HR Blog

Disability – Dr. or employee approved?

October 19th, 2018 by Fiona W. Ong at Shawe Rosenthal

Medicine is not a science

Pop quiz!

Topic: Return to work

  • True / False – A doctor can clear an employee to work without restrictions.
  • True / False – Just because a doctor gives the all-clear doesn't mean the all is clear.
  • True / False – You can see Calder's Flamingo from the home of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

True dat!

Is it just me or does this Tom Balard song, Model Girl, compliment Calder's Flamingo?

Happy Friday. more

401(k) plan + payroll provider = 401k good things

October 17th, 2018 by Jennifer Ready at HK Finanical Services

OK, so Jennifer holds on to 400,996 to share with you at a later date, but she does share four really, really good ones:

  1. savings
  2. better
  3. focus on
  4. contributions

Hey, read in order*, the list of four kind of sums it up.

* I have it on good authority that Jennifer fashioned an opera out of the remaining 400,966. more

Disability/pregnancy practices – what not to practice

October 16th, 2018 by Robin Shea at Constangy

If nothing else, you want to read Robin Shea's blog because she makes a good in-context Kate Gosselin reference. Of course there is "else" which includes stuff you need to work through:

  • DON'T automatically terminate
  • DON'T automatically terminate (no, I DIDN'T stutter, there are two)
  • NO 100% recovered policy
  • "TEMPORARY" can mean a lot of things, like "disability" and "protected"
  • Medical exams/questionnaires – 10 words for you: STOP CHILDREN WHAT'S THAT SOUND EVERYBODY LOOK WHAT'S GOING DOWN.

There is also a picture that is not the Official "Grumpy Cat". more

Bad hire! Bad, bad hire!

October 11th, 2018 by hrsimple


Just like a dog, a hire can be bad for a multitude of reasons, including the hirer (trainer), the hired (dog), everyone's expectations (in both cases some praise and/or a treat), and the environment (workplace/home).

HR Dive is here to help (with the bad hire*):

"Sooner or later, even the most seasoned HR professionals will admit it: they've made a bad hire. For some reason, a person will fizzle out on the job, even though his or her stellar credentials promised a perfect fit with your company. Whether this is an entry-level person or a senior executive, the impact of a bad hire on a department or company can be devastating. So what do you do?"

HR Dive walks you through the process after you accept it was your bad (hire):

  • more common than you think
  • why is it a bad hire
  • reforming a bad hire
  • when to say goodbye
  • avoiding future bad hires

* for those of you with a bad dog (my trainer reminds me that it isn't the dog, it is in fact me), some help from BARk. more

TN – A drug-free workplace program is good

October 10th, 2018 by William S. Rutchow at Ogletree Deakins

Recent changes to the Tennessee Drug-Free Workplace Program can mean saving money on workers' comp, among other benefits, but requires meeting certain criteria. Bill Rutchow explains other benefits and some of the significant changes. more

Open enrollment – personalizing perks pays off

October 10th, 2018 by hrsimple

SHRMS's third in a series of articles on meeting fall 2018 open-enrollment challenges deals with providing employees with the opportunity to tailor benefits to meet their needs.

How can customized benefits increase loyalty? Would employees pay for them on their own? Would they take a pay cut for better choices?

See how employers and employees view the desirability of:

  • paid family leave
  • commuting cost reimbursement
  • parking at work
  • leave to care for an elderly relative
  • pet insurance
  • fertility treatments.

As always, communication is a key. more

Unpaid intern – depends on who benefits

October 8th, 2018 by hrsimple

You need some help with projects that are a little less than crucial and school's have students looking for some pratical experience in the working world. Sounds like a PB and J mashup no brainer, right?

Hold on Hoss, not so fast, especially since the Department of Labor adopted new rules. SHRM, with help from Littler and Fisher Phillips, provides six tips for creating a sound internship program:

  1. meaningful tasks
  2. coordinate with the school
  3. check state laws
  4. acknowledgement
  5. evaluate
  6. weigh the cost more

The #1 office perk is . . . ?

October 5th, 2018 by hrsimple

  1. Natural light
  2. Natty Light
  3. Spam Lite
  4. Lite-Brite
  5. Blinded by the Light

Any answer except #1, Natural light, may not be correct.

Have a good Friday. more

FMLA leave before being eligible for FMLA leave

October 4th, 2018 by Thomas E. Reddin and Henry J. Thomas

Question: Does an employer have to offer FMLA to an employee – who was not eligible for FMLA at the start of her medical leave – when she reaches the 12-month, 1,250-hour requirement while out on leave? 

Answer: Could happen.

Question: Says who?

Answer: Thomas E. Reddin and Henry J. Thomas. more

IL – Required expense reimbursement for your employees, not Bill Self

October 3rd, 2018 by Peter Gillespie at Laner Muchin

Note to Self: Be sure to have clear written expense reimbursement policies in place before January 1, 2019.

Question for Self: Why Self?

