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make your company a ‘hard target’

​this article is the first in a four-part workplace security series, which highlights the critical components of a security plan and guides employers on crafting and implementing effective practices.as a soldier in iraq in 2004, i thought a lot about security. each time my colleagues and i left the relative security of the so-called green zone to head into the city of baghdad (referred to as the red zone because it was relatively unprotected), we took precautions to make ourselves "hard targets." we didn't want to be the convoy that was attacked because we looked weak or vulnerable. that meant, among other things, traveling in armored vehicles, carrying long guns and planning our routes to avoid busy intersections where we might get mired...




can religious gatherings at work cross the line?

​an employee sends an e-mail to his entire department announcing that he's going to start praying for the workplace each morning and inviting colleagues to join him in his office to pray to jesus. he also asks co-workers to send him a list of personal concerns they'd like him to pray about. should you allow this? the issue came up this week during a society for human resource management shrm connect online discussion. title vii of the civil rights act of 1964 "gives people the right to have their religious beliefs and practices accommodated in the workplace, within reasonable limits," said brian grim, president of the maryland-based religious freedom & business foundation, which advises business leaders on issues concerning religious f...




which route should you take?

hr professionals are talking a lot about "hiring for fit," and the concept seems sound. after all, to create and maintain a strong corporate culture, companies would seem well-served to ensure that new hires will fit into that culture. but is there a flip side to this commonly held wisdom? could building a culture based on "fit" keep out those who are different in some way? does it create equal employment opportunity risks? are innovators being excluded? how can hr leaders help their companies find the right balance?elizabeth l. malatestinic is a senior lecturer in human resources management at the indiana university kelley school of business in indianapolis. "hiring for fit makes a great deal of sense on many fronts," she said. bu...




which is the best hiring solution for your company?

bringing on talent as your business grows is a big step, and depending on your needs, there are several options to consider. according to careerbuilder's 2017 midyear hiring forecast, 40 percent of employers said they planned to hire full-time, permanent employees this year, while half of all employers anticipate adding temporary or contract workers. so how do you determine the best hiring solution for your company?contract workers are ideal for boosting talent for short-term projects that require a very specific set of skills. the pros are simplicity and flexibility. hiring contract workers is a less complicated and less expensive process than hiring an employee. with freelancers, it's just a matter of drawing up a contract, and they can...




how to create a robust reasonable accommodation process

page contentthe general manager was in a quandary. as an employee at sodexo, a food service and facilities management company, she was responsible for all operations at her site. the kitchen was already short-staffed, and now the senior cook had been diagnosed with a seizure disorder and was asking for workplace accommodations. she wanted to help but also needed to make sure the work got done. fortunately, sodexo had a well-established procedure in place. the manager contacted the company’s hr team and discussed concerns she had about staffing and safety. the employee relations representative requested more information from the cook, including input from his physician, and worked with the general manager to fully evaluate the accommodatio...




don't wing it with team-building activities

employers are taking new approaches to team-building activities designed to instill a sense of common purpose among employees, by making these experiences shorter and more intently focused on building relationships.team-building events are moving away from programs such as rock climbing, white-water rafting and cave exploring, "which can be physically demanding and high-stress. that type of thing worked for some but not for others," said david lengyel, managing director of phoenix-based venture up, which conducts team-building activities. "clients were coming back and saying, 'we have 200 people, not 12, and four hours, not four days," he said.changing teamsafter world war ii and through the late 20th century, company-sponso...




prepare for 2017 aca information reporting

​the internal revenue service (irs) has published draft forms and instructions to help employers prepare for reporting on health coverage they offered to their employees in 2017. the forms must be distributed to employees and filed with the irs early in 2018 by employers subject to the affordable care act's (aca's) reporting requirements.the drafts are for information purposes only; final forms and instructions are expected later this year (final forms for 2015 reporting were issued last october).the irs released the following:"the draft instructions to the forms 1094-c and 1095-c were released with minimal changes compared to the final instructions from 2016," said ryan moulder, a los-angeles based partner at health care attorney...




