Category Archives: HR Resolutions

tired employee working at his desk

Not Again! There’s a New, New Form I-9

Just as employers are finally getting comfortable with the most recent version of the Form I-9 that rolled out late last year, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced yet another revised Form I-9. This latest version bears a revision date of “07/17/17 N”, and – like it’s prior iteration – expires on 8/31/2019. Both the online version and the printable version can be found on the USCIS website. Continue reading

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woman holding up social butterfly t-shirt

Not So Social: States Start Limiting Employer Access to Social Media

Social media has rapidly become an essential part of our societal fabric, both personally and professionally. And the line between those two worlds that we once understood to be hard and fast is rapidly being erased.

Most of us came to understand that Facebook was ‘personal’, LinkedIn was ‘professional’ and perhaps Twitter was somewhere in the middle. Of course, today, the Big 3 social networks are just the tip of the iceberg, now that we have Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube and more.

Employers know that employees have an innate right to privacy, both before they are hired and after they join the team. But where do you draw that line?

When it comes to social media, some states and localities are rapidly moving to enact laws and ordinances that require employers to view employee social media accounts as private.

The most recent state to join this movement is Virginia, which has passed a law that becomes effective on July 1, 2015 prohibiting employers from requiring prospective or current employees to provide login information for their social media accounts.

This closely mirrors a similar bill that has been proceeding in Pennsylvania, although the Virginia legislation goes a step further and also prohibits employers from using employee login information to access their social media accounts if the information is accidentally disclosed or made available to the employer.

However, like most of these laws, the Virginia statute does not prohibit a prospective or current employer from viewing employee social media content that is publicly shared. However, this definition generally is framed in the context of information being viewed in the ‘public domain’ so this does raise some interesting questions.

For example, if a hiring manager is Facebook friends with a current job applicant, may the hiring manager review information made available by the applicant to her or his Facebook friends and consider it in the context of evaluating the applicant for the position? Probably not.

Further complicating things is that digital information can be added to the public domain today and removed tomorrow, rendering it very difficult to say what is and is not in the public domain at any given time.

Bottom Line: Asking potential or current employees for their social media logins is a bad idea everywhere and an illegal idea in an increasing number of jurisdictions.

Beyond that, a narrow and limited approach to ‘getting to know’ a potential employee through their social media presence should be the rule, not the exception.

Finally, stay tuned as this field continues to evolve with what will certainly amount to a slew of court cases and future laws as we all attempt to navigate the emerging social media landscape as it relates to the employer-employee relationship.

Selected Sources:

http://www.lawfficespace.com/2012/07/social-media-privacy-protection-act.html

http://www.theemployerhandbook.com/2012/07/pa-introduces-bill-to-protect.html

http://www.arlnow.com/2015/05/04/legal-insider-virginia-limits-employers-access-to-social-media/

Image Credit: linkhumans (Flickr @ Creative Commons)

 

This entry was posted on by HR Resolutions LLC.
service center

HR Resolutions Launches New HR Help Desk Service for Small Businesses

The help desk is one of the most widely used tools in business today. When your computers or network experience problems, chances are you call your information technology firm’s help desk line. When accounting and financing issues arise, you call your CPA firm in a similar manner.

And yet, most companies have not experienced the benefits of a help desk for their most valuable asset – their people. Until now. HR Resolutions, a leading provider of outsourced human resource solutions for companies throughout Central Pennsylvania, is proud to introduce the HR Help Desk, an ideal solution to meet the needs of small and growing companies in the region, and beyond.

“With HR Help Desk, office managers and front-line supervisors can stop doing ‘Accidental HR'”, says Karen Young, President & CEO of HR Resolutions. “Instead, they can simply pick up the phone – or send an email – and know that a qualified, certified human resource professional can help them with their issues as they arise.”

HR Help Desk is ideal for small businesses, and offers two levels of service – one designed for companies with 1-9 employees, and one for those with 10-19 employees.

Much like a computer or technology help desk, the HR Help Desk will provide technical support and guidance to employees performing the actual work of HR in small businesses. While the in-house employee still does the work itself, they will benefit from on-call support to answer questions on an as-needed.

For companies seeking to truly hand their HR duties to an expert team, outsource their HR operations entirely or for firms with 20 or more employees, HR Resolutions offers other solutions including on-site, on-call and as needed services.

Typical questions answered through HR Help Desk may include:

  • Answers to simple, basic day-to-day questions
  • Assistance with employee communications
  • COBRA and leave questions
  • ‘Last look’ reviews for job descriptions, recruiting advertisements, disciplinary actions, compliance documents and more
  • Record keeping questions

Advanced services in areas such as labor relations, employee surveys, exit interviews, handbook development, performance evaluation programs and more are available at an additional fee.

