HR Blog by hrsimple and friends


Background checks of the future are continuous

August 16th, 2018 by Spencer Waldron at Fisher Phillips


If continuous background checks are in your future, you need to consider the following in the now: You get what you pay for - and you can't always get what you want, or so say The Stones. Cost/benefit - worth the time/effort? Consent / legal compliance issues - is consent continuous as well? Policies and practices in place? - sure, right, you already have everything in place. Right? ..read more



Treating service animal requests (always treat the animal)

August 14th, 2018 by hrsimple


Pluto meets dog

Service animal pop quiz (yes/no): The ADA permits assistance dogs to be with their person where members of the public can go (yes) The ADA requires service dogs to be professionally trained (no) Minature horses are covered under the ADA and Great Danes can be the size of miniature horses (yes and yes - I saw two at the dog park last night) Peter Petesch at our partner Littler, suggests, among other things in this SHRM article, covering the following when handling service animal requests: it's an accommodation request alternatives? doctor's note? confidentiality! what are the ground rules? And for those of you in Philadelphia, a BONUS Littler workshop on September 6, Doggy Dilemmas: Accommodating Service Animals for Employees and Customers, complete with a demonstration from Canine Companion's assistance dog Mork. ..read more



Prepare for saying "No" – you need to decide how to refuse service

August 10th, 2018 by Seth Ford and Matt Anderson at Troutman Sanders


A customer is asked to leave a restaurant because of their political affiliation. A baker refuses to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. A cashier won't check a customer out because of the t-shirt the customer is wearing. Quoting David Byrne: "And you may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?" To which Benjamin Franklin might respond: "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." So, go Boy Scout and be prepared.   ..read more



List 10 up: What's the deal with employee handbook rules?

August 9th, 2018 by Ruthie Goodboe at Ogletree Deakins


Ear podcast smaller

PODCAST Spend 20 minutes with Ruthie Goodboe from our author Ogletree Deakins as she discusses employer work rules and employee handbook policies and practices in the podcast What's the deal with employee handbook rules? List 10 up: covers union AND non-union workers employees raising concerns/complaints enforcement/implementation of the rules does any rule implemented by an employer not infringe on an employee's rights? good news for employers - a balancing test justification vs. employee rights 3 new categories of work rules and are they retroactive? reasons for rules unwritten practices articulate justification of rule in the rule itself? buy-in from workforce   ..read more



I cannot tell a lie . . . you're fired for cutting down the cherry tree

August 8th, 2018 by Robin Shea at Constangy


We all know the cherry tree mea culpa was a myth (perpetrated by a minister no less). Regardless, we all also know that "honesty is the best policy" (Ben Franklin? Shakespeare? Sir Edwin Sandys?). Robin Shea shares why we should not tell a lie (like the Founding Father didn't tell a lie because the story wasn't not because he didn't lie) when terminating an employee, above and beyond that fact that you could get sued. She also gets into employment agreements, unlawful motives, cronyism, and "legal lies". ..read more



Milk Stork delivers for working mom's and their baby

August 7th, 2018 by hrsimple


Milkstork r

If you are in the practice of sending employees on overnight business trips AND you employ new mothers AND you believe in treating your employees right we’ve got just the bird for you.  Milk Stork is the first breast milk shipping company to support nursing mothers who are on the road and need to send their breast milk back home - and they offer special company packages so employers can support their maternal workforce! A-MAZING. A special thanks to Littler's tweet for the heads up on this awesome company! ..read more



Job tasks and essential functions under the ADA

August 6th, 2018 by Richard R. Meneghello and Myra K. Creighton at Fisher Phillips


For those of you who consider yourself a rules stickler, please see "Is the employee disabled under the ADA?" which is Part Uno in this blog series of two. For those of you who are more of a rules recusant, the china shop is yours. ..read more



Who are you? Why are you here? Personality testing?

