Welcome to our refreshed version of hrsimple.com

After more than a year of lots of hard work, conversations and studying how you have been using the website, we present version 3 of www.hrsimple.com.

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Looking for employees: an untapped source of talent

February 16th, 2018

This blog is courtesy of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) and can be found on their website here

 

Can individuals with disabilities benefit your business? Research, as well as my personal experience, says yes.

Multiple studies show hiring individuals with disabilities is good for your bottom line. While there were some differences by sector, a study by DePaul University comparing employees with and without disabilities in similar positions found employees with disabilities had longer tenure, fewer scheduled and unscheduled absences, and their job performance evaluations were almost identical. Spending less time in the hiring process and fewer disruptions in production are good for the bottom line.

Employees with disabilities can be loyal, reliable and hardworking. An additional benefit of employees with disabilities in the workforce is . . .

Fed prime cover

Comprehensive guidelines to Hiring, Firing and Discipline and Wages and Hours - An Employer's Guide and in two soft-cover books. The entire package also includes updated online access, email notifications and an inclusive weekly e-newsletter.

Learn more

Be prepared for ICE raids

February 19th, 2018

If your first reaction to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid would be "Ice. ICE! Baby." and a slow exhale/shaking head, then read this from our our authors at Fisher Phillips now, which includes:

  • background: heat has been turned up in 2018
  • what you can do to prepare: 5-step plan
  • what to do should the government come calling

then check this breakdown of Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby".

Adam scott ice ice baby

Calling Dr. Love(less)

February 14th, 2018

We are Calling Dr. Love(less), a guest advice columnist for @RobinEShea and our authors @ConstangyLaw, to answer some workplace romance questions, including:

  • should we change our "consensual romantic relationships" policy in light of #MeToo?
  • is Valentine's Ash WednesDay a sign that the end, is in fact, near?
  • how do I move beyond a mere "working relationship" without being accused of sexual harassment?
  • what do you call marriage to a "great gal", a wandering eye, and an attractive and willing boss?

Calling dr. love   kiss   1979

Non-exempt employees – what counts as wages?

February 13th, 2018

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), “wages” paid to an employee are defined to include money, but may also include “facilities” such as the reasonable cost or fair value of board, lodging, or other facilities similar to board and lodging which are customarily furnished by the employer for the employee’s benefit.

Examples of other facilities are:

  • meals provided at company cafeterias
  • tuition provided by a college to student employees
  • general merchandise provided at company stores
  • transportation provided to and from work by the employer.

The FLSA permits employers to pay wages . . .

HR is not a happy accident

February 12th, 2018

With all due respect to Bob Ross, you probably can't turn your HR mistakes into an aspen copse, so check out this list of the 10 biggest HR newbie mistakes from SHRM.

We don t make mistake happy accidents

Do new hires have to be a culture club fit?

February 9th, 2018

Do new hires have to be a culture club fit? Patty McCord, former chief talent officer of Netflix doesn't think so. READ THIS deep dive (3500+ words) from Patty, SHRM and Harvard Business Review. 

In Patty's words: "The process requires: 

  • probing beneath the surface of people and their résumés
  • engaging managers in every aspect of hiring
  • treating your in-house recruiters as true business partners
  • adopting a mindset in which you're always recruiting
  • coming up with compensation that suits the performance you need and the future you aspire to."

But it is a whole bunch more than five bullet points.

This is for start-ups to multi-nationals. Again, READ THIS.

Culture  club  fit

Telecommuting or remote (control) workers

December 29th, 2017

With the advances in technology in the last 20 years, the need for some employees to commute to the office daily has dropped drastically. Telecommuting, or working outside the office (usually in the employee’s home), has become a popular arrangement as it offers some clear advantages for employees and employers, including:

Remote control

Remote workers and telecommuting

February 8th, 2018

Millions of employees work during normal business hours from a home office with the support of computers, Internet, faxes, telephones, smartphones and tablets. From 2008 to 2014, the percent of employers allowing telecommuting on a regular basis rose from 23% to 38%. Telecommuting has and will continue to raise special wage and hour considerations. Telecommuting also need not be an all or nothing proposition. Employers are experimenting with many different models for alternative work arrangements

When former employees ask for references

February 7th, 2018

When former employees ask for references, you should: a.) go all Chatty Cathy, b.) reference EvilHRLady, or c.) channel Darth Vader and "deal with them" yourself.