Accessing HR Help Desk is simple. Clients may simply call 717-695-9799 or email hrhelp@hrresolutions.com for a quick response.

Learn more about HR Help Desk and the full range of services available from HR Resolutions by visiting www.hrresolutions.com today.

Image Credit: highwaysengland (Flickr @ Creative Commons)

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Worforce Leaders Forum

Karen Young to Present at Workforce Leaders Forum on June 4th

HR Resolutions President Karen Young will be a presenter for the 1st Annual Central Pennsylvania Workforce Leaders Forum, presented by Stambaugh Ness CPAs & Consultants. The theme for the forum is “Change is Happening: Be on Target for Compliance”. The event will be held at the Sheraton Harrisburg-Hershey Hotel on Thursday, June 4, 2015 from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

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proud member logo

HR Resolutions Featured in Regional Business Video

Karen Young, SPHR, President of HR Resolutions, was a featured business participant in “The Chamber & CREDC Was Here”, a video emphasizing the dynamic reach and scope of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber and the Capital Region Economic Development Corporation (CREDC).
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people attending seminar

Join HR Resolutions at an “Accidental HR” Breakfast in 2015

If managing human resources is just one of the many hats you’re wearing every day, then join us for the 2015 Accidental HR® breakfast series.

Join HR Resolutions and fellow managers and business owners at one of our Small Business Breakfast Series workshops, held at the offices of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber and CREDC.
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Melissa Packer portrait

HR Resolutions Grows with the Addition of Melissa Packer

Harrisburg, PA – HR Resolutions, Central Pennsylvania’s leading provider of on-site, on-call and as-needed professional human resource outsourcing services, announced that Melissa Packer has joined the firm.

Melissa comes to HR Resolutions with 5 years of experience in the human resources sector, having served as an HR Administrator with Essintial Enterprise Solutions and prior to that, working in a number of human resource management capacities with NHS Human Services.

At HR Resolutions, Melissa will provide both ongoing administrative support to the team, as well as on-site client support as necessary. With her broad knowledge of HR administration concepts, Melissa is excited to round out the team of professionals at HR Resolutions who hold human resource management to a higher standard.

Melissa graduated from Susquehanna University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She is highly active with the Harrisburg Rugby club, and serves as the women’s Player Representative. Additionally, Melissa enjoys volunteering at a local horse rescue and taking her dog for long runs (although the dog, inevitably, is the one running her).

To learn more about Melissa and other members of the HR Resolutions team, please visit Our Team on the HR Resolutions website.

 

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SHRM logo

Karen Young Receives Prestigious Senior Certified Professional Designation from SHRM

Karen Young, President of HR Resolutions, has been recognized with the SHRM-SCP certification, awarded by the Society for Human Resource Management.

The new Senior Certified Professional designation is specifically designed for senior human resource professionals who develop strategies, lead the HR function, foster influence in the community, analyze performance metrics, and align HR strategies to organizational goals.

The SHRM-SCP certification covers an extensive body of competency and knowledge appropriate to senior human resource practitioners, with topics covering people, organization, workplace and strategy as well as extensive technical topics.

In addition to achieving this designation, Karen Young holds the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification from the HR Certification Institute, and she holds a Master of Arts degree in Industrial Relations from St. Francis University.

To learn more about the SHRM Certification program, please visit http://www.shrm.org/certification/ and to learn more about the HR Resolutions team, go to http://www.hrresolutions.com/our-team.asp.

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10 year celebration

Be It Resolved: HR Resolutions Celebrates 10 Years

Employers in the Central Pennsylvania region and beyond have been avoiding the pitfalls of Accidental HR for the last decade thanks to the work of the region’s leading human resource services firm, HR Resolutions.

HR Resolutions celebrated its 10th Anniversary on Thursday, January 15th with an evening reception at the WITF Media Center in Harrisburg, PA. Held in partnership with the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC, the celebratory event included live jazz entertainment and brought a record attendance of more than 150 regional business owners and executives.

Karen Young, SPHR, President of HR Resolutions, received three commendations including recognition from Dave Black, President & CEO of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC.

In addition, the firm is celebrating its updated mission statement, which focuses on its mission-critical role. The revised mission statement is:

“At HR Resolutions…we work side by side with employers, helping them create workplaces where Employees WANT to come to work ~ every day!”

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Know Your Rights…and Theirs: What One Jimmy John’s Franchisee Learned the Hard Way About HR (Accidental HR)

jmmy johnsYou run a foodservice business – one that is part of a national franchise network whose brand is built on the promise of clean, fresh, tasty food made to-order. Some of your employees decide to begin an organizing effort, in part to protest the lack of paid sick days currently provided to them.

