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Top 10 Best Practices in HR Management For 2012



Top 10 Best Practices in HR Management For 2012


Chief Content Officer: Founder: Managing Editor—HR: Legal Editor: Editor: Production Supervisor: Graphic Design: Production & Layout:

Ed Keating Robert L. Brady, J.D. Patricia M. Trainor, J.D., SPHR Susan E. Prince, J.D. Elaine V. Quayle Isabelle B. Smith Catherine A. Downie Sherry Newcomb

This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. (From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers.) © 2006-2012 BLR®—BUSINESS & LEGAL RESOURCES All rights reserved. This book may not be reproduced in part or in whole by any process without written permission from the publisher. Authorization to photocopy items for internal or personal use or the internal or personal use of specific clients is granted by Business & Legal Resources. For permission to reuse material from Top 10 Best Practices in HR Management for 2012, ISBN 1-55645-317-5, please go to http://www.copyright.com or contact the Copyright Clearance Center, Inc. (CCC), 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, 978-750-8400. CCC is a not-for-profit organization that provides licenses and registration for a variety of uses. ISBN 1-55645-317-5 Printed in the United States of America Questions or comments about this publication? Contact: BLR—Business & Legal Resources 100 Winners Circle, Suite 300 P Box 41503 .O. Nashville, TN 37204-1503 860-510-0100 800-785-9212 (fax) http://www.blr.com

Top 10 Best Practices in HR Management for 2012

Table of Contents
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 #1 Healthcare in 2012 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 2012 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 2013 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 2014 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 2018 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 #2 FMLA Paid Leave Initiatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Feds Encouraging States to Legislate Paid Leave . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Paid Sick Leave Benefits: What the Numbers Show . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 #3 Ethics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Best Practice: Employee Communities Drive Engagement at Top Company . . . . . . . . .10 #4 Social Media . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Blogging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 FTC Guidelines on Testimonials and Endorsements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Best Practice: 5 Reasons to Focus Your Social Media Recruiting on LinkedIn . . . . . .15 Best Practice: Using Social Media to Communicate Sustainability Achievements . . . . .17 #5 Environmental Responsibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 5 Reasons Why You Need a Green Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Best Practice: Energy-Saving Opportunities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Best Practice: Do You Have a Recycling Policy? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 #6 Workplace Wellness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 What Is Wellness? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 Legal Issues Related to Workplace Wellness Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Best Practice: Suggestions for Wellness Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 Best Practice: 13 Inexpensive Tips for Encouraging Wellness Program Participation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 #7 Classifying Employees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 Topic: Amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Recordkeeping Regulations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 IRS Voluntary Worker Classification Settlement Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 Wage and Hour Investigations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 Best Practice: How to Prepare for an Investigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 #8 Retirement of Baby Boomers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Teamwork, Participation Are Generally Important to Baby Boomers . . . . . . . . . . . .31

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Healthcare, Technology Skills Among Baby Boomers’ Concerns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 Succession Planning: A Strategy for Meeting Talent Needs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 Best Practice: Retirement Policies to Protect Your Organization and Prepare Employees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 #9 Identity Theft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 FACTA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 Red Flags Rule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37 Best Practice: Protecting Employees from Identity Theft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 Breach of Security . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 Best Practice: Preventing Security Breaches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 Employers’ Private Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 #10 Communications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41 Benefits of Good Communication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41 Causes of Ineffective Communication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41 Encouraging Employees to Communicate Better . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 Tools for Better Communicating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 Best Practice: Avoid Scheduling Meetings on Friday Afternoons or Monday Mornings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45

Top 10 Best Practices in HR Management for 2012

The role of Human Resources is changing as fast as technology and the global marketplace. Historically, the HR Department was viewed as administrative overhead. HR processed payroll, handled benefits administration, kept personnel files and other records, managed the hiring process, and provided other administrative support to the business. Those times have changed. The positive result of these changes is that HR professionals have the opportunity to play a more strategic role in the business. The challenge for HR managers is to keep up to date with the latest HR innovations—technological, legal, and otherwise. This special report discusses the top 10 best practices in HR management for 2012—in other words, how HR managers can anticipate and address some of the most challenging HR issues this year. This report will give you the information you need to know about these current HR challenges and how to most effectively manage them in your workplace.

#1 Healthcare in 2012
The enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (HCERA), collectively referred to as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), launched an extended period during which far-reaching changes to the American healthcare system will take effect. These reforms are built on the current employer-based system and are impacting every employer in the country. Reform on this scale is multifaceted and continues to take effect in uneven increments between 2012 and 2018.. We’ll cover what has to be planned for in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2018 as the pieces of the reform package come into play. Keep in mind that the two biggest pieces of the reform process, the individual mandate and employer play-or-pay, don’t take effect until 2014.

Benefits Summary Requirement. By March 23, 2012, a summary of benefits and coverage explanation that meets the national standards for providing a summary of benefits and coverage must be provided to applicants at the time of application, to the enrollee before the time of enrollment or reenrollment, and to a policyholder or certificate holder at the time of issuance of the policy or delivery of the certificate. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and Department of Labor (DOL) have issued proposed national standards for providing the summary of benefits and coverage explanation. The agencies are soliciting comments on factors that may affect the feasibility of implementation by that date.

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Quality of Care Reporting. No later than March 23, 2012, requirements for use by group health plans and health insurance issuers offering group or individual health insurance coverage to report benefits and healthcare provider reimbursement structures that improve health outcomes through the implementation of activities are to be issued. Examples of activities to be reported include quality reporting, effective case management, care coordination, chronic disease management, and medication and care-compliance initiatives; activities to prevent hospital readmissions through a comprehensive program for hospital discharge that includes patient-centered education and counseling, comprehensive discharge planning, and post-discharge reinforcement by an appropriate healthcare professional; activities to improve patient safety and reduce medical errors through the appropriate use of best clinical practices, evidence-based medicine, and health information technology under the plan or coverage; and wellness and health promotion activities. Plans and insurers must annually report whether the benefits under the plan or coverage satisfy these elements.

Health Insurance Administration Simplification. Rules establishing a single set of operating rules for eligibility verification and claims status should have been adopted by July 1, 2011, and take effect January 1, 2013. Rules for electronic funds transfer and healthcare payment and remittance rules must be adopted by July 1, 2012, and take effect January 1, 2014. Rules for health claims or equivalent encounter information, enrollment and disenrollment in a health plan, health plan premium payments, and referral certification and authorization rules are to be adopted by July 1, 2014, and take effect January 1, 2016. Health plans must document compliance with these standards or face a penalty of no more than $1 per covered life. The penalty takes effect April 1, 2014. Medicare Tax. Effective January 1, 2013, the Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) tax rate on wages goes up by 0.9 percent (from 1.45 percent to 2.3 percent) on annual earnings over $200,000 for individual taxpayers and $250,000 for married couples filing jointly. There is also a 3.8 percent Medicare tax assessment on investment income from interest, dividends, royalties, rents, gross income from a trade or business, and net gain from disposition of property for individuals earning over $200,000 and families earning over $250,000. FSA Contribution Limit. Effective January 1, 2013, contributions to a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for medical expenses are limited to $2,500 per year increased annually by the cost-of-living adjustment. Elimination of Tax Deduction for Part D Subsidy Payment. Effective January 1, 2013, the tax deduction for employers that receive Medicare Part D retiree drug subsidy payments is eliminated. Requirement on Employers to Inform Employees of Coverage Options. Employers are to provide to each employee at the time of hiring (or with respect to current employees, not later than March 1, 2013), written notice informing the employee of the existence of an Exchange, including a description of the services provided by such an Exchange, and how the employee may contact the Exchange to request assistance; if the employer plan’s share of the total allowed costs of

Top 10 Best Practices in HR Management for 2012

benefits provided under the plan is less than 60 percent of such costs, the employee may be eligible for a premium tax credit under Section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and a cost-sharing reduction under Section 1402 of the PPACA if the employee purchases a qualified health plan through the Exchange; and if the employee purchases a qualified health plan through the Exchange, the employee will lose the employer contribution (if any) to any health benefits plan offered by the employer and that all or a portion of such contribution may be excludable from income for federal income tax purposes.

Individual Mandate. United States citizens and legal residents will be required to have qualifying health coverage beginning in 2014. Those who do not have coverage will be required to pay a yearly financial penalty of the greater of $695 per person (up to a maximum of $2,085 per family) or 2.5 percent of household income, phased in from 2014–2016. Exceptions will be given for financial hardship and religious objections. Employer Play or Pay—The Employer Mandate. Effective in 2014, employers with more than 50 employees that do not offer coverage, and have at least one fulltime employee who receives a premium assistance tax credit, must pay a fee of $2,000 per full-time employee. The first 30 employees are not counted for assessing the fee. Employers with more than 50 employees that offer coverage but have at least one full-time employee receiving a premium tax credit will pay the lesser of $3,000 for each employee receiving a premium credit or $2,000 for each full-time employee. Employers that offer coverage will be required to provide a voucher to employees with incomes below 400 percent of the poverty level if their share of the premium cost is between 8 percent and 9.8 percent of income to enable them to enroll in a plan in an Exchange and will not be subject to the above penalty. Large Employer Automatic Enrollment Requirement. Effective in 2014, large employers with more than 200 full-time employees that offer coverage will be required to automatically enroll employees in the employer’s lowest cost plan if the employee does not sign up for employer coverage or does not opt out of coverage. Any automatic enrollment program must include adequate notice and the opportunity for an employee to opt out of any coverage. Insurance Exchanges for Individuals and Small Businesses. By 2014, statebased American Health Benefit Exchanges and Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Exchanges, administered by a governmental agency or nonprofit organization, are to be operating so that individuals and small businesses with up to 100 employees can purchase qualified coverage. Guaranteed Issue, Renewability, and Rating Variation Requirements. Effective January 1, 2014, insurers will be required to guarantee issue and renewability and allow rating variation based only on age (limited to 3-to-1 ratio), premium rating area, family composition, and tobacco use (limited to 1.5- to-1 ratio) in the individual and the small group market and the Exchanges. Annual Limits. Effective for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, plans and insurers may no longer impose annual dollar limits on coverage. Limit on Waiting Periods. Effective for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, insurers and plans must limit any waiting periods for coverage to 90 days.
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Wellness Incentives. Effective for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, employers may offer employees rewards of up to 30 percent (increasing to 50 percent, if appropriate) of the cost of coverage for participating in a wellness program and meeting certain health-related standards. Preexisting Condition Exclusions. The application of preexisting condition exclusions for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, is prohibited. Comprehensive Health Insurance Coverage. Effective for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, a health insurance issuer that offers health insurance coverage in the individual or small group market must ensure that such coverage includes the essential health benefits package that includes at least the following general categories and the items and services covered within the categories: N Ambulatory patient services N Emergency services N Hospitalization N Maternity and newborn care N Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment N Prescription drugs N Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices N Laboratory services N Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management N Pediatric services, including oral and vision care Limits on Cost Sharing and Deductibles. Effective for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, a group health plan may not provide any annual cost sharing in excess of those that apply to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).

Excise Tax on Cadillac Plans. Effective January 1, 2018, an excise tax is imposed on insurers of employer-sponsored health plans with total values that exceed $10,200 for individual coverage and $27,500 for family coverage.

#2 FMLA Paid Leave Initiatives
Most employers struggle with managing leave of absence issues, understanding Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) laws, and even knowing when a family medical leave of absence is covered by state or federal law. As employers in Connecticut, California, New Jersey, and Washington state know, state and municipal paid leave initiatives are now taking hold in many places.