August 3rd, 2018 by Matt Anderson at Troutman Sanders


Personality testing (think Myers-Briggs and a string of capital letters) can provide you with a sense of an applicant's attitudes, motivations, style of interacting, emotional makeup, etc., but at the very least, it allows you to get to know an applicant outside of an interview. HOWEVER . . . beware the risks, especially potential discrimination and privacy concerns. ..read more



No, you can't sleep on the job

August 1st, 2018 by Shelby Skeabeck, formerly of Shawe Rosenthal


However, you can discipline and even terminate employees for violating work rules even though they have a legally protected condition. ..read more



Technology driving the hiring process

July 31st, 2018 by hrsimple


Interviewer: So where do you see yourself in five years? Applicant: I'd say my biggest weakness is listening. Maybe the questions you ask haven't changed (and maybe not the answers you get either), but the process of hiring – ZipRecruiter, downloads, videos, Indeed, resume filters – has. The Chicago Tribune discusses the technology and how it is transforming the hiring process – algorithms, chatbots, cutting costs and turnover (from our authors Littler), eliminating bias, AI, and optimism (from Johnny Taylor, CEO of SHRM). ..read more



Should you give your employees a little Slack – or do they have enough already?

July 30th, 2018 by hrsimple


Slack is: the fastest growing business application in history two casual trouser enough rope for someone to shoot themselves in the foot all of the above Correct. And for those unfamiliar with Slack the business application, it is a cloud-based “team collaboration tool.” In simple terms, it is Facebook Chat / Google Hangouts for the business world: an instant messaging application that allows users to send messages and share files through online conversations. It is also one more technological "upgrade" that creates new opportunities for harassment, wage/hour issues and privacy concerns. Caroline Pham and Collin Cook provide what to look for and best practices to help you avoid the foot shooting thing. ..read more



"We need to talk" isn't any easier to say than to hear

July 27th, 2018 by Mathew Parker


Nobody wants to hear those four words – "We need to talk" because it isn't going to be an easy conversation. But you probably don't want to be the one saying them either. Fact of HR: you are going to be saying those words at some time. And the longer you avoid saying them, the greater the anxiety for you and the more the entire workplace will suffer. Mat Parker from Fisher Phillips has 5 tips to help: Identify Clarify Open mind / open ear Manage / preserve Follow up ..read more



Bet employers must make: call and raise your minimum wage

July 26th, 2018 by hrsimple


July 1 saw a number of states and localities raise the minimum wage, so our author Ogletree Deakins put together a chart for those of you who don't want to pass and go bust.  FYI – poker will be eligible for review for becoming an official Olympic sport along with pole-dancing, dodgeball, foosball (table soccer), arm wrestling, foot golf and kettlebell lifting. ..read more



Zero tolerance for "zero tolerance" policies

July 18th, 2018 by Robin Shea at Constangy


Zero tolerance: "is too blunt an instrument, and it may even increase bad behavior." "doesn't (necessarily) equate to "automatic termination." "(policies) may cause management, or even HR, to pull its punches." "policies can actually make it harder for employers to fight workplace harassment." ..read more



Ralph Waldo Emerson as a productivity consultant

July 13th, 2018 by hrsimple


This may come as no shock to you but: the world we are living in right now is B-A-N-A-N-A-S but one thing that can get us through this fruit salad we call 2018: kindness. Inc Magazine reports that science (yes SCIENCE!) explicitly proves that being kind to others makes us happier and happy people at work are 12% more productive than unhappy people. So be happier, be more productive, and as a bonus, pass that kindness along to the rest of your team as a better leader! ..read more