And, as part of that effort, they put up posters implying that maybe, just maybe, the food your business sells to customers could be made by someone who is sick. In fact, the posters even appear inside your restaurant, on a community bulletin board.

Makes you want to fire them, doesn’t it?

Well, if you did – you’d be breaking the law, according to an August 21st ruling by the National Labor Relations Board that forced a Minnesota Jimmy John’s franchisee to rehire the employees he did fire, and potentially face other legal sanctions as well.

The franchising industry often attracts people with accumulated capital and a palpable commitment to building a high-growth business, which is in part why the model is so successful. On the other hand, often times the entrepreneurs who become new franchisees may have had little to no prior experience managing an hourly workforce, and chances are they have no idea how unionization or any other aspect of labor relations works.

Once you begin hiring and managing hourly employees for your business, those employees are protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Many employers think that the latter law only impacts them if employees choose to unionize, or even once a union is voted in. That is not the case. Even non-union employees are protected by provisions of the NLRA.

Your employees have rights as well as responsibilities

If you’re a first-time franchise owner and you’ve never encountered the complexities of American labor law head-on before, just keep in mind that while your business is your business, your employees are not entirely your employees. They have rights and protections afforded to them for good reason, but those protections may at times seem strangely at odds with what you think is clearly in the best interests of the business.

In the Jimmy John’s case, the franchise owner made a clear and compelling argument that the posters his protesting employees distributed (there were, by some accounts, more than 3,000 posters in all) were defamatory and malicious in their intent. In fact, he said that the posters actually threatened the livelihoods of all of the other employees whose jobs would be lost if the business failed due to a false perception of food safety danger created by the posters, in the eyes of the buying public.

It certainly makes sense on the one hand, and chances are no business owner would consider the posters tame or ‘okay’. But the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) looks at things from the context of the “concerted activity” involved, and asks how the activities of the employees do or do not accord with that intent under the law.

In this case, the NLRB decided that the core statement on the posters (i.e. that employees at the restaurant did not receive paid sick time) was “factually accurate”, and that the actions of the employees demonstrated that they were “motivated by a sincere desire to improve their terms and conditions of employment”.

The Board also found fault with the franchisee because one of his supervisors encouraged some employees to disparage a fellow worker who was pro-union on Facebook.

What does this mean for your business?

Quite simply, it means this: When your employees request, press or demand changes to their labor conditions and they join together to represent themselves or appoint a representative in an organized fashion, you need to know the law and follow it carefully.

The NLRB calls this Protected Concerted Activity, and specifies that “The law we enforce gives employees the right to act together to try to improve their pay and working conditions, with or without a union. If employees are fired, suspended, or otherwise penalized for taking part in protected group activity, the National Labor Relations Board will fight to restore what was unlawfully taken away.”

What the Jimmy Johns case proves is that the NLRB is fully committed to protecting every employee’s right to concerted activity, and that such activity is protected by a very wide berth.

Managing employees is complicated enough when everyone is generally happy and the morale of your workforce is genuinely positive. But when things begin to get the least bit complicated, many business owners are completely unprepared.

If you’re new to the world of managing an hourly workforce or if your business is beginning to experience changes that could complicate the nature of your employee-management relationships, take the smart step and proactively seek professional assistance – like working with a dedicated, professional human resources consultant who can review and advise on your policies, procedures, benefits and other aspects of your work culture.

Want to learn more about the National Labor Relations Act? You can, by visiting the official website here:

National Labor Relations Act
http://www.nlrb.gov/resources/national-labor-relations-act

For more information on how your business can maintain an effective employment environment in the midst of ever-more-complex federal, state and local laws, contact HR Resolutions today for a free initial consultation to discuss how on-site, on-call and as-needed HR outsourcing can work cost-effectively in your business, or call us at 717-652-5187.

Article Sources:

NLRB judge finds Jimmy Johns franchisee in Minnesota illegally fired employees for protected activity
http://www.nlrb.gov/news-outreach/news-story/nlrb-judge-finds-jimmy-johns-franchisee-minnesota-illegally-fired-employees

NLRB: Jimmy John’s Can’t Fire Workers for Icky Sick-Leave Protest
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-08-25/nlrb-jimmy-johns-cant-fire-workers-for-icky-sick-leave-protest

MN Jimmy John’s Workers Call Foul; Owner Refutes
http://tcbmag.blogs.com/daily_developments/2011/03/mn-jimmy-johns-workers-call-foul-owner-refutes.html

Rights We Protect: Protected Concerted Activity [NLRB]
http://www.nlrb.gov/rights-we-protect/protected-concerted-activity

Image Credit: nateone (Flickr @ Creative Commons)

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