Top 10 Best Practices in HR Management for 2012

Although paid family medical leave of absence laws have failed to pass at the federal level for many years, many state Legislatures have recently taken up the fight by proposing laws to enable employees to take various types of paid leave. According to the National Council of State Legislators, at least 19 states had some form of paid leave initiative on their legislative calendars at the beginning of 2011. In California and New Jersey, employees are already entitled to paid benefits during certain types of family leave. On October 1, 2012, Washington state’s paid family leave law will go into effect. The state law grants employees up to 5 weeks of family leave insurance benefits, with a maximum weekly benefit of $250 per week. Some states and municipalities have chosen to require paid sick leave for their employers. In June 2011, Connecticut became the first state in the nation to mandate paid sick leave exclusively for service workers such as waiters, cashiers, and hairstylists. Under the state paid sick leave law, service companies with 50 or more workers in the state must provide service workers 1 hour of sick time for every 40 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours per calendar year. The District of Columbia’s Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act of 2008 entitles employees covered by the District Family and Medical Leave Act to paid sick and “safe” leave for use under certain circumstances. The amount of paid sick leave given to the employee depends on the size of the employer and may be used by an employee for any of the following reasons: N Physical or mental illness, injury, or medical condition of the employee; N Obtaining professional medical diagnosis or care, or preventive medical care, for the employee, provided that the employee makes a reasonable effort to schedule such leave in a manner that does not unduly disrupt the operations of the employer; N Caring for a child, a parent, a spouse, domestic partner, or any other family member who has a physical or mental illness, injury, or medical condition or needs for diagnosis or care; or N If the employee or the employee’s family member is a victim of stalking, domestic violence, or sexual abuse, provided that the absence is directly related to social or legal services pertaining to the stalking, domestic violence, or sexual abuse. Cities have also gotten into the act, requiring paid sick leave by local ordinance. For example, in San Francisco employers are required to provide 1 hour of paid sick leave to an employee for every 30 hours worked. Under the ordinance, employees are allowed to accrue up to 40 hours of paid sick leave if they work for a small employer (fewer than 10 employees). Employees of larger employers can accrue up to 72 hours. Effective September 1, 2012, the city of Seattle, Washington, will require that employees in the city accrue paid sick time. The amount of time accrued will depend on the size of the employer, and permissible reasons for leave range from an absence resulting from an employee’s or employee’s family member’s mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; accommodating the employee’s need for medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; or an employee’s need for preventive medical care. Also covered are situations when the employee’s place of business or a child’s school or place of care has

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been closed by order of a public official to limit exposure to an infectious agent, biological toxin, or hazardous material, and for reasons related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

Feds Encouraging States to Legislate Paid Leave
In order to entice the states to continue the move toward legislating paid leave for employees, DOL is pitching in. The 2012 Fiscal Budget for DOL includes $23,000,000 to fund the fed’s State Paid Leave Initiative, which will provide grants to assist additional states to establish paid leave programs. Typically, the programs are state-run insurance programs financed by employer and/or employee contributions, and the programs offer up to 6 weeks of benefits to workers for reasons covered under the federal FMLA who must take time off to care for a seriously ill child, spouse, or parent, or bond with a newborn or recently adopted child. Under this initiative, grants would be provided to assist additional states in planning and start-up activities relating to state family paid leave programs. These funds will be provided to states for preimplementation planning grants to support activities designed to position a state to enact legislation and prepare for implementation and implementation grants. Planning activities will include designing a program, establishing protocol for legislation to withhold taxable wages, defining family eligibility and benefits requirements, and articulating start-up activities. Funds may also be used for activities such as research and analysis, coalition building; stakeholder consultation; development of a financing model and benefit structure; and development of an outreach plan; and will culminate in a blueprint for implementation.

Paid Sick Leave Benefits: What the Numbers Show
In a recent report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) examining paid sick leave benefits, length of service had minimal impact on paid sick leave provisions, but several other worker and company characteristics did affect the provisions. (The report is available at www.bls.gov.) Additionally, BLS’s report reveals that worker characteristics contributed to the differing employer costs associated with providing paid sick leave benefits. The data contained in the report are from the National Compensation Surveys on Employee Benefits in the United States and Employer Costs for Employee Compensation. Highlights of the report include: N Private industry workers access to paid sick leave benefits varied by occupational group and ranged from 84 percent for management, professional, and related occupations to 42 percent for service workers. N 81 percent of employees earning wages in the highest 25 percent of the wage distribution had access to paid sick leave, compared to only 33 percent for employees in the lowest 25 percent. N In private industry, employees received an average of 8 days of paid sick leave after 1 year of service, with large establishments providing an average of 11 days and small establishments offering an average of 6 days.


Top 10 Best Practices in HR Management for 2012

N The cost for sick leave per employee hour worked in state and local government was 81 cents compared to 23 cents in private industry. N Higher paying occupations typically incur higher sick leave costs. For example, the average employer cost for sick leave benefits in management, professional, and related occupations was 53 cents per employee hour worked in private industry; the cost for service occupations was just 8 cents per employee hour worked.

#3 Ethics
Workplace ethics defines a standard of acceptable behavior on the job. It is a set of rules by which to judge decisions and conduct in the workplace. Many corporate leaders who fail to act ethically have been prosecuted and incarcerated, and the U.S. Congress has legislated significant changes in financial reporting and other laws to enforce ethical behavior. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines have placed strict legal requirements on covered employers. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act) created additional whistleblower protections. Making ethical choices on the job, even for the ethically minded, is not always easy. There may be many reasons that drive people to cross the line and act unethically. Here are a few examples: N Conflicts of interest force employees to choose between self-interest and the interests of co-workers, the department, or the organization. Sometimes the choice is between the interests of a customer and the interests of the organization, or between the community and the organization. N It is sometimes hard to draw a line between personal and business relationships. Employees forge friendships with co-workers, yet may have to make professional choices that do not seem very friendly. For example, if a co-worker does something wrong, an employee may have to report the situation. If a customer with whom an employee has a good relationship tries to use the relationship in some unethical way, the employee is in a difficult situation. N Massaging the truth, telling “little white lies,” and failing to tell the whole story can all have an effect on the outcome of a situation. N Confidential information is exactly that—confidential and privileged. Ethically, employees cannot use any confidential business information for self-gain or pass along such information to benefit friends or family, whether that information is about the organization or its customers. N Laws and regulations are another problem area. There are many confusing laws. Even if an employee understands the law, he or she may not agree with it. It can be tempting to cut corners or forget about the details. N Pressure to succeed, pressure to get ahead, pressure to meet deadlines and expectations, and pressure from co-workers, bosses, customers, or vendors to

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engage in unethical activities or at least look the other way can drive people to do things they would not normally do. N Some people make unethical choices because they are not sure about what really is the right thing to do. Ethical problems are often complicated, and the proper choice may be far from obvious. N Self interest, personal gain, ambition, and downright greed are at the bottom of a lot of unethical activity in business. Also, there are those who simply never learned or do not care about ethical values. Because such individuals have no personal ethical values, they do not have any basis for understanding or applying ethical standards in business. N Misguided loyalty can cause employees to lie because they think that in doing so, they are being loyal to the organization or to their bosses.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act)
The Dodd-Frank Act provides significant financial incentives for employees to disclose to government officials what they believe may be illegal conduct by their employers. Here is a summary of the laws affected by the Dodd-Frank Act’s whistleblower provisions. Sarbanes-Oxley Act. SOX prohibits retaliation against employees of publicly traded companies who report acts of mail, wire, bank, or securities fraud; fraud against shareholders; or violations of any rule or regulation of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to their supervisors or other appropriate officials within their companies or federal officials with the authority to remedy the wrongdoing. The law also prohibits retaliation against employees who assist in any investigation of such violations or participate in any proceeding related to an alleged violation of these laws (18 USC Sec. 1514A). Employees claiming retaliation under SOX must exhaust administrative remedies before bringing an action in court. Complaints are handled by DOL. If DOL does not issue a ruling within 180 days, the employee may seek a trial in federal court. The Dodd-Frank Act clarified some unsettled SOX issues. For example, courts were split on whether SOX grants whistleblowers a right to a jury trial. The Dodd-Frank Act makes clear that jury trials are available under the law. In addition, the DoddFrank Act amends SOX by adding the following provisions: N Non-publicly-traded subsidiaries of publicly traded companies are now covered by SOX. N Nationally recognized statistical ratings organizations are not covered by SOX. N The statute of limitations is extended from 90 days to 180 days. N Predispute arbitration agreements are prohibited under SOX. N Individuals cannot waive their rights or remedies under SOX. Securities and Exchange Commission Act. The Dodd-Frank Act created additional whistleblower protections under the SEC Act. Employees who provide
Top 10 Best Practices in HR Management for 2012

information regarding securities law violations are entitled to between 10 percent and 30 percent of monetary sanctions recovered that exceed $1 million. Employers may not retaliate against employees who provide information regarding securities law violations to SEC, assist in the SEC’s judicial or administrative investigations, or make required or protected disclosures under SOX or other laws subject to SEC jurisdiction. Employees claiming retaliation may bring a claim in federal court, and if they prevail, they may be awarded double back pay, attorney’s fees, and other costs. Employees must bring their claim within 6 years of the retaliation, or within 3 years after the employer knew or should have known of the retaliatory conduct; in no case can a claim be made more than 10 years after the retaliation. Practically speaking, this provision gives SOX plaintiffs the opportunity to bring a claim in federal court without first following the administrative procedures required by SOX. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The Dodd-Frank Act created a whistleblower program to protect employees who provide information related to violations of the Commodity Exchange Act or assist in an investigation or judicial or administrative action based on such information. As with the SEC Act, CFTC whistleblowers are eligible to receive 10 percent to 30 percent of any fines recovered by CFTC that exceed $1 million. Also, individuals may bring retaliation claims in federal court. Predispute arbitration agreements are prohibited, as are waivers of rights under the Act. However, unlike the SEC Act, complaints under the CFTC whistleblower provisions must be brought within 2 years of the violation. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Dodd-Frank Act created a Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection and provides whistleblower protections for employees who work in the consumer financial services sector. These employers may not retaliate against an employee “performing tasks related to the offering or provision of a consumer financial product or service” who has: N Provided information to his or her employer, the Bureau, or any local, state, or federal authority relating what the employee reasonably believes to be a violation of one of the consumer financial services laws protected by the Bureau or other Bureau rules; N Testified in any proceeding related to enforcement or administration of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010, any of the other laws protected by the Bureau, or Bureau rules; N Filed or instituted any proceeding under federal consumer financial law; or N Objected to, or refused to participate in, any activity, policy, practice, or assigned task that the employee reasonably believed to be in violation of any law subject to the jurisdiction of or enforced by the Bureau. Employees who believe they have been retaliated against for taking any of the actions set forth above may file a complaint with DOL. If, after an investigation, DOL finds in favor of the employee, it will order the employer to take affirmative action to abate the violation. In addition, the employee will be awarded back pay, reinstatement, compensatory damages and, upon request, attorney’s fees up to $1,000. If DOL does not issue a final order within 210 days after the employee filed the complaint, or within 90 days after it has issued a written determination on the claim, the employee may file suit in federal court.

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As with other whistleblower provisions under the Dodd-Frank Act, employees may not waive their rights under this provision of the Dodd-Frank Act. Also, predispute arbitration agreements are prohibited. False Claims Act. Under the False Claims Act, an individual may bring a court action, known as a qui tam action, against any person who knowingly makes a false claim for payment from the government (31 USC Sec. 3729 et seq.). Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who participate in a qui tam action. Employees who prevail on a retaliation claim may be entitled to reinstatement, as well as double back pay, special damages, costs, and attorney’s fees. The Dodd-Frank Act expanded covered individuals to include not only the whistleblower but also “associated others.” It also provides that employees have 3 years from the time of the retaliation to bring a claim.

