HR Basics

HR Basics, Legal Issues

Why Communications Are Critical During an FMLA Leave


By Eric B. Meyer

How many times has an employee provided you with an incomplete Family and Medical Leave Act certification? Oh, I don’t know, maybe a missing return date…

If the FMLA leave is foreseeable, then the employee must provide the employer with the anticipated timing and duration of the leave. However, where the FMLA leave is unforeseeable — think, car crash — then that information can wait if the employee herself doesn’t know her return date.

But that doesn’t mean you — yeah, you employer — should let it go. Read more…

HR Basics, HR Management

Indiana Restricts Criminal History Info That Might Be Sent to Employers


Effective July 1, Indiana has a new rule on what information “criminal history providers” can report in employment background checks.

This latest version of Ind. Code § 24-4-18-6 makes a technical correction to the law and clears up a few things. Unlike previous versions of the statute, the new law allows reporting of non-conviction and pending records as long as the information is within the 7 year window required under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

As it now reads, the law limits reporting of expunged records and sealed records — records that any compliant screening company wouldn’t give you anyway. It also prohibits reporting certain classes of felonies that have been reduced or converted to a misdemeanor, and creates a statutory cause of action for the intentional or “knowing” act of reporting an inaccurate record. Read more…

HR Basics, HR Management

Whether You Believe It or Not, Your Policy Manual Is Evil


Try this logic on with me.

If anything that makes a person feel worthless or of less value is evil (and perhaps you aren’t as dramatic as I am, so you can just say “bad”). And if many of the policies written in your handbook assume employees are some combination of incompetent or idiotic (hence, less valuable or worthless). Then, your employee handbook and many of the policies within it are evil.

The logic is sound. If A=B and B=C, then A=C. Read more…

HR Basics, Legal Issues

Technical FMLA Violations: No Harm, No Foul, No Issue For the Employer


Sometimes employers do win in court, even if they’re in technical violation of the law.

One employer’s FMLA violation wasn’t enough to lose a lawsuit. Many claims involving the Family and Medical Leave Act are tied to the timeliness of notices.

The regulations are clear and specific for the maximum and minimum amount of time to send an employee notices relating to their FMLA claim. Employees have their own time requirements to perform such acts as returning medical certifications. This does not mean that all is lost for either party when a deadline is missed, if the required act is completed. Read more…

Benefits, HR Basics

HR 101: Coordinating COBRA With the Affordable Care Act


Employers with 20 or more employees are required to offer COBRA benefits to departing, eligible employees.

Managing these COBRA benefits can be a burden to mid-sized businesses, whether they invest the time to manage the process in-house or invest the money to have a third party manage it.

The Affordable Care Act has added a new wrinkle into this process that both employers and employees should be aware of. The issue boils down to timing. Read more…

HR Basics, Legal Issues

HR Basics: Is Telecommuting a Reasonable Accommodation?


By Chastity C. Bruno

With today’s advances in technology, more employers have discovered the benefits of permitting employees to work from home – aka telecommuting.

However, the question becomes this: When does an employer have to provide a “telecommuting” accommodation for an employee due to a disability covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

In 1999, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said that allowing an employee with a disability to work from home may be a reasonable accommodation. The ADA requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide a reasonable accommodation to qualified employees with disabilities. Read more…

HR Basics, HR Management

HR 101: Getting Rid of People Who Suck Life Out of the Organization

123RF Stock Photo

In yesterday’s post (Learning to Love Work Again – It’s All About Employee Energy) on the very intriguing work of Tony Schwartz and the Energy Project, I asked: “Who are your energy vampires?”

Perhaps I should define what an “energy vampire” is. I wish I could claim credit for the phrase, but I first saw it in a LinkedIn post from Aaron Hurst titled Purge Energy Vampires – Save Your Employees. Hurst defined energy vampires this way:

There are certain people in an organization who may be great performers but no one wants to work with them. You dread meeting with them. They suck the life out of the team.” Read more…

HR Basics, HR Management

7 Talent Acquisition Metrics Your CHRO Really Cares About

Sashkin -

Metrics enable you to gauge the overall health of your talent acquisition process.

Chief HR Officers have certain KPIs (key performance indicators) that they report on. The following are ones they watch as these metrics provide deeper insight into the performance and business impact of your talent management system.

Some of these metrics are standard, some are not; taken as a whole, they create a broad report of where improvement can impact the bottom line and drive value for HR in the C-suite. Read more…

HR Basics, HR Management

The Essentials of a Healthy Employer-Employee Relationship


It’s no secret that when a new employee comes on board, the employer who hired them is effectively beginning a new relationship.

It is the same relationship that he or she shares with every single one of their employees, and it is this relationship that will determine the success and impact of that employee’s time at the company.

An employer’s relationship with their employees has to be nurtured and taken care of in order to be beneficial for both individuals; their co-workers, and the company as a whole. It has long been noted that strong employer-employee relationships often lead to greater employee happiness and significantly improved productivity. Read more…

HR Basics, Recruiting and Staffing

Crafting an Effective Job Description: How to Actually Do It Right

Illustration by Dreamstime

I’ve written before about how managers hated job descriptions.

Now, let’s take a fresh perspective and look at how writing descriptions should be handled.

Call this a beginner’s guide, a how-to procedural, or simply a few tips ‘n tricks that can work wonders. Read more…