and minuses to a business owner – employment lawyers, consultants, and managers of organizations all disagree on the value of employee manuals. This disagreement comes from whether or not a manual is considered by the courts to be a contract for employment. Also, if not written correctly, the manual may inadvertently guarantee job security. However, on the plus side, a handbook or manual can help increase morale. This is because when your employment practices are in writing, your employees feel they are being handled consistently [...]

Jul 072008

A study of domestic violence survivors by The Commonwealth Fund in New York * found that 74% of employed battered women were harassed by their partner while they were at work. Homicide was the second leading cause of death on the job for women in 2000** Domestic violence does not stay at home. If follows the victim to the workplace where a woman is harassed by threatening phone calls, absent due to injuries or loss of productivity due to anxiety and stress. While anyone can be a victim of domestic violence, women are five to eight times more likely than men to be victimized by an intimate partner.*** Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) of 1970, employers are [...]

Jun 262008

Recordkeeping has been a major obstacle for many companies who don’t know what to save, where to save the files, how long they need to save them, or what to do with them once they are created.  More importantly, they don’t know who has access to them or how to destroy them.   While there is no federal or state requirement that an employer maintain personnel files, employers are required to keep certain records to comply with various laws and regulations. The overriding concern is to balance employee privacy and the employer’s need to know while still managing to keep good records.   According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) standard operating procedures, the following items should be [...]