Best Practice: Employee Communities Drive Engagement at Top Company
HP Advanced Solutions, located in Victoria, British Columbia, has been recognized as a Psychologically Healthy Workplace by the American Psychological Association (APA) and was recognized as one of “Canada’s Top 100 Employers” by Mediacorp Canada in 2010. The APA award is very difficult to achieve, explains Greg Conner, vice president of Human Resources and Communications, with APA members surveying employees of nominated organizations, conducting on-site, one-to-one interviews with employees, and conducting a rigorous review of each organization’s policies and procedures. HP Advanced Solutions (www.edsadvancedsolutions.com), with a total of 400 employees, was founded in 2004 and is expert in information technology processes and hosting infrastructures services, says Cynthia Funnell, director of Marketing and Communications. With two distinct business lines, HP Advanced Solutions provides revenue management for the province of British Columbia, mainly through a call center with 50 agents collecting monies owed to the province, and a high technology division that provides applications and mainframe services for the province as well as some government-owned corporations. Conner explains that the company’s mission is to be the number one provider of labor-friendly business process and technology services. Of the 400 employees at HP Advanced Solutions, 370 are unionized. The voluntary employee turnover rate was only 6 percent in 2010 and 7 percent in 2009. Conner bases his employee-focused initiatives on the following foundation or principle that he mentions often:“When employees are engaged, they’re productive. Productive employees earn more money for their company. There are many extensive and cost-effective ways to create employee engagement and they ultimately impact the bottom line [in a positive manner].” Communities of Employees. One of his initiatives is creating and maintaining communities of employees that work together as cross-functional teams outside of their regular roles and work environments for the good of other employees, the organization, and the outside communities surrounding HP Advanced Solutions.
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The communities at HP Advanced Solutions currently include the Social and Charitable Community, the Development Community, the Health and Wellness Community, and the Sustainability Community. All of these consist of employees volunteering to participate with no designated end to their terms, says Conner. The Social and Charitable Community plans events, such as Jeans Day, Halloween parties, and Global Volunteer Days, says Conner. The Global Volunteer Days are Saturday events and generally attract 40 to 50 employees and family members, who work together at a community organization of their choice, explains Conner. The company provides a little seed money for supplies, he adds. The employees are surveyed regarding the organizations that they’d like to help. One Global Volunteer Day, for example, resulted in the dressing up of the barn and offices for the Victoria Disabled Riding Association, which provides horseback riding opportunities for adults and children with physical and psychological disabilities. Employee Recognition. The Development Community focuses on rewards and recognitions for employees, says Conner. For example, there’s the Above and Beyond Award, given on a monthly basis to an employee doing something well beyond what is expected. Employees make the nominations for the award. Conner says that at the company anniversary party held in December each year, the Development Community coordinates the presentation of employee recognition awards. One award, named “Starting Strong,” is given to a person in his or her first or second year of employment who demonstrates the attitude and ethics that everyone at the company would like to see. “An award, Employee Excellence, is given out to the employee who embodies the spirit of productivity and also has great relationships with fellow co-workers and the community,” explains Conner. “The Volunteer award is given to someone who volunteers internally, in local communities, or even internationally. The Leadership award goes to the employee who demonstrates [excellent] leadership.” The final community is Sustainability. “At the first meeting, we had 55 people. This Community is designed to look at ways we can be more environmentally sensitive.” One significant change that came from Sustainability was to change all the printers to handle double-sided printing. It cut down on waste paper and saved 30 percent in the amount of paper used by the company, he explained. These Communities provide only one aspect of what is done to strengthen the HP Advanced Solutions work culture. ‘The Golden Rule.’ Conner comments,“It’s all about creating a workplace that you are proud to be part of. It helps to keep people engaged. It’s the secular version of The Golden Rule—treating each other the way you would like to be treated. If you operationalize that, you will have the kind of environment that you want and you can demonstrate [the results of] that.”

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#4 Social Media
Employers are recognizing that social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace can be useful marketing and recruiting tools. Likewise, employees have increasingly been utilizing social networking sites for a variety of uses, both personal and professional. Although these sites can be beneficial, their use can also have risks. Discrimination. Some employers review social networking sites as a method of screening applicants. Generally, once an applicant or employee posts something on a public domain, such as a social networking site, an employer is free to view it. However, by viewing candidate profiles, employers may learn more information (e.g., race, disability, age, religion, family/marital status, sexual orientation) than the employer could legally ask about directly. Therefore, it is critical that employers base all interviewing and hiring decisions on job-related criteria. Employers must also be aware that everything they find on a social networking site may not be current, accurate, or even placed there by the prospective applicant, as users of these sites sometimes “pretext” or pretend to be someone else. Background Check Laws. The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires employers to obtain applicants’ consent when a third party conducts a background investigation. Some states also have their own background check laws. It is unclear whether these laws would require consent from an applicant before an employer or third party conducted an Internet search as part of a background check. However, even if not legally required to do so, employers should consider getting consent so that applicants are on notice that the information they post on social networking sites may be reviewed by the employer. Monitoring Employee Use of Social Networking Sites. There is little case law addressing the monitoring by employers of employees’ social networking posts. However, the few cases in this area suggest that courts will be reluctant to uphold an invasion of privacy claim (whether based on the federal constitution or state common law) when an employee voluntarily posts information on a public site. But the outcome may be different if employees set up an invitation-only site and have an expectation that only invited users will be able to read their posts. For example, a federal district court in New Jersey held that employees could proceed with their invasion of privacy claim when they were fired after uninvited company managers accessed their invitation-only Web discussions of workplace grievances (Pietrylo v. Hillstone Restaurant Group, No. 06-5754 (D. N.J. 2008)). The court also permitted the employees to proceed with their claim that the managers violated the federal Stored Communication Act (SCA) and similar state law. The employees argued that one of the managers pressured an employee to provide him with her password to the site. The court reasoned that if proven, this would show a violation of the SCA and state law, because authorization to view the site was not “freely given.” In contrast, a California state court rejected an invasion of privacy claim by a college student who posted an essay highly critical of her home town on a social networking site (Moreno v. Hanford Sentinel, 172 Cal. App. 4th 1125 (2009)). The student’s former school principal forwarded the post to a local newspaper that


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published it. The student and her family were then subject to hostile treatment from community members, including some death threats. The student claimed that the school principal invaded her privacy by sending the post to the newspaper. The court rejected her claim, noting that she posted the essay on a social networking site available to anyone with Internet access. The court did, however, permit the student to pursue a claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress against the principal. On the basis of these cases, employers should be aware that while it may not be an invasion of privacy to access an employee’s public social networking site, actions taken based on the information on the site may lead to liability under other legal theories. Moreover, coercing an employee to provide access to a private site may be an invasion of privacy, as well as a violation of federal and state law. Employers should also keep in mind that some states have laws prohibiting employers from taking adverse action against an employee for engaging in legal activities while off-duty. An employer in a state with such a law may face liability if it takes adverse action against an employee because of the employee’s legal activities shown on a social networking site. Practice tip: Because this area of the law is in its infancy, employers should consult with legal counsel before taking adverse action against an employee because of his or her posts on a social networking site. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Employers need to exercise caution when disciplining employees for their use of social media. While an employer may justifiably believe discipline, or even termination, is appropriate when an employee uses social media to criticize the company, the NLRB may interpret the same criticism as protected concerted activity. The NLRB has issued several complaints against companies that provide insight into how the NLRB views social media in the context of concerted action by employees. In addition, the NLRB’s Acting General Counsel has issued a report on cases arising in the context of social media to assist practitioners and HR professionals in this area. Generally, if an employee uses social media for concerted activity, such as acting with or on behalf of other employees regarding the terms and conditions of employment, the NLRB is likely to find the activity protected, even if the employee disparages the employer. In contrast, employees are not protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) if they use social media to post their individual complaints about management or workplace policies. For example, the NLRB filed a complaint against an ambulance company when it fired an employee who had posted negative comments about her supervisor on her Facebook page. In another case, an administrative law judge held that a nonunion employer committed an unfair labor practice when it fired five employees because of Facebook postings. One of the employees posted to her Facebook page a co-worker’s comment that employees did not do enough to help the organization’s clients. This post generated angry responses from other employees, who defended their job performance and complained about working conditions. The judge noted that the employees were “taking the first step” toward group action to defend themselves against accusations that they could have reasonably believed would have been brought to management (Hispanics United of Buffalo, Case No. 3-CA-27872 (Sept. 2, 2011)).
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However, employers may discipline or terminate employees because of their inappropriate social media postings as long as the postings do not involve protected concerted activity. In one case, the General Counsel recommended dismissing an unfair labor practice charge against a newspaper that fired a reporter for sending “inappropriate and unprofessional” tweets from a work-related Twitter account. The reporter criticized the paper’s copy editors, the city where the paper was located, and a TV station that made a spelling error on its Twitter feed. The employee had been warned that his tweets were unprofessional and damaging to the newspaper’s goodwill. The General Counsel found that the reporter’s actions did not involve concerted activity. Likewise, when an employee used social media to air his “individual gripes” against a manager, his activity was not protected. Here, the employee posted a Facebook comment expressing frustration about a dispute with a manager over mispriced and misplaced items. Some employees responded to the posting expressing emotional support and asking why the employee was so wound up. The employee’s comments contained no suggestion that other employees engaged in group action, and the employees’ responses gave no indication that they interpreted his comments in such a way. The Acting General Counsel’s report also addresses standards for social media policies. Social media policies must be drafted so that they would not reasonably be interpreted to deter employees’ exercise of their rights under the NLRA. For example, a policy that stated employees should be cautious about posts involving the employer that could be construed as inappropriate was considered too broad by the NLRB. This was because the policy contained no direction as to what would be considered “inappropriate.”Thus, employers should include definitions, examples, or other guidance in social media policies to clarify broad terms. This area of the law is evolving. Employers should draft Internet and social media policies carefully so that they do not prohibit employees from engaging in activities protected by the NLRA, and these policies should be reviewed by legal counsel. Additionally, until the law is settled in this area, employers considering adverse action against an employee who posted comments on social media about working conditions may first want to consult with local employment counsel. Employees’ Use of Social Networking Sites. Employers may find that employees use social networking sites to post positive information about their organization’s products or work culture. Unfortunately, employee posts can also be detrimental to employers. Therefore, employers should have policies in place setting forth their expectations regarding employee’s social networking as it relates to the employer. Such policies should prohibit: N Illegal harassment of co-workers or customers; N Interference or disruption of work because of social networking; and N Exposing trade secrets or other proprietary company information. It is also a good idea to train employees on the proper and improper use of social networking at or relating to work.


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Blogging has grown quickly in recent years both with regard to the number of individuals reading and posting to blogs and the number of blogs available on the Internet. There have been a number of highly publicized cases in which employees were disciplined or fired for disclosing confidential or proprietary information about their companies and/or describing their employers in an unflattering light. Legal Considerations. When addressing blogging by employees, employers should be aware of legal issues such as the employee’s right to free speech and free association and the right to be free from restriction on off-duty activities. Many states prohibit employers from taking action against employees who engage in lawful off-duty activities. However, blogs can also be used to harass or defame co-workers or others. If the company allows the employee to use company facilities to create or maintain the blog, the company may be liable for the illegal actions of the employee. In order to prevent inappropriate blogging, employers should consider adding a blogging provision to any existing Internet or electronic communication policy or creating a separate policy on blogging.

