expressive man, shocked

Employee Relations in a Hashtag World

#metoo – #timesup – #enough

You may think you are free and clear of the Hollywood hashtag invasion but… If you have 15 or more employees, you fall under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (as amended) and several other employment regulations which are overseen by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC.”) Your State most likely has specific regulations as well. For example, as soon as you have four (4) employees in Pennsylvania, you fall under the PA Human Relations Act (“PHRA.”)

This does NOT mean that you need to run screaming out the back door every time an employee says, “I need to talk to you!” In my over 30 years of personnel and HR experience, I have honestly never seen an employer intentionally permit unlawful harassment but “intention” does not count as a defense – it’s the impact of the behavior and/or statement. So, let’s talk about the basics.

You need to recognize there is a difference between inappropriate behavior and potentially unlawful behavior. If an employee is a jerk to EVERYONE, that does not mean he or she is unlawfully harassing coworkers – it just means they are a jerk. Should you do something about it? Of course – jerks make for low moral work places.

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This entry was posted on by Karen Young.
group of professional people wearing suits

Time for a Reboot?

The theme of the 2018 Sandler Client Summit was Breakthrough 2018. The morning speakers kept asking – “What’s holding you back ?” Well, mine was ME!. I’m doing the same old thing, day after day after day. That may sound funny coming from a Human Resource Director who never has the same day twice in a row, right?! However, I’m also a business owner and executive as many of you are as well.

Now, according to Time, “Being Bored at Work Is Actually a Good Thing…” everyone needs time to think and reflect. Is your workplace SO busy that employees don’t have a second to think/consider new ways to approach old processes? I appreciate that the article talks about working from home or a café but also indicates that’s not practical for every business. Their recommendation? Create something along the lines of a quiet room – brilliant (in my opinion!)

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This entry was posted on by Karen Young.
crowd of working people

Accidental HR (SM) – Size Does Matter!

I know, I know, you all want to believe that size doesn’t matter.  But when it comes to the number of people you employ, it really does matter! There are certain regulations that you need to abide by as your employee count grows. There can be serious consequences if you don’t follow the rules, so be sure you know them! Oh and remember that handy dandy Acronym Chart that we had? That will help you when reading this chart! Continue reading

This entry was posted on by HR Resolutions.
mother and child bonding

I miss it EVERY year!

While I no longer have school age children, I DO have grandchildren. And, one of them has already expressed interest in taking over the business “after his professional baseball career because all Gammy does is sit on her butt all day.” Carson Leib – age 11 (12 by the time you read this!)

Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

The official event is April 26, 2018 this year. The event actually started in 1993 (where were YOU when it started?! I was working for International Paper Company and still remember us planning a 1/2 day event.) Take our Daughters to Work was the brain child of Gloria Steinem and the Ms. Foundation. The title was changed in 2003 to be more inclusive. I honestly don’t remember employers limiting it to just girls even in the way back. Continue reading

This entry was posted on by HR Resolutions.
gender identification

Sex, sex, sex

Now that I have your attention, let’s focus in on the real gist of this blog – sexual orientation and gender identity.

So, there is an entire language that employers should be acquainted with on this topic. And, while there is no true case law (as of this writing,) the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) considers each of these as falling under the protected class of “gender.” Which means, we need to ensure that our employees understand our position on the topic. (REGARDLESS of your personal belief on this topic, as an employer you have a DUTY to be respectful of any/all protected classes.) Continue reading

This entry was posted on by HR Resolutions.
valentines day graphic

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Ahh, love is in the air – ain’t it great! Not so much when it comes to work.

We are frequently called upon to address the question of workplace relationships. I mean, come on, we spend at least 8 hours a day with these people – where else are you going to meet people that have similar likes and dislikes? I LOVE this adage: “Don’t get your honey where you get your money!”  NSFW reference (I met mine in graduate school, so he calls us college sweethearts!)

While I don’t go to the extent of recommending a “no fraternization” policy (because then I’d have to practice that, and I LIKE the people I work with,) I do HIGHLY recommend employers discourage workplace romances. Continue reading

This entry was posted on by HR Resolutions.
professional woman typing on laptop

OSHA Recordkeeping

Let’s talk more about OSHA log. This is relevant even if you have fewer than 10 employees – you still need to understand some OSHA language since almost all employers fall under the “General Duty Clause” of the regulations. Continue reading

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Good bye 2017 Hello 2018

Goodbye 2017!

Some of you may think that’s a good thing and others probably wish the year would continue. Regardless, everyone thinks the year is over. But, is it? Continue reading

This entry was posted on by HR Resolutions.
Business people holding 2017 sign

Happy 2017! What We’ve Learned and Where We’re Going

What a year it’s been! 2017 is almost at an end, and over its shoulder is 2018. Are you ready for it? Is your COMPANY ready for it? We’ve covered as many hot-button issues and burning questions about processes and HR best practices over this past year as we could, including solicitation (not THAT kind), identity theft, bullying, and even actual disasters. It makes sense to have covered such a variety of topics, especially after the year it’s been. It was our first full year under a new president, and a year that had many people asking, “How can we do a better job with our business’s human resources?” Continue reading

This entry was posted on by HR Resolutions.
Harassment prevention document

Harassment in the Office

For most of us, our workplace is our community. We see our coworkers more than we see friends and family because we’re they’re every day. That means it’s important to treat each other with respect and kindness, to establish a collaborative and productive work environment. When someone experiences harassment at work, it not only hurts the victim but also damages the environment that’s been built by others. One bad seed can easily sour the mood at work; productivity can take a nosedive, and your place of employment can turn into a hostile work environment.

There are actually multiple forms of harassment someone could be subjected to. Knowing how harassment happens can make us better at spotting similar behaviors around us so that we can speak up for the victims and maintain our workplace experience. Continue reading

This entry was posted on by HR Resolutions.