Answer to Self: Because employers will be required to reimburse expenses or losses that employees incurred in the scope of their employment that are directly related to the services that the employee performs.

Follow-up answer to Self: And so you don't get sued.

Peter Gillespie explains to your Self (not former Illinois basketball coach Bill Self). more

Help hiring holiday help here

October 2nd, 2018 by John Monroe and Kristina Griffin at FordHarrison

As you can tell by the “seasonal” aisle of your local drug store, holiday season has begun! The seemingly endless stretch of celebrations from October to January brings with it a whole cornucopia of HR issues – including the use of seasonal workers.

Your personal guides / goblins / gobblers / elves, John Monroe and Kristina Griffin, have five basic practices that will get you to the other side of January.

  1. I-9
  2. review timekeeping
  3. local PTO and benefits
  4. how long do you expect them to hang around
  5. train everybody.

Only 90 days until we flip the calendar. You're welcome. more

Are the new DOL opinion letters like noses?

October 1st, 2018 by Jill Kirila and Shennan Harris at Squire Patton Boggs

Opinions are like noses - everyone has one and occasionally we blow it.

Except when you are the DOL you just issue another opinion letter. The nose thing? That takes a rhinoplastologist. But it doesn't take near as long to correct.

Jill Kirila and Shennan Harris put their eyes and ears on some DOLs opinions:

  • voluntary employer-sponsored wellness events
  • non-profit graders
  • internet payment software platform employees
  • movie theater overtime exemption

Disclaimer – this is neither an endorsement or solicitation for any ENT or opthamologic work. more

Public disclosure of confidential information is easier than you think

October 1st, 2018 by Tina Syring at Cozen O'Connor

Just because you say something is confidential doesn't make it so. And just because an employee believes the information is confidential and thinks they are treating it as such, doesn't mean they are – think airport restaurant and an employee checking in with the office over the phone, including names, numbers and obstacles overcome in a series of sales meetings.

Tina Syring didn't just think it, she encountered it. Here's how she helps make it unencounterable. more

Bad mix – accommodation request and firing

September 28th, 2018 by Robin Shea at Constangy

Accommodation requests and firing are a bad mix, like a jalapeno and contacts or open nail polish in a car.

Robin Shea provides lessons learned from a tale that was not "I Can See Clearly Now" (Tom Jones does his own mix, you decide if it is good or bad).

  1. ADA accommodation requests should not be a pass-in-the-hall sorta thing (this goes for the employee too).
  2. Take any mention of disability seriously.
  3. If you are firing someone, really know why (BONUS: 5 questions to always ask when firing).
  4. Always tell HR.

And as this is Friday afternoon, how about a "Bad" mix: Martin Scorsese's film/video of Michael Jackson's classic. more

If religious accommodation and a flu shot both equal angst, is that the transitive or substitution property?

September 27th, 2018 by David Broderick at Littler Mendelson

David Broderick at Littler Mendelson is more than likely much better at math than I, and is absolutley more qualified to answer the question posed in this edition of Dear Littler:

Do we have to accommodate a religious objection to the flu shot? more

HR Articles

Disability – Dr. or employee approved?
401(k) plan + payroll provider = 401k good things
Disability/pregnancy practices – what not to practice
Bad hire! Bad, bad hire!
TN – A drug-free workplace program is good
Open enrollment – personalizing perks pays off
Unpaid intern – depends on who benefits
The #1 office perk is . . . ?
FMLA leave before being eligible for FMLA leave
IL – Required expense reimbursement for your employees, not Bill Self
Help hiring holiday help here
Are the new DOL opinion letters like noses?
Public disclosure of confidential information is easier than you think
Bad mix – accommodation request and firing
If religious accommodation and a flu shot both equal angst, is that the transitive or substitution property?
Workplace shootings – 20 can-dos to prevent them
No call/no show shows. No what about it.
List 10 Up: Top tips for starting a workplace incident interview
Mr. Freeze unveils National Security Freeze tagline: "They can't steal your identity if it's frozen"
If it's called a dress code, can I wear pants?
I've changed my name – to Optimus Prime
TN: Conceal and carry means post to prohibit or permit
I'll take "ADA in 5s?" please Alex
Swearing at work – 7 rules
Is that red light flashing?
Four-legged office mates and the pawternity policies they benefit
Notice: notices and forms for FMLA that were already expired now updated virtually unchanged
Don't feel ripped off when you get ripped off – get even
School-related parental leave does not mean you forge a note from your kid
NY: Draft model sexual harassment policy/training released
Discipline - Demote - Depart or Communicate - Counsel - Channel
ICE audits II – FAQs to make you wiser
Round up stew: sick leave, harassment, non-compete, etc.
Identifying trade secrets does not mean figuring out how to barter better
ICE audits have nothing to do with freezer police
Being at work full time is not an essential function of a job?
List 10 up: Positive employee relations training: reap the benefits of engagement
Employment agreements – what to do before you do
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
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
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
Bullying in the workplace
Employment references
Telecommuting or remote (control) workers
Social media and employment
Performance evaluations
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