FTC Guidelines on Testimonials and Endorsements
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued guidelines requiring individuals who are paid to provide testimonials and endorsements on social networking sites to reveal that they are being compensated (16 CFR 255.5). These guidelines could affect employers if their employees tout a product or service on a social networking site or blog without mentioning the employer/employee relationship. The FTC has stated that when determining whether to initiate an enforcement action, it will consider whether the employer had policies and practices relating to employee participation in social media. In the past, the FTC has brought law enforcement actions against companies whose failure to establish or maintain appropriate internal procedures resulted in consumer injury. However, it is unlikely to bring an enforcement action against a company for the actions of a single “rogue” employee who violated an established company policy. Practice tip: In addition to the tips above, employers should make sure that their blogging and/or social networking policies contain provisions requiring employees to reveal their employment status whenever they discuss company products or services using these media. Companies should also enforce these policies as a matter of good business practice and to ensure their credibility in case the FTC reviews a situation.

Best Practice: 5 Reasons to Focus Your Social Media Recruiting on LinkedIn
Do you focus your social media recruiting on LinkedIn? Or, do you prefer to use all social media avenues? Perhaps you’re avoiding social media for hiring or recruiting purposes altogether? According to a recent study, social media can save a lot of money when it comes to recruiting. The cost per-hire using social media is $377, while traditional methods

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can run as high as $3,295 per hire. Plus, social media resources such as LinkedIn— which is specifically designed for business use—can quickly help you find the perfect hire. Effectively incorporating this interactive technology into your recruitment efforts can be a win-win situation for both your new hires and your organization. In a BLR webinar titled “Online Recruiting: How LinkedIn Can Help You Find Talent, Network, and Build a Digital Referral Base,” Linda Duffy, president of Leadership Habitude, outlined ways to meet recruiting challenges using LinkedIn. The SHRM April 2011 Research Spotlight: Social Networking Sites and Staffing found that more than one-half (56 percent) of the organizations currently use social networking websites when recruiting potential job candidates. This is a significant increase since 2008, when a little over one-third (34 percent) of organizations were using these sites as a recruiting tool. Duffy confirmed:“I believe if you fast-forward another 3 years, it will be virtually 100 percent because I think this is the trend and the direction we’re going.” Out of the 56 percent of the companies using social networking websites for recruiting, virtually all of them (95 percent) are using LinkedIn. LinkedIn may be your very best resource for making the connections that lead to qualified candidates and, ultimately, job offers. Social media in general has many recruiting benefits. Here are five reasons social media—and LinkedIn in particular—are great for staffing and recruiting: 1. It’s in real time. Candidates can set up alerts to be notified of new job postings and also can receive e-mails, texts, posts, and access websites on their phones. No more waiting on the news cycle to post a new classified advertisement. Normal business hours don’t have to apply. 2. You can build a pipeline: Have candidates come to you! This is one of the unique things about using social media for recruitment. It’s a two-way communication. LinkedIn also has groups users can join that allow them to see job postings immediately. 3. It’s viral (and that’s a good thing). LinkedIn demonstrates this as well as any site—we are no longer communicating one on one; it’s one to many.This is the power of the networking aspect of the site in which something you post can reach not only those who you are connected with but also potentially those they are connected with as well. Additionally, a person can forward or share content and connections and even post a comment on multiple sites at the same time. 4. It’s virtually free.Yes, you’ll have sunk costs if you want something fancy or highly integrated … and you’ll also have labor to monitor and post your ad, but the use of the site itself is free. If you post within a group on LinkedIn, there is no cost, but even if you post on their job section directly, it is only $195. Compare that to using offline agencies. 5. LinkedIn demographics tend to skew more professional than other social media sites. While they have fewer users (120 million) than some other social media sites, 70 percent are in the “workforce age population” of between 25 and 54 years of age. LinkedIn users tend to be more affluent and educated compared to those on Twitter and Facebook. This makes LinkedIn critical for recruiting professional candidates; it’s a great choice for meeting your staffing and recruiting needs.
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Best Practice: Using Social Media to Communicate Sustainability Achievements
You have established a corporate sustainability program, and you are seeing positive results.You have engaged employees, and they are working toward meeting companywide sustainability goals.You have faced challenges and have been creative in creating a program that fits your organization. Now you want to share your achievements with the outside world using social media. But the problem is that there are a lot of companies that are attempting to share their products and stories as well. How do you get your company to rise to the top? Jeannette Bitz and Marianna Grossman have shared five tips on Greenbiz.com for expanding social presence in this increasingly crowded corporate sustainability realm: 1. Be clear and passionate. Convey your goals and strategies clearly, and discuss your company’s viewpoints on issues and the media. Avoid discussing your company and its products, unless they bring an original idea to the conversation. 2. Identify the people with whom you want to communicate. Determine your audience and learn who is leading the conversation.You will need to spend some time doing some research; look for groups on LinkedIn, Twitter, and keywords that will lead you to where the pulse of the sustainability discussion is located that pertains to you. 3. Determine your role in the social media world. Do you want to blog? Join groups? Take the time to determine the best social media tools for your organizations, and create accounts on the networks and forums that you feel are the best fit. 4. Become a part of the group. Once you have determined industry leaders, figure out what makes them influential. Find conversations in which you can contribute, and add your opinions and ask questions. 5. Keep track. As you do with your sustainability program, keep track of your social media progress. Have you identified a new business lead in an online conversation? Have you noticed an increase in the number of followers on your blog?

#5 Environmental Responsibility
You know that green programs are good for business, so why is it so hard to get upper management buy-in? Maybe it’s because they don’t fully understand all of the benefits of a green program.

5 Reasons Why You Need a Green Program
Here are some convincing reasons to help you pitch starting a green program at your company.
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1. It’s easy! Whether it’s a factory, plant, or general office space, opportunities to be green are in every workplace.You can easily train workers to save energy, recycle, and reduce waste at little cost to your company. 2. Your competitors probably have one. If you want to stay competitive or gain an advantage, a green program will help you do that. 3. Your workers want it. Most employees are interested in how their company is practicing corporate social responsibility. This is a great opportunity for you to shine in the eyes of your workers and be an employer of choice because most employees link positive environmental and social activities to brand reputation. 4. It’ll save money. It’s simple, cutting energy costs and waste will save your company money. Simple tasks like printing on both sides of paper, turning off computers and lights during nonworking hours, and conducting water audits can add up to huge savings for your company. 5. It’ll keep you ahead of the regs. If you play in the global market you’ll have to follow several European directives like Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, Restriction of Hazardous Substances, and Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals.

Best Practice: Energy-Saving Opportunities
You’ll be amazed at how easily you can cut your energy bill and protect the environment for little or even no cost. Evaluate the best opportunities that will be most effective for your company: 1. Track your energy bills:You need to know how much you pay for electricity, natural gas, and fuel oil at your facility. Tip: Understand seasonal charges in your utility bill that can affect your energy-saving actions for heating and cooling. 2. Pinpoint equipment using the most energy: A small portion of the equipment usually accounts for the greatest amount of energy consumption. Tip: Look for large pieces of equipment and equipment that runs most of the time or that has periodic, but substantial, start-up energy requirements. 3. Identify no- or low-cost projects. 4. Get management support:Your goal is to show the value of energy-saving measures and the potential cost and productivity advantages of a more-aggressive energy-efficiency program. 5. Create an energy team at your plant: The team will track and report energy uses, identify energy-saving opportunities, develop an energy plan, and implement cost-saving measures. 6. Develop an ongoing strategy to sustain plantwide efforts and to improve and maintain energy-efficient systems. 7. Shut off any lights you are not using. 8. Use compact fluorescent lightbulbs. They use less than 25 percent of the electricity of standard bulbs and last 10 times longer.


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9. Seal drafty doors, windows, and holes around plumbing fixtures to keep out winter cold and summer heat. 10. Use the energy-savings setting on all appliances, particularly air conditioners and refrigerators, as well as on office machines such as copiers. 11. Unplug computers, monitors, modems, cable boxes, and televisions when not in use. Better yet, plug them into power strips so it’s one easy switch to turn them all off and on. 12. Unplug cell phone and PDA chargers when not in use. They use electricity even when they aren’t charging! 13. Use green power.“Green power” is defined as electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable, renewable sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, biomass, and low-impact hydro. 14. Switch to paperless bank statements and bill paying to save millions of trees and billions of gallons of water—plus the cost of stamps. 15. Drive less! Walk, bike, or take public transportation.

Best Practice: Do You Have a Recycling Policy?
Businesses can save money by reducing the amount of materials and energy they consume and by recycling materials. A policy that establishes your organization’s strategies for reducing consumption and recycling materials should include clear guidance on work procedures for conservation of energy and recycling. These strategies can save money, improve employee morale, and enhance your organization’s image in the community. Here are some tips and considerations for developing your company’s recycling policy. Then join the conversation and tells us steps you’ve taken in your going green journey! Review of Policy. Your policy should state that it will be reviewed at least once a year to make adjustments to any changes in law or changes in items that are acceptable for recycling. Program Administrator. Your policy should identify the person to be contacted when there are any questions regarding recycling. This individual should be readily available to answer questions regarding what items are to be recycled and to respond to suggestions for altering your recycling program. Reduction in Paper Used. Your policy could encourage employees not to print or copy documents unnecessarily. Instead, you could encourage employees to maintain electronic copies of a document rather than paper copies. Packaging. If your business packages items for others, your policy should state that you seek to minimize the amount of packaging used to reduce trash. Further, your policy should state that you encourage employees to make suggestions for reducing the amount of packaging while still protecting the product. Similarly, your policy should encourage employees to make suggestions on when to use recycled materials in your packaging.

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Circulating Materials. To reduce the number of copies of an item, you may be able to circulate one copy among several people. Additionally, you may want to implement an e-mail, voicemail, or networking system to permit the routing of information without producing a hard copy. Confidentiality. If you have confidential documents, care should be taken to remind employees to discard those items properly. For example, you may require the items to be shredded before recycling. Recyclable Items. Your policy should identify what items are to be recycled. Will you recycle paper only? Newspapers? Aluminum cans? Plastics? Use of Recycled Material. Your policy can encourage use of items made from recycled materials.Your policy can also encourage the reuse of items before they are discarded. For example, copy paper printed on one side only can be recycled internally to make use of the blank back side (or even be made into scratch pads). Items Not to Be Recycled. Your policy should expressly describe any items that should not be placed in a container for recyclables. Otherwise, a few items that are not to be recycled can ruin the contents of an entire container. Cleaning. If plastic containers or aluminum cans are to be rinsed out before placement in a recycling bin, you should advise employees of this in your policy. Toxic Materials. Expressly identify any toxic materials that are not to be placed in the recycling bins. For example, if you recycle a variety of cans, but not paint cans or oil cans, your policy should expressly inform employees of these restrictions. Similarly, if you recycle plastics, but not plastic containers for motor oil, your policy should so state. OSHA. There may be Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations regarding the disposal of certain workplace items, for example, needles in healthcare facilities. OSHA may also regulate storage of items in the workplace. Often, material safety data sheets will provide the needed information. Environmental Laws. Various federal and environmental laws regulate the disposal and recycling of materials, e.g., paint products, oil cans, tires, car batteries, or glass bottles. Recycling Laws. State or local laws may require certain businesses to recycle specific items. Office buildings may be required to recycle soda cans. Further, several states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation requiring that newspapers sold in these areas contain prescribed amounts of newsprint produced from postconsumer newspapers. Color-Coding Containers. To make it easier for employees to readily identify which container to use for which items, you should consider color-coding the bins. Location of Bins. Location sites should be convenient for employees to recycle. At the same time, you should not have so many sites that it creates a burden to gather all the items. Signage. Not only should your signs identify what a particular recycling bin is to contain but it should also identify items not to be placed in the container. For example, your recycling bin for plastics ought to identify any item, such as plastic containers for motor oil, which are not to be placed in that recycling bin.