9 tips for using hr metrics strategically

page content​“the story of why a company is performing as it is isn’t going to come from hr data. period. full stop.”that’s an odd statement from someone who makes his living studying the impact of hr and human capital metrics, among other things. but data science can be a strange business—and alec levenson, senior research scientist at the university of southern california’s center for effective organizations, says one of the most important things hr professionals should understand about hr data is its limitations.  while scores of articles have been written about the potential for people analytics to transform human resources from an operational function into a strategic resource, so far hr’s fundamental hurdle has been it...




is it education or experience that makes the hr professional? here’s what you said

we asked—and you answered. in the september issue of hr magazine, we posed the question "is earning an undergraduate degree in hr the best way to prepare for an hr career?" on shrm's facebook page, more than 40 of you responded, with comments varying from a simple "yes" or "no" to longer explanations of what you've experienced in your hr career. in the magazine feature, leann brown, shrm-scp, took the "yes" side. she is an associate professor of human resource management and chair of the department of management at fort hays state university in hays, kan. heather carlino, a 2017 graduate of indiana university of pennsylvania, argued the counterpoint view. carlino is a former undergraduate shrm chapter president and an hr busine...




last-ditch aca repeal attempt would eliminate employer mandate

president donald trump indicated his support for a last-ditch effort to repeal and replace the affordable care act (aca). the measure would repeal the employer mandate and give states more control over health care requirements, possibly making it more complicated for multistate employers to provide all their workers similar health care coverage. trump would sign the graham-cassidy bill if the legislation makes it to his desk, an administration official told cnn on tuesday. on wednesday he tweeted:like previous republican-backed bills, h.r. 1628, sponsored by sen. lindsay graham, r-s.c., and sen. bill cassidy, r-la., would eliminate penalties imposed on individuals who don't purchase health care (the individual mandate) and agains...




prepare for 2017 aca information reporting

​the internal revenue service (irs) has published draft forms and instructions to help employers prepare for reporting on health coverage they offered to their employees in 2017. the forms are to be filed with the irs early in 2018 by employers subject to the affordable care act's (aca's) reporting requirements.the drafts are for information purposes only; final forms and instructions are expected later this year (final forms for 2015 reporting were issued last october).the irs released the following:"the draft instructions to the forms 1094-c and 1095-c were released with minimal changes compared to the final instructions from 2016," said ryan moulder, a los-angeles based partner at health care attorneys p.c. "most of the changes...




assessing recruitment conversion rates can lead to better hires

digging into your organization's recruitment conversion data will help you make better decisions, cut costs and improve efficiency.it's important that talent acquisition leaders measure not only the overall hiring process, but also each step of that process, said nora burns, a denver-based hiring consultant and founder of hr-undercover, an advisory practice for which she has "mystery shopped" employers' hiring processes. "ideally, this information is broken down by candidate source category, as well as geographic location, and potentially home office versus field office or other unique organizational traits."once you have the basic metrics in place, "then you can start comparing yourself to others andidentify problem areas, make adjustm...




future of daca program remains uncertain

page content this is the third in a three-part series of articles on the deferred action for childhood arrivals (daca). today we examine congressional proposals to provide continued work authorization to daca recipients.when attorney general jeff sessions announced on sept. 5 that the trump administration would allow daca to expire march 5, 2018, president donald trump urged congress to create legislation to protect daca participants. he suggested he may act, via executive order, if congress does not. state attorneys general also responded, suing the trump administration for ending daca. ‘do your job’ on the same day as sessions' announcement, trump tweeted, "congress, get ready to do your job—daca!" he added, "congress now...




eeoc nominees grilled on pay reporting, lgbt discrimination

​equal employment opportunity commission (eeoc) chair nominee janet dhillon and eeoc commissioner nominee daniel gade promised to make pay data collection from private employers a priority at a sept. 19 hearing before the senate committee on health, education, labor and pensions. the white house suspended the pay reporting requirement in august.dhillon has served as general counsel for three fortune 500 companies: us airways when she worked there from 2004 to 2009, jcpenney as of 2009, and then burlington stores as of 2015. dhillon indicated that she may revisit the eeoc's position that title vii of the civil rights act of 1964's prohibition on sex discrimination encompasses a bar on sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination....