HR Articles

Background checks of the future are continuous
Treating service animal requests (always treat the animal)
Prepare for saying "No" – you need to decide how to refuse service
List 10 up: What's the deal with employee handbook rules?
I cannot tell a lie . . . you're fired for cutting down the cherry tree
Milk Stork delivers for working mom's and their baby
Job tasks and essential functions under the ADA
Who are you? Why are you here? Personality testing?
No, you can't sleep on the job
Technology driving the hiring process
Should you give your employees a little Slack – or do they have enough already?
"We need to talk" isn't any easier to say than to hear
Bet employers must make: call and raise your minimum wage
Zero tolerance for "zero tolerance" policies
Ralph Waldo Emerson as a productivity consultant
PS: PTSD IRL*
Is the employee "disabled" under the ADA?
The six step DOL audit polka
PTO on the house!
New rules for work rules
Dr. Strangelabor or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Millennial
Did Bartleby the scrivener write his own job description?
"Treating" disgruntled or bad behaving employees
Hiring under the age of 18
DO NOT LICK THE BRAIN! and other obvious stuff
Helping your employees save for emergencies
Right to bare arms in the workplace
#MeToo quiz
Under standing desks
How to approach an employee showing signs of cognitive decline
Dress codes should not be encoded
Foul language *
Rorschach, Horshack and Abednego
Don't ask a woman the gender of her child, especially. . .
Guidelines for a valid no-solicitation/no-distribution policy
All aboard the Love Train for long-term onboarding!
Gender and workplace bathrooms
No FMLA for pet's death
Personal hygiene in the workplace
Yes Virginia, there is a St. Patrick's Day in Ireland
Master the modern method for managing March Madness
Drug testing in The Office
Background checks
"Thank you" and "I'm sorry" – meaningful, simple and impactful
Michael Corleone HR tip for the day
S'not flu or it is, doesn't matter
Be prepared for ICE raids
Looking for employees: an untapped source of talent
Calling Dr. Love(less)
Non-exempt employees – what counts as wages?
HR is not a happy accident
Do new hires have to be a culture club fit?
Remote workers and telecommuting
When former employees ask for references
Model written lock out/tag out program
Wrong table cat
They might be giants . . . transforming healthcare?
Conducting internal I-9 audits
The Nebraska Chamber has issued a W-2 challenge to state taxpayers
The impact of super bowl(ing)
12 steps to handling violence in the workplace
Workplace retaliation: don't give in to the Dark Side
Would you really want to work with a bunch of yous?
What is the ADA?
Monty Python should not write your job descriptions
FMLA definitions
Unemployed or wear a bra – are those the only choices?
What "government shutdown" means for employers
An intern by any other name
FMLA - "leave" as in "leave the employee alone"
 “M,” “F,” Or “X”? Nonbinary Gender Designations in the Workplace
Sexual harassment – can't find it – what now?
Probationary periods
Employee contracts
Introverts
How to treat fringe benefits for employees
Attendance policies
Different repeal
Temporary and leased employees
Birthdays in the workplace
Needy employees
Holiday parties - acknowledge, avoid, assume (nothing)
Dress codes: who, what, wear
Punch clock
Nepotism: favoring relatives and friends in the workplace
Year-end performance reviews
Hiring interviews
The Form I-9 has changed… Again!
Service dogs at work
Bring your own gun
Social media
Year-end or holiday incentives
Arizona sick day policy
Paternity leave
HRsimple spotlight - Fiona Ong
Permissible post-accident drug testing
Paid family leave: a growing trend
Politics in the workplace: how to remain legally compliant during election season
Termination Series: Communicating the reason for discharge
It’s only a matter of overtime
Interview with attorneys at Kastner Westman & Wilkins
Valentine's Day heartaches around the office
Safety and health tips
Wearable technology
Favorite HR sites
Back to school time is here!
Vacation policies and time off
Interview with author J. Hagood Tighe
Non-compete agreements
Workplace romance
Holidays
Bullying in the workplace
Employment references
Telecommuting or remote (control) workers
Social media and employment
Performance evaluations
Breaktimes
Interview with attorneys at Wilson Worley PC
Interview with attorneys at Knudsen Law Firm
Interview with Kathy Speaker MacNett
Firing, a job to do right the first time
Job advertisement do’s and don’ts
Employee handbooks – getting a handle on your policies
Technology in the workplace
Interview questions: do's and don'ts
Employee personnel files