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Safety. When identifying items that you will recycle, you should consider potential safety problems. For example, you may decide not to recycle glass because of the risk of breakage that may lead to a serious cut. Pickup Times. You should determine the optimal time for the pickup of the recycled materials. For example, is one pickup a week sufficient? One pickup a month? Is morning, mid-afternoon, or some other time best? Inefficiencies in Recycling. Some manufacturers of copiers and printers warn against the use of recycled toner cartridges. Such manufacturers suggest that there can be some leakage of the material that may require the machine to be cleaned sooner than normal. Similarly, the use of the back side of a prior draft may cause your printer or copier to jam, resulting in inefficiencies or repairs. Charitable Donations. If you have items that have outlived their usefulness to your company but are still in working order, you may want to consider giving such items to a charitable organization that could use them.

#6 Workplace Wellness
In this age of skyrocketing healthcare costs, it isn’t surprising that wellness is a topic of discussion at home, in our schools, at all levels of government, and in the workplace. There is evidence that an effective workplace wellness program will result in a healthy return—both in terms of employee productivity and reduced healthcare costs. However, in order to realize this return, employers must make sure wellness programs are well-focused and well-executed. In other words, wellness programs must target the health concerns of employees and their families. In addition, the company must communicate with employees about the program and its benefits to make sure it is being used effectively. Workplace wellness program offerings may vary from simple things, such as discounts in membership fees at health clubs and in weight loss programs, to specific help with managing chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. As with any workplace program, employers must consider federal and state laws when setting up a workplace wellness program.

What Is Wellness?
The concept of wellness encompasses every aspect of our lives. In 1979, Dr. Bill Hettler, cofounder of the National Wellness Institute (http://www .nationalwellness.org), developed a model called The Six Dimensions of Wellness, which is generally accepted by the wellness community. The six dimensions are: N Physical—Bodily health through exercise, nutrition, and abstaining from harmful activities, such as smoking N Emotional—Emotional health through learning to recognize, express, and control feelings and moods

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N Intellectual—Mental health through developing creativity, learning ability, and problem-solving skills N Occupational—Job satisfaction through learning individual aptitudes and skills and finding meaning in work N Social—Community connections through learning the part we play in our interconnected world N Spiritual—Larger life questions through learning to choose and live by a set of values that give meaning to our lives

Legal Issues Related to Workplace Wellness Programs
Employers have a great deal of flexibility in designing wellness programs. However, it is a good idea to review any program with an attorney, and employers should work closely with insurance providers if the wellness program will offer financial incentives or benefits through group health plans. There are a number of laws to be aware of when developing and implementing these programs.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The ADA requires employers to offer a reasonable accommodation to an employee with a known disability, and it prohibits employers from making medical inquiries or requiring medical examinations (unless job-related and consistent with business necessity). It is also unlawful under the ADA to take any adverse employment action based on an individual’s actual or perceived disability. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has offered employers some guidance on the ADA’s restrictions on medical inquiries and examinations. Under the guidelines, an employer may conduct medical examinations and activities that are part of a voluntary wellness and health screening program. Therefore, offering employees the opportunity to voluntarily participate in health screening programs for high blood pressure and cholesterol monitoring is not likely to violate the ADA as long as there is no penalty (economic or otherwise) for not participating. Employers must treat any information acquired as a confidential medical record.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), HHS, and the IRS published rules in 2006 that provide guidance in complying with the nondiscrimination provisions of HIPAA. The rules also provide guidance on the implementation of wellness programs. HIPAA nondiscrimination provisions generally prohibit group health plans from charging similarly situated individuals different premiums or contributions or imposing different deductible, copayment, or other cost-sharing requirements based on a health factor. Health factors include health status, medical condition (including both physical and mental illnesses), claims experience, receipt of health care, medical history, genetic information, evidence of insurability (including conditions arising out of acts of domestic violence), and disability.


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However, there is an exception that allows plans to offer wellness programs if they meet certain criteria. Under the regulations, examples of wellness programs that comply with HIPAA’s nondiscrimination requirements without having to satisfy any additional standards (assuming participation in the program is made available to all similarly situated individuals) include: N A program that reimburses all or part of the cost for memberships in a fitness center; N A diagnostic testing program that provides a reward for participation and does not base any part of the reward on outcomes; N A program that encourages preventive care through the waiver of the copayment or deductible requirement under a group health plan for the costs of, for example, prenatal care or well-baby visits; N A program that reimburses employees for the costs of smoking cessation programs without regard to whether the employee quits smoking; and N A program that provides a reward to employees for attending a monthly health education seminar. A wellness program that conditions a reward on an individual satisfying a standard related to a health factor must meet these five requirements: 1. The total reward must be limited. Generally, it must not exceed 20 percent of the cost of employee-only coverage under the plan. 2. The program must be reasonably designed to promote health and prevent disease. 3. The program must give individuals eligible to participate the opportunity to qualify for the reward at least once per year. 4. The reward must be available to all similarly situated individuals. The program must allow a reasonable alternative standard (or waiver of the initial standard) for obtaining the reward to any individual for whom satisfying the initial standard is medically inadvisable or unreasonably difficult due to a medical condition. 5. The plan must disclose in all materials describing the terms of the program the availability of a reasonable alternative standard (or the possibility of a waiver of the initial standard).

National Labor Relations Act
Employers who have negotiated a collective bargaining agreement with a union are required by the NLRA to bargain over “wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment.”Therefore, a union may claim that a wellness program is a term or condition of employment that mandates bargaining. Employers should also check the governing collective bargaining agreement to see if a wellness program falls under a subject they have agreed to negotiate. For example, a bargaining agreement may mandate negotiation over the amount of employee-paid insurance premiums, but not health insurance or other employee insurance benefits.

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Internal Revenue Code
Depending on the incentives and benefits included in an employer’s wellness program, there may be tax consequences for the employer and the employee. For example, some employee incentives may constitute taxable income for employees. Generally, the value of an incentive is includible in the employee’s gross income (e.g., gift cards, memberships to off-site exercise facilities). However, there are some exceptions, including: N Free or subsidized access to a gym or athletic center that is operated by the employer and located on the employer’s premises, N Discount on employee contribution required to participate in employersponsored health plan, and N Contributions to an employee’s flexible spending account. In addition, a discount to an employee’s healthcare insurance offered as an incentive to employees who participate in a wellness program would probably not be considered taxable income for employees. Employers are well advised to obtain guidance from a tax professional as tax laws are complex and regulations can change frequently.

State Laws that Protect Off-Duty Conduct
Several states have laws protecting the off-duty conduct of employees. Some states, including Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia, have “Smokers’ Rights” laws that protect individuals from discrimination on the basis of the lawful use of tobacco products outside of the workplace. Other states, such as California, have broader coverage that includes any lawful activity occurring away from the employer’s premises during nonworking hours. When designing a wellness program, employers should review state laws prohibiting employment discrimination to be sure the program complies with state requirements. Once a program is in place, employers should take steps to ensure that employment decisions are not based on conduct that is protected by law. It is necessary to keep in mind that Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) may preempt state law when a wellness program is part of an employee benefit plan. However, ERISA will neither preempt state laws that have only a “tenuous, remote or peripheral connection” to employee benefit plans, nor will it preempt state insurance laws. If a wellness program is challenged based on a state law that protects off-duty conduct, ERISA’s preemption clause may come into play—but it would depend on whether the program is part of an employee benefit plan within the meaning of ERISA’s preemption clause. A federal court decision demonstrates the difficulties that arise when a mandatory wellness program conflicts with an employee’s off-duty conduct (Rodrigues v. The Scotts Company LLC, No. 07-10104 (D. Mass. 2008)). In this case, the employer instituted a mandatory wellness program that included a tobacco-free policy prohibiting “smoking of tobacco products by its employees at any time and at any place, whether or not in the workplace or during work hours.” The applicable state law does not have a provision prohibiting discrimination against employees who use tobacco products. The employer used random testing
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of employees to enforce its policy. When it subsequently discharged an employee who tested positive for nicotine, the employee filed a lawsuit based on various claims. Ultimately, the court ruled the former employee could pursue his lawsuit based on his claims of invasion of privacy and a violation of ERISA, but not on his claim of wrongful termination or a violation of the state civil rights law. Note: Because state laws and regulations vary widely, employers should have their wellness programs reviewed by an attorney familiar with applicable state laws, particularly if employee participation in a wellness program is mandatory.

Best Practice: Suggestions for Wellness Programs
Ideas that employers can use in their wellness programs are as varied as the employees in an employer’s workforce. It may take some trial and error to find the ones that create an enthusiastic response and achieve high levels of participation. Some successful programs have included one or more of the following: N Voluntary screening to check blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and other risk factors N Personal finance education and counseling N Smoking cessation program N Financial incentives for voluntary participation in healthcare assessment N Reduced copayments for drugs that treat asthma, diabetes, hypertension, and other chronic conditions N Health insurance discounts for nonsmokers N Health insurance surcharges for smokers N Discounted gym memberships N Partnering with local restaurants to provide healthy lunch options N Reimbursement for membership in Weight Watchers® or other weight management programs N Healthy food options in company cafeteria or vending machines N On-site medical facility, fitness center, and pharmacy for employees’ use N No out-of-pocket cost to employee for preventive care, e.g., annual physical exam, well-child exams, mammograms N Flu vaccinations N Newsletters, e-mail notices, bulletin board postings, and other awareness strategies to increase participation in wellness initiatives Both large and small employers can implement wellness programs that help reduce the cost of health care and improve the health of employees. Careful assessment of workforce needs, tailoring of programs to meet those needs, and a comprehensive health management strategy are all components that will help an employer’s wellness program succeed.

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Best Practice: 13 Inexpensive Tips for Encouraging Wellness Program Participation
Beyond the actual physical activities, most wellness programs need a little incentive to encourage participation and especially to keep people participating after the initial excitement has worn off. Here are some tips from the New York State Physical Activity Coalition: 1. Provide incentives like T-shirts, caps, aprons, or paid time off. 2. Hold contests or other fun worksite competitions: N “Wellness Project of the Month” N “Set Your Goal” competition N Employee/management and interdepartmental challenges N Health trivia game on computer with prizes to the winners 3. Announce and publicize a monthly health theme. 4. Conduct recognition activities for employees making efforts at healthier lifestyles: N Bulletin board announcements. N Personally signed letters from the CEO congratulating employees on their healthy behaviors. N Publicity for success stories or the healthy employee of the month. N Recognition for the coordinators of wellness activities. 5. Provide bulletin boards for health information exchange and for people to write milestones they have achieved in health (e.g., New Year’s resolution, miles walked, pounds lost). 6. Provide child care so that parents can participate in wellness activities. 7. Have the company health practitioner set a time (weekly, monthly) to check blood pressure, body fat, and weight. 8. Provide one-on-one counseling for high-risk employees and people with disabilities by establishing wellness mentoring programs. (Note: Take care with this one so you don’t run afoul of discrimination laws.) 9. Develop a team for brainstorming ideas and to help with wellness activities. 10. Conduct a survey to assess what topics employees want to pursue. 11. At all meetings: N Start with a stretch, and take a relaxation break in the middle. N Conduct a wellness activity. N Recognize an employee birthday or other special event. 12. Rotate departmental responsibility for wellness activities. 13. Utilize college interns to assist with developing and running wellness projects and events.
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#7 Classifying Employees
Topic: Amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Recordkeeping Regulations
DOL’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) intends to update the FLSA recordkeeping requirements to foster openness and transparency, to increase awareness among workers, and to encourage greater compliance by employers. DOL is considering a proposed rule requiring covered employers to notify workers of their rights under the FLSA, and to provide information regarding hours worked and wage computation. Any employers that seek to exclude workers from the FLSA’s coverage will be required to perform a classification analysis, disclose that analysis to the worker, and retain that analysis to give to WHD enforcement personnel who might request it. The proposal will also address burdens of proof when employers fail to comply with records and notice requirements. The current recordkeeping regulations require covered employers to keep specified payroll records and other information but do not require that such information or other information regarding a worker’s employment or exemption status be disclosed to the worker. This is an issue of transparency and is critical to workers’ understanding of their legal rights and responsibilities. Employers covered by the FLSA are currently required to provide notice regarding the Act and to keep records on wages, hours, and other items, as specified in recordkeeping regulations established to ensure compliance with the various provisions of the Act. Most of the information required to be kept is of the kind employers generally would maintain in ordinary business practices. Required records generally include the employee’s name, address, date of birth (if under 19 years of age), hours worked per day and per week, regular rate of pay (nonovertime rate) when overtime is worked, amount of straight time earnings and overtime pay for each workweek, and deductions from or additions to pay. The regulations also specify the records an employer must keep in order to confirm that particular exemptions from some of the FLSA’s requirements may apply. Employers must keep additional information on certain employees who are homebased or work under uncommon pay arrangements or to whom lodging or other facilities are furnished or other special requirements apply. Updating the recordkeeping requirements to promote transparency is expected to encourage greater levels of compliance by employers, to enhance awareness among workers of their status as employees or independent contractors and employee rights and entitlements to minimum wage and overtime pay, and to facilitate DOL enforcement.