Suzanne Lucas (aka Evil HR Lady) asked six labor and employment lawyers, including our authors at Constangy, and shared them in the inc.com article. Here is some of what she heard:

  • avoid them
  • be aware of legal obligations
  • scratch my back and I'll scratch yours
  • know the code
  • ad hoc is not a policy
  • be honest

Star wars reference picture

Model written lock out/tag out program

February 6th, 2018

Not all employers need a lock out/tag out program, but if you do, well, then here you go. Again, this is a MODEL program, so it is a place to start, not a finished product, which means you need to read through this and understand how this applies to you and your company and employees and then edit to meet your needs. 

All that said, it does come from our book Workplace Safety and Health Compliance Manual, which is authored by Edwin G Foulke, Jr. at Fisher Phillips, who was the head of OSHA for two and a half years, during which time workplace injury, illness and fatality rates dropped to their lowest levels in recorded history. So you would have that going for you.

So click on the "OSHA model written lock out/tag out program" above and have at it.

Conducting internal I-9 audits

February 1st, 2018

For many years, an employer that wanted to conduct internal audits did its best based on legal advice and common sense without knowing what the government would think of its efforts and if, in attempting to correct errors, it might inadvertently have created other issues. 

 

In December of 2015, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (USCIS) and the OSC issued a joint document entitled “Guidance for Employers Conducting Internal Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 Audits.”  USCIS also updated its I-9 Central webpage with “Frequently Asked Questions: Self-Audits.”  An employer is still advised to consult with legal counsel if questions or issues arise while conducting an internal audit of its I-9 forms, but at least now employers have a better idea what position the government would take on certain issues relating to self-audits of the Form I-9.

Wrong table cat

February 5th, 2018

Wrong table cat – there are new income tax withholding tables. SHRM shows you where to find them (use no later than Feb. 15), some FAQs, info on a new W-4 and the updated withholding tax calculator.

Wrong table

They might be giants . . . transforming healthcare?

February 2nd, 2018

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase (not the 80s alt rock band) are the giants. Can they provide high-quality health care for a lower cost? 

Three perspectives:

  • SHRM breaks down how it might affect definitely-not-giant employers 
  • NPR provides a good overview
  • Forbes says it "could disrupt healthcare and capitalism as we know it" (cue R.E.M.)

Bonus if you can identify which of the giants used “tapeworm” in the announcement. Double bonus it you can pick out the publication that didn’t mention it.

They might be giants healthcare

The Nebraska Chamber has issued a W-2 challenge to state taxpayers

February 1st, 2018

In 2016, Nebraska families and businesses paid the state more than $2.2 billion in individual income taxes.  Yet many taxpayers have no idea how much they are paying in state income taxes.  

The Nebraska Chamber wants all state taxpayers to carefully examine their W-2 forms and know exactly how much they are paying in state income taxes. 

Nebraska Chamber members are encouraged to share this challenge with their employees, co-workers, friends and family.  This is especially important in a year in which lawmakers are examining possible changes to Nebraska's tax system

W2 sample 2017 tax year

The impact of super bowl(ing)

January 31st, 2018

The impact of the super bowl(ing) will extend far beyond the almost interminable pre- and post- and game. Approach this now with a nose hit and address gambling, dress codes, productivity and attendance.

Rich Meneghello, one of our anchors and frequent hrsimple.com blog authors from Fisher Phillips, will fill you in and spares you the legalese with a split discussion: leading up to the game and the day after.

So don’t just be throwing rocks: pick a lane (not a blocked lane), set your maples, don’t be a hambone. With a clean sheet as your foundation, you can frame this not as a wash out or a turkey, but rack it up as a perfect game and maybe see a return with a cherry and not a sour apple. So leave the deadwood without a foul. Strike on, not strike out and everything will schleifer, just like it always does. Right?

Bolded terms courtesy of bowling.com.

Super bowling