is it education or experience that makes the hr professional? here’s what you said

we asked—and you answered. in the september issue of hr magazine, we posed the question "is earning an undergraduate degree in hr the best way to prepare for an hr career?" on shrm's facebook page, more than 40 of you responded, with comments varying from a simple "yes" or "no" to longer explanations of what you've experienced in your hr career. in the magazine feature, leann brown, shrm-scp, took the "yes" side. she is an associate professor of human resource management and chair of the department of management at fort hays state university in hays, kan. heather carlino, a 2017 graduate of indiana university of pennsylvania, argued the counterpoint view. carlino is a former undergraduate shrm chapter president and an hr busine...




2018 open enrollment: voluntary benefits emphasize choice

this is the fifth article in a series on meeting open enrollment challenges. below, we examine how employee-paid voluntary benefits can help to meet employees' needs.voluntary benefits can range from supplemental critical illness coverage to pet insurance or even auto and home insurance. typically, these plans have group-rate premiums negotiated by the employer but paid by employees. in some cases, especially for health benefits, premiums are payroll-deducted on a pretax basis."voluntary benefits can help to address possible financial gaps for employees," said peter marcia, the ceo of youdecide, a voluntary benefits outsourcing firm based in duluth, ga. "when offering voluntary benefits, it's critical that the employer communicates how...




california legislature approves ban on asking applicants about past salary

california employers could no longer ask job applicants about their salary history under legislation that is headed for gov. jerry brown's desk.assembly bill (a.b.) 168, authored by assemblywoman susan talamantes eggman, d-stockton, would bar employers from requesting the pay history of a job applicant, in an effort to close the pay gap between men and women. the bill would also require employers to give applicants the pay scale for a position upon request. it would apply to all employers, including state and local government. brown has until oct. 15 to sign it.[shrm members-only toolkit: building a market-based pay structure]whether he will sign or not is difficult to predict, said benjamin ebbink, an attorney with fisher phillips in sac...




california lawmakers pass statewide ‘ban-the-box’ law

california may become the 10th state to require private-sector employers to "ban the box" on employment applications asking about applicants' criminal conviction histories.a.b. 1008, sponsored by assemblyman kevin mccarty, d-sacramento, would bar most companies from asking about a prospective employee's criminal conviction history on their initial job application or during the hiring process until after a conditional job offer has been made. the bill was sent on to gov. jerry brown for his signature or veto.[shrm members-only toolkit: conducting background investigations]mccarty said that the intent of the bill is to give applicants with a criminal record the opportunity to be judged on their qualifications and not their criminal histori...




after equifax breach, lawmakers propose credit screening restrictions for employment

democrats in both houses of congress have introduced legislation that would overhaul the nation's credit reporting system—including by restricting the use of credit information for most employment decisions—in the wake of one of the largest data breaches in history.rep. maxine waters, d-calif., and sen. elizabeth warren, d-mass., proposed their bills in the u.s. house and senate respectively, following the announcement that 143 million people were affected by the security breach at equifax, one of the nation's largest credit reporting agencies. the bills would result in several changes for credit bureaus and consumers, but would also restrict the use of credit information for employment purposes. employers would be allowed to conduct...




crossing the threshold—small business to aca-bound 'applicable large employer'

while many of us have been crossing our fingers behind our backs, hoping that the affordable care act's employer reporting and shared responsibility penalties would be repealed, many small businesses have crossed the threshold to applicable large employer (ale) status as a result of hiring or business ownership changes. a business that averaged 50 or more full-time employees in 2016 (including full-time equivalents when part-time hours are added together) is an ale for reporting and penalty purposes in 2017.determining whether your business is an ale is a simple five-step process:1. for each month in 2016, count the number of employees who were employed to work on average at least thirty hours per week. count all full-time common law ...