IRS Voluntary Worker Classification Settlement Program
The IRS Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VCSP) will enable many employers to resolve past worker classification issues by voluntarily reclassifying
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their workers. The program is designed to increase tax compliance and reduce the burden for employers by providing greater certainty for employers, workers, and the government. Under the program, eligible employers can obtain relief from federal payroll taxes they may have owed in the past if they prospectively treat workers as employees. The VCSP is available to eligible businesses, tax-exempt organizations, and government entities that have erroneously treated their workers or a class or group of workers as nonemployees or independent contractors, and now want to correctly treat these workers as employees. To be eligible, an applicant must: N Consistently have treated the workers as nonemployees in the past, N Have filed all required Forms 1099 for the workers for the previous 3 years; and N Not currently be under audit by the IRS, DOL, or a state agency concerning the classification of these workers. Interested employers can apply for the program by filing an application for the VCSP Form 8952, at least 60 days before they want to begin treating the workers as , employees. Employers accepted into the program pay an amount effectively equaling just over 1 percent of the wages paid to the reclassified workers for the past year. No interest or penalties will be due, and the employers will not be audited on payroll taxes related to these workers for prior years. Participating employers will, for the first 3 years under the program, be subject to a special 6-year statute of limitations, rather than the usual 3 years that generally apply to payroll taxes.

Wage and Hour Investigations
WHD is responsible for administering and enforcing a number of federal laws that set basic labor standards. If the employer is subject to these laws, the investigator will verify that workers are paid and employed properly according to the laws administered and that youths under the age of 18 are employed as provided by the child labor provisions. WHD does not require an investigator to previously announce the scheduling of an investigation, although in many instances, the investigator will advise an employer before opening the investigation. The investigator has sufficient latitude to initiate unannounced investigations in many cases in order to directly observe normal business operations and quickly develop factual information. An investigator may also visit an employer to provide information about the application of, and compliance with, the labor laws administered by WHD. WHD does not typically disclose the reason for an investigation. Many are initiated by complaints. All complaints are confidential, so the name of the worker, the nature of the complaint, and whether a complaint exists may not be disclosed. In addition to complaints, WHD selects certain types of businesses or industries for investigation. WHD often targets low-wage industries because of high rates of violations or egregious violations, the employment of vulnerable workers, or rapid changes, such as growth or decline, in an industry. Occasionally, a number of businesses in a specific geographic area are examined. The objective of targeted investigations is to
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improve compliance with the laws in those businesses, industries, or localities. Regardless of the particular reason that prompted the investigation, all investigations are conducted in accordance with established policies and procedures. During an investigation, DOL representatives visit a business and gather data on wages, hours, and other employment conditions or practices in order to determine compliance with the law. WHD does not require an investigator to previously announce the scheduling of an investigation, although investigators will often advise an employer before opening the investigation. The investigator has sufficient latitude to initiate unannounced investigations in many cases in order to directly observe normal business operations and develop factual information quickly. If violations are found, the employer may owe back pay, face penalties, and be advised by DOL to make changes in employment practices in order to avoid future violations. The WHD investigator will identify himself or herself and present official credentials. The investigator will explain the investigation process and the types of records required during the review. An investigation consists of the following steps: N Visitation and inspection of the business under investigation. N Examination of up to 3 years of records to determine which laws or exemptions apply. These records include those showing the employer’s annual dollar volume of business transactions, involvement in interstate commerce, and work on government contracts. Information from an employer’s records will not be revealed to unauthorized persons. N Examination of payroll and time records, and taking notes or making transcriptions or photocopies essential to the investigation. N Interviews with certain employees in private to verify the employer’s payroll and time records; to identify workers’ particular duties in sufficient detail to decide which exemptions apply, if any; and to confirm that minors are legally employed. Interviews are normally conducted on the employer’s premises. In some instances, present and former employees may be interviewed at their homes or by mail or telephone. N When all the fact-finding steps have been completed, the investigator will ask to meet with the employer or a representative who has authority to reach decisions and commit the employer to corrective actions if violations have occurred.The employer will be told whether violations have occurred, what they are, and how to correct them. If back wages are owed to employees because of minimum wage or overtime violations, the investigator will request payment of back wages and may ask the employer to compute the amount due. DOL looks for complete, accurate, and unambiguous pay records for every employee for each pay period from the past 3 years. As a result, it is imperative that employers strive to keep accurate, well-organized wage and hour records that can be produced quickly. In general, employers in the following categories must comply with the wage and hour requirements of FLSA: N Employers engaged in interstate commerce or the production of goods for interstate commerce N All hospitals, schools, and public agencies

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Employees in firms not covered by the FLSA might still be protected under the Act if their individual work involves interstate commerce or the production of goods for interstate commerce. Tip: If an employer believes that it may have wage and hour issues, it should contact an attorney experienced in wage and hour investigations as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can provide details about the employer’s rights and responsibilities from the outset. The FLSA prohibits employers from discharging or discriminating against any employee who files a wage and hour complaint or who provides information during a DOL investigation. As a result, employers should be cautious not to discourage employee cooperation with wage and hour investigations or to respond negatively to any employee who files a wage and hour complaint.

Best Practice: How to Prepare for an Investigation
In order to prepare for a wage and hour investigation, consider taking the following steps: N Appoint a company representative or legal counsel to interact with the DOL investigator. N Before providing information or documents to DOL, the representative or attorney should determine the scope of the investigation and review all documents before handing them over to DOL. N Prepare a legal and factual “position statement” for the investigator, outlining any compliance steps taken by the organization. N Provide managers with relevant information and interview employees in advance so that everyone is better prepared to respond to the investigator’s questions. N Do not discourage employee cooperation with wage and hour investigations or respond negatively to any employee who files a wage and hour complaint.

Cooperation Is Essential
Employers should demonstrate their willingness to cooperate with DOL investigators and to adjust their procedures and policies as necessary to avoid violations in the future.

How to Prevent an Investigation
Here are some strategies to prevent a wage and hour investigation: Avoid unfair compensation practices. Make sure employees are compensated in a consistent manner. If an employer’s pay practices are consistent, complaints are less likely to arise, and the employer will be in a better situation if DOL does launch an investigation. Understand the regulations. It is important that employers take the time and make a concerted effort to understand and familiarize themselves with the FLSA. It is the law, and if employers fail to follow the law they may face litigation or a DOL audit.
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Train. Train managers so they are fluent in the language of the FLSA. Analyze state versus federal law. Determine whether the state’s wage and hour laws conflict with federal law, then follow the law that is most beneficial to the employee. Pay past overtime due. If it is determined that an employee is wrongly classified as exempt, the employer should determine how many overtime hours the employee has worked in the past 2 years, then pay the employee the overtime due. The employer should also have the employee sign a release to free the employer from further liability. Paying past overtime due to employees now will be far less expensive than paying them in a DOL settlement. Respond to internal complaints expeditiously. If an employee files a wage and hour complaint internally, the employer should take it seriously. Since many investigations are prompted by an employee’s complaint, employers might be able to prevent an investigation by addressing an employee’s initial internal complaint. Seek compliance assistance from DOL. Various compliance tools and information are available on DOL’s website at http://www.dol.gov. Conduct a self-audit. Employers can hire attorneys to audit their companies—or they can do it themselves before DOL initiates an investigation. Conducting a selfaudit helps ensure compliance with federal and state laws. As part of an audit, employers should: N Review job descriptions to determine whether they are still accurate, reflect the jobs being performed, and reflect the skills necessary to perform the job. N Review employees’ actual job duties to ensure that they still fall within the administrative, executive, professional, computer, or outside sales exemptions. N Make sure overtime for nonexempt employees has been properly calculated. For instance, bonuses and shift premiums should be included in the calculation of the regular rate of pay. N Make sure the required posters have been hung in the appropriate places in the workplace.

#8 Retirement of Baby Boomers
Teamwork, Participation Are Generally Important to Baby Boomers
Each generation of employees has a set of common values and attitudes that grew out of influences during their formative years. For example, Baby Boomers grew up in a time when rights were a big issue—in schools, voting booths, housing, and workplaces. They came to work with the notion that they had rights as employees and employers had to respect their rights.

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Here are some other common values and attitudes of Boomers (i.e., those born after World War II and on into the early 1960s): N Boomers brought with them the optimism of the 1960s and the belief that change could and should occur, and that at work as everywhere else in their lives, there were lots of possibilities within their grasp. N This generation has been more interested in career and personal growth than the previous generation. N They have also tended to value self-gratification and self-interest more than loyalty and dedication to the organization. N However, Boomers, for the most part, have been big on teamwork and participation. And when they moved into positions of power in the workplace, they put an emphasis on these strategies, which have been widely adopted and have proved very successful in American enterprises of all kinds.

Healthcare, Technology Skills Among Baby Boomers’ Concerns
Do your supervisors understand the concerns Baby Boomers have? Here is a list of common concerns that you can pass along to supervisors: N Baby Boomers are interested in healthcare benefits. Statistics show that people in their fifties and sixties begin to experience more health problems and disease. N Boomers are generally concerned about retirement. Some of the older ones are already retiring. The younger ones are busy saving for retirement. Many of them are empty nesters. They’ve finally gotten their kids through college and now it’s time to pump up the 401(k). N Baby Boomers may be concerned about keeping up with workplace changes and new technologies. Some may find this more difficult than it is for the younger generations. N Boomers are often concerned about maintaining their status and position as they face more and more competition from the up-and-coming Generation Xers. N And finally, many Boomers are concerned about having more leisure time. They’ve been working for a long time and many have put in long hours on the job over the years. Now they want a little more free time to enjoy themselves.

Succession Planning: A Strategy for Meeting Talent Needs
Traditionally, succession planning focused on an orderly transition at the top of the company. Companies would plan for the time when a chief executive officer, president, chief financial officer, or other key manager would retire or move on to new opportunities. The focus would be on a smooth transition to new leadership, making sure the company stayed on track during the transition.


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Succession planning has taken on a whole new level of importance today as companies anticipate changes in the workforce. One of the most notable is the aging of the workforce and the significant “brain drain” many companies will experience as Baby Boomers begin to retire. The BLS reports that over one-third of the civilian employees working for the federal government are eligible for retirement, and 34 percent are over 50 years of age. The same situation exists, but to a somewhat lesser degree, in the workforce as a whole. Therefore, employers can expect that federal and state governments will be hiring large numbers of replacements from available employees to fill positions in both the private and public sectors. In this new environment, succession planning has a broader focus. Companies must plan not only for staffing needs at the top of the company but must also identify and plan for future human capital needs at all levels–planning for the future growth and success of the company. If the company is not prepared and has not invested in its key employees, when the need to fill a position arises, the company will likely find itself looking outside the organization in competition with other public and private employers.

Developing a Succession Plan
In many organizations, a succession plan is a document developed by the Human Resources department, distributed to managers, and then put on a shelf. This type of plan is of little value to a company. To be of real value, the plan must include input from senior management, an analysis of the company’s current and future needs for talent, a plan for identifying employees who will be trained and mentored to fill key roles in the future, and a plan for recruiting outside talent to make sure the company has the skills and experience it needs. Once this is done, the plan must be implemented, and managers and supervisors at all levels of the company must be evaluated on their work in developing employees. Study the demographics of the company. Early in the process, it is important to analyze the current workforce. Is “brain drain” going to present a significant problem for the company, and if so, when and in what areas or jobs? Knowing when and where there will be key vacancies or a need to replace accumulated skills and knowledge will help focus on future needs as well as current vacancies when new employees are recruited and hired. Link strategic goals with human capital needs. Identify the talent, skills, and experience the company will need over the next 5 to 10 years in order to achieve goals and continue to be successful. This will include the knowledge, skills, abilities, experience, education, core competencies, and even personality traits that will be needed to fill top management positions and other positions that will be key to the company’s long-term success. Let senior management play a role. As noted above, a succession plan document that sits on a shelf is not helpful. Armed with demographic information and information on the talent, skills, and experience the company will need over the next 5 to 10 years, Human Resources managers need to involve senior managers in the planning process so that succession planning and the development of employees are adopted as strategic goals. Senior management will be more likely

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to participate in the process if it is linked to their own strategic goals and the longterm strategic goals of the company. Senior management must play a central role both in developing the plan and making sure it is properly implemented, including: N Reviewing and adjusting the 5- to 10-year analysis of talent, skills, and experience to make sure it is aligned with the long-term goals of the company N Identifying key positions and the skills and experience necessary to fill them N Using data that are readily available and can be gathered at regular intervals N Identifying high achievers or high potential employees already working for the company who will be targeted for mentoring and cross-training so that they can fill key positions in the future N Providing project work to targeted employees in order to expand their knowledge and experience and prepare them for future leadership roles N Supporting recruiting efforts aimed at hiring individuals with the skills and experience needed now and in the future N Evaluating managers and supervisors at all levels of the company on how well they develop and mentor employees

Notifying Employees
Critical to the effectiveness of any succession plan is employee awareness of such a plan. Employees who are aware of the employer’s succession plan and program will be more likely to self-identify through performance. Employees who fit within the employer’s succession plan will derive comfort and security from a tangible, well-laid-out plan for their future. In order to establish a written succession plan and policy, the employer should consider the purpose of the plan (e.g., to identify employees with skills and potential to succeed within the organization and to ensure that outgoing employees are replaced with high-quality candidates from within) and any procedures for succession planning (e.g., schedule for review of plans, identification of critical positions, past plan performance, and future modifications of the plan).

Identifying Key Positions and Skills
A critical step in the process is to specifically identify the key positions that will be targeted in the succession plan. This usually includes management-level positions. It may also include highly specialized jobs that are essential to the company’s ability to meet current or future goals. Once the positions are identified with the help of senior management, it is important to understand what the knowledge, experience, training and education, skills, personality traits, and other necessary requirements are for these positions. Once the company understands what it needs, it can look at current employees and identify individuals with the potential to fill these key positions. In addition, the company can identify gaps in the skills and experience of current employees and then make a concerted effort to fill those gaps when hiring employees from outside the company.


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Identifying High-Potential Employees
Also critical to the succession plan is the process of identifying employees that will be targeted for training and mentoring so that they will be ready to step into key positions when openings occur. It is helpful to consider these criteria: N Work history, including progression into more responsible positions, and past experience that might be helpful in a future position N Job performance over time N Education and training N Demonstrated willingness to take initiative on new projects and to suggest new ideas N Employee’s own interests and career goals N Personality profile if the company uses this type of assessment N Ability to get work done and to meet deadlines N Ability to work as part of a team and to motivate others N Understanding of the company’s products and customers N Training needs of the employee in order to be ready for more responsible management positions Once an employee is identified through this process, the next step is to develop an individualized plan for the employee. The best development plans include a mentor relationship with a successful senior manager, cross-training, and project work that provides leadership opportunities for the employee. Even though some classroom training may be appropriate, managers generally learn more relevant skills through observation and practice. The development plan should focus on making sure the employee has the skills, training, traits, and experiences necessary to fill one of the key positions if and when there is an opening.

Setting Development Goals
Once individual high-performing and high-potential employees have been identified, development goals should be set, including establishing projects or work activities for development, setting the time frames for development goals, determining the resources needed, setting measurements, and agreeing on the action necessary to set and carry out development goals. Once goals have been set, the individual’s career coach (usually the manager) should be assigned and their role should be clearly established.

Best Practice: Retirement Policies to Protect Your Organization and Prepare Employees
A policy on retirement can take many forms. Some companies confine themselves to specifying the minimum retirement age and briefly outlining the way in which the company will observe an employee’s retirement, for example, by holding a special dinner for the retiree and his or her spouse and fellow workers. Others have

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well-organized preretirement counseling programs. And still others have retirement policies that are primarily pension plan summaries. Preretirement planning and preretirement counseling programs have multiplied in recent years. Enlightened employers today realize that it is to their advantage, as well as their employees’, to provide some form of preparation for retirement living. Such programs give the company a good name in the community, thus aiding recruitment and public relations efforts. The passage of the 1986 amendment to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which eliminated mandatory retirement for most employees, forced many employers to reconsider their retirement policies. Faced with the possibility that an increasing number of older workers will stay on the job, these employers have tried to promote a policy that will ensure that their older workers are treated fairly. It’s not an easy situation to handle in many cases, as thousands of age discrimination suits can readily attest.

#9 Identity Theft
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) requires employers, regardless of size, that collect personal information or consumer reports about customers or employees for a business purpose to safeguard such information and to use reasonable measures to destroy the information before it is discarded. FACTA is enforced by the FTC. Reasonable measures to destroy personal information include: N Burning, shredding, or pulverizing documents so that they are impossible to reconstruct. N Destroying or erasing media or electronic files that contain consumer reports so that they cannot be recovered. N Conducting due diligence before hiring a document destruction contractor to dispose of personal information. Due diligence could include reviewing an independent audit of a disposal company’s operations and/or its compliance with the law, obtaining references for the disposal company, requiring that the disposal company be certified by a recognized trade association, or reviewing and evaluating the disposal company’s security policies or procedures. Employers may face penalties if they do not comply with the Act. Any employer whose action or inaction results in the loss of personal information can be fined by federal and state government and sued in civil court. Employees are entitled to recover actual damages sustained if their identity is stolen because of the employer’s inaction or damages up to $1,000. Employees may also bring class action suits against employers for actual and punitive damages. Create a plan. To comply with FACTA, employers should develop a written security plan describing how personal information will be protected. Having a written

Top 10 Best Practices in HR Management for 2012

plan will help demonstrate that the employer has taken affirmative steps to protect personal information in the event that the FTC conducts an investigation or a breach actually occurs. According to the FTC, a security plan should: N Designate an employee who will be responsible for implementing the plan. N Identify what and how personal information is collected and retained and the risks to the security of the information. N Design and implement measures to safeguard both physical and electronic personal information. N Retain only the personal information that is needed for the business. N Train employees on the security policy. N Develop a plan for handling a security breach that does occur to mitigate any damage and repair the breach. Employers should also reevaluate and modify the plan as needed.

Red Flags Rule
The FTC red flags rule required by FACTA outlines specific requirements to help eliminate identity theft. As originally enacted, the rule applied very broadly to financial institutions and creditors, defined to include businesses or organizations that regularly provide goods or services first and allow customers to pay later (12 CFR 41.90). The Red Flags Program Clarification Act of 2010 (the Act) clarifies the definition of “creditor” to exclude those that advance funds on behalf of a person for expenses incidental to a service provided by the creditor to that person (15 USCA 1681m(e)). The practical effect of the Act is to narrow application of the red flags rule by excluding businesses that bill consumers for goods or services that have already been provided. Red flags are patterns, practices, or specific activities that indicate possible identity theft. A red flag can be any of a number of things, including an application that appears to have been forged or altered, use of an account that has been inactive for a reasonably long time, or notification from a customer that he or she is not receiving account statements. Covered entities must develop an identity theft program that incorporates relevant red flags. In addition to identifying red flags, the identity theft program should contain procedures for detecting red flags and appropriate responses. An appropriate response will depend on the degree of risk posed by the red flag and may involve contacting the customer, changing passwords, or notifying law enforcement. Identity theft programs must be updated periodically to reflect changes in risks from identity theft. To assist covered entities in complying with the red flags rule, the FTC has published Fighting Fraud with the Red Flags Rule: A How-To Guide for Business that can be accessed at http://www.ftc.gov. (Note that the FTC will be amending this publication in light of the Clarification Act.) The FTC has also published a template with an online form to assist organizations and businesses at low risk for identity theft; it can be found at http://www.ftc.gov.

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The FTC has stated that it would be unlikely to recommend bringing a law enforcement action if the risk of identity theft is slight. Specifically, it would probably not bring an action against entities that know their customers or clients individually, perform services in or around their customers’ homes, or operate in sectors where identity theft is rare and they have not themselves been the target of identity theft. The FTC has addressed frequently asked questions about the red flags rule that can be accessed at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu.

Best Practice: Protecting Employees From Identity Theft
While identity theft is becoming an increasingly common problem, there are steps employers can take to help protect their business and employees from such an invasion. When choosing the best alternative for protecting your employees and your company from identity theft, consider the four types of protection available: N Computer protection such as antivirus, antispyware, and wireless security N Guidance on protecting against a variety of exposures of personal data from shredding documents, to opting out of marketing databases, to tracking data in Social Security, motor vehicle, medical, and financial databases N Credit monitoring at varying levels of frequency, sometimes with alert services in the event of credit inquiries or changes N Insurance coverage, sometimes including assistance with identity recovery activities Specifically for computer security, there are a number of things employers and employees can do to prevent identity theft: N Be aware of “phishing scams” or fraudulent e-mails and websites that impersonate legitimate businesses and trick employees into providing personal information. N Avoid clicking on links to websites provided in e-mails. N Install computer security software. N Use discretion when opening e-mail attachments. N Share e-mail addresses selectively. N Permanently erase hard drives before discarding computers. N Use passwords. N Provide personal information only if the website is secure. N Use caution when instant messaging.

Protection as an Employee Benefit
One solution that provides an affirmative defense against potential fines, fees, and lawsuits is to offer some sort of identity theft protection as an employee benefit. An employer can choose whether to pay for this benefit. The key is to make the protection available and have a mandatory employee meeting on identity theft and the protection you are making available, similar to what most employers do for health insurance.
Top 10 Best Practices in HR Management for 2012

Breach of Security
In order to stem the tide of identity theft in the workplace and elsewhere, many state Legislatures have passed so-called “breach of security” laws covering employers and other organizations that maintain unencrypted individual personal information such as Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, state identification card numbers, account numbers, credit card numbers, or debit card numbers. Breach of security laws dictate that organizations that gather and store such information on computer systems must give notice of any unauthorized access of the computer security system protecting unencrypted personal information. Generally, notice must be given in the most expedient time possible in writing or by electronic notice or conspicuous posting.

Best Practice: Preventing Security Breaches
Employers of all sizes should take steps to protect their computer networks from unauthorized access, and there are a number of measures they can take in order to prevent security breaches. For example, employers can: N Create an incident response team, often called a Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), which is available around the clock and includes information technology personnel, legal counsel, public relations specialists, and employees that can address customer relations issues. N Determine what and where personal information is collected and maintained and the security risks to the information. N Require service providers and business partners that handle personal information to follow your organization’s security policies. N Collect the least amount of personal information possible. N Use technology that can detect unauthorized access to personal information. N Develop a record retention policy to maintain necessary documents and destroy those that are no longer needed in a secure manner. N Encrypt personal information that is stored electronically. N Develop a policy to protect the security of unencrypted electronic information and physical records. N Have a preemptive emergency response plan that identifies whom to contact in the event of a breach, what steps will be taken to investigate and contain a breach, steps to ensure that any vulnerabilities in the system have been eliminated, and procedures for communicating with third parties. N Conduct training for employees on security issues. Security breaches can be extremely harmful to employers not only because of the legal implications but also because of the potential for loss of reputation, customer trust and loyalty, and a drop in stock prices. While no policy can completely insulate an employer from security breaches, measures can be taken after a breach to limit the damage. A swift and effective response to a security breach is a vital

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component of restoring an employer’s reputation and complying with the legal obligations imposed by state law. Employers should take into account these tips whether or not their state has enacted a breach of security law: N Instead of trying to cover up a breach, report it in a timely manner and offer help to affected individuals. N Investigate the breach and determine its scope. N Contact law enforcement officials. N Determine the organization’s notice obligations under applicable state law and prepare the required notice. N Contact CERT immediately. N Have the employee(s) that detected the possible breach take notes on what they observed. N Notify upper management via telephone or in person rather than e-mail. N Notify employees of a possible breach on need-to-know basis. N Contact legal counsel or the legal department. N Contact public relations specialists, if necessary. N Follow up after the breach by conducting meetings and briefings, taking appropriate remedial action, and improving your security policy, if necessary, to prevent future breaches. As mentioned, many states have laws that mandate what employers must do when a security breach occurs.

Employers’ Private Information
Employers also have an interest in maintaining the privacy of certain information, such as trade secrets, customer lists, and other proprietary information. Carefully drafted noncompete and nonsolicitation agreements can help protect the privacy of such information and provide employers with a legal cause of action in case an employee or former employee violates such an agreement. Additionally, the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), a criminal statute that was originally enacted to prevent unauthorized access to government computers and to deter hackers, has been used by employers in suits against employees for, among other things, breach of noncompete agreements and misappropriation of trade secrets (18 USC Sec. 1130). The CFAA allows a private right of action when anyone furthers a fraud or obtains anything of value by accessing a computer without authorization or by exceeding authorized access. Note that these cases have met with mixed success, as courts are split on whether the CFAA applies when an employee misappropriates information from a company-owned computer.


Top 10 Best Practices in HR Management for 2012

#10 Communications
In most instances, when employees are asked what they like least about their jobs, they will cite a problem with communication. In fact, in BLR’s National Employee Attitudes Survey (NEAS), participating organizations across the board were rated lowest on questions related to communication, while at the same time, employees who took the survey said communication was very important to them. Because communication is a very important factor in employee satisfaction and engagement, making sure the right information is communicated effectively is very important to Human Resources professionals and managers. First, it is important to understand what types of information employees feel they aren’t getting. It might be that employees don’t have a good understanding of what is expected of them or how they fit in the organization. In other cases, it might be that management does not provide employees with information about how the organization is doing or the direction in which it is heading. Employees might feel they aren’t well compensated because they don’t have any information on the value of benefits and their total compensation package. They might feel they are not being acknowledged for their hard work. Another problem area related to communication is how conflict is handled in the workplace, which requires a unique set of communication skills.

Benefits of Good Communication
Communication is the process by which people create and share information and ideas with one another to reach mutual understanding and get things done. Effective communication is the foundation of positive and cooperative working relationships. Good communication benefits the workplace in many ways, including: N Improving the flow of vital information N Improving employee morale by making sure employees know what is expected and what the rewards are for a job well done N Serving as the basis of effective teamwork N Ensuring accountability in a department because all employees know who’s responsible for what N Providing greater consistency, because all employees have gotten the same messages about procedures and work rules N Leading to better quality because mistakes are avoided N Improving productivity

Causes of Ineffective Communication
Unfortunately, workplace communication isn’t always effective. In fact, employee satisfaction surveys consistently rank communication as one of the weakest areas in most organizations. There are numerous obstacles that can cause communication to break down, including:
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N Too many links in the communication chain causing messages to quickly become distorted N Too many messages communicated at once N Confusing or ambiguous messages resulting in the receiver of a message understanding the communication differently from what was intended N Unclear expectations causing the communicator to be unpleasantly surprised by the results N Incomplete communication by managers who do not take the time to listen carefully to the response N Failure to consider the audience

Encouraging Employees to Communicate Better
Even with the availability of technology, communication begins with interaction among people. Employees, from the top down, need to focus on communicating workplace issues, concerns, changes, advances, and other information to one another. Employees feel empowered when they are “in the know,” and this helps enhance overall employee morale. There are a few ways to focus your employees’ energy on improving communications: N Spread the word about the company’s efforts to improve communications, and obtain regular feedback and ideas from employees. N Audit current communication successes and shortfalls. N Put together a team to work on improving employee communications. N Create a plan to improve communications in your company and periodically measure whether you have succeeded. N Train managers and executives to be better communicators.

Tools for Better Communicating
It is important to consider your audience when you determine what communication tools you will use to communicate a certain piece of information. Do all of your employees have access to e-mail? Are all of your employees on-site? Do some of your employees work only on specific days? Do some of your employees have jobs on the line that prevent them from attending meetings? Keeping these things in mind, there are a variety of methods for enhancing communication in the workplace.

A company intranet is a great place for posting information on a variety of topics for employees, particularly if most employees have a computer. For those employees without a computer, consider having one or a few computers, depending on the number of employees without computers, centrally located and available for employees to check the intranet.


Top 10 Best Practices in HR Management for 2012

Company Newsletter
Company newsletters are a great way to communicate changes, successes, and important information to your employees. Traditionally, print newsletters are still used, but more and more companies are leaning toward electronic newsletters to either replace or supplement their print newsletters. Electronic newsletters are less expensive and information can be dispensed in almost real time if needed. Newsletters can be published daily, weekly, monthly, etc. Once again, it is important to make sure all employees have access to newsletters distributed electronically.

Meetings are an effective way to bring employees face-to-face, which is particularly appreciated when the news is good and the purpose of the meeting is to show employees are valued. Meetings are also a good forum for allowing employee questions or discussion on a topic and for obtaining employee thoughts, concerns, and ideas. Meetings can be companywide, or held at the department, team, or individual level, depending on the nature of the information to be communicated. Meetings can be a difficult method of communication when certain employees are unable to leave their post—for example, employees working on an assembly line or on a customer service hotline.

Telephone and Conference Calls
Telephones and conference calls are effective tools for communicating with individuals or groups of employees who are not present at the worksite. If materials or printed information will be distributed at a meeting, arrangements will have to be made to ensure access to the material for those participating by phone.

Web Conferencing and Webinars
Web conferencing and webinars allow employees to hold live meetings or presentations over the Internet. Employees can sit at their computers at different office locations and attend a Web conference. This type of conference can be very effective when members of a team are working at different locations or for those employees who telecommute.

E-mail is an easy way to disperse information to a large group of people at once. Unfortunately, the overuse of e-mail can make employees feel isolated, lacking face-to-face contact. In addition, many people consider e-mail to be a casual form of communication and don’t take the time to make sure the information they intend to convey is actually conveyed. Often, a short, succinct e-mail is interpreted by the reader as a sign that the sender is unhappy. Because neither the sender nor the recipient of the e-mail can see or hear the other, there are no cues that would help them interpret the message. For this reason, the sender of an e-mail must take care to consider how the message might be received and whether it is better delivered in person or by telephone. E-mail is a form of written communication and should be written with the same care as a memo. E-mails are stored on company computer systems, and once sent, the sender has no control over where they are forwarded. As a result, an e-mail should be considered a permanent written record. This is much different from the casual conversations people have face-to-face or over the phone.
© BLR®—Business & Legal Resources 30610800


Bulletin Boards
Well-organized and up-to-date bulletin boards are an effective, convenient, and inexpensive way to communicate with employees, especially workers who do not have access to a computer at their workstations. Whether or not an organization provides separate bulletin boards for employees’ use, there should be a written policy on the type of information that may be posted and who must approve any information before it is posted.

Social Media
Social media, including blogs, podcasts, social networks, and wikis, can be used to build community, gather feedback, and make updates more engaging. For example, daily, weekly, or as-needed podcasts can provide a venue for managers and executives to talk to their employees via the intranet. Employees can listen to the podcasts from their computers. While social media can be a great way to communicate with all employees at once, it shouldn’t be a complete substitute for face-to-face communication.

Letters or Memos to Staff
Letters and memos to staff are a good way to document that a communication has been made. It is important that the communication be very clear. An unclear message provided in a letter or memo might leave employees feeling they have no way to ask questions or clear up any concerns.

Employee Surveys
Employee surveys can be an effective and efficient way to obtain information from a large group of employees. A well-written survey provides feedback on how employees feel about the organization, their role in the organization, their compensation and benefits, and communication at each level of the organization. For larger organizations, it may be possible to look at and compare results for different parts of the organization. In addition, conducting the survey year after year provides information on how management is doing in areas in which the survey results showed improvement was needed. One benefit of an employee survey is building a sense among employees that their feedback is important. In order to make the survey successful, the management of the organization must be prepared to share the results with employees and take action as appropriate in response to employee concerns. Conducting a survey and then leaving employees feeling as if they weren’t heard or that nothing is actually going to be done in response to feedback obtained in the survey may actually cause more harm to employee relations than good.

Best Practice: Avoid Scheduling Meetings on Friday Afternoons or Monday Mornings
For offices that operate a Monday through Friday workweek, probably the worst times to schedule meetings are Friday afternoon or Monday morning. On Friday afternoon, everyone is thinking about the weekend. Action items or assignments that come from the meeting may be forgotten or lose their meaning over the weekend. Monday mornings are a time to adjust to being back to work after the
Top 10 Best Practices in HR Management for 2012

2 days off. Meetings scheduled first thing Monday morning give employees little or no time other than the weekend for preparation. Unless there is an absolute necessity, you will find your meeting to be more productive if scheduled at times other than Friday afternoon or Monday morning. Resist the temptation to squeeze that extra meeting into the week during less than desirable times. Beyond scheduling, you should also know how to plan and lead a focused, structured meeting. Your employees will be able to do more productive things during weekend transition times.You may also find that you didn’t need to have a meeting after all. But do keep the donuts and share them with everybody anyway!

We hope that you found the information contained in this report useful. BLR strives to provide Human Resources professionals with practical and easy-touse information on a wide variety of topics. If you would like to see the complete library of publications available through BLR, please visit our website at www.blr.com or call our Customer Service Department at 800-727-5257.

© BLR®—Business & Legal Resources 30610800


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