Human Resource Blog

Where HR Professionals Seek Answers

A Practical Source For Your Daily HR Needs.Lets Build An HR Blog Community Together! Want To Share Your HR Knowledge Or Gain Knowledge Through Other Professionals?Lets Discuss HR!

Mar28

Privacy rights

A notice of Leave is circulated to approx. 100 people in a company. Is this a violation of privacy? While it does not specify what type just that the person is on leave. Most of the people the information is distributed to are not HR.

An employer is not in violation of federal law by distributing a list of employees on leave. The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) prohibits covered entities from disclosing protected health information without prior authorization. A violation of HIPAA occurs if the distributed list contains the employees’ names and medical conditions.

There are valid reasons for an employer distributing such a list including ensuring the workloads of absent employees are assumed by other workers.

March 28th, 2015, 7:18 PM |  Posted in: Human Resources Management |
Ask a question | Be the first to comment | Permalink
Mar25

Managers printing timesheets

At my company, the payroll department is having a difficult time deciphering employee handwriting on timecards. Can a manager print timecards based on the schedule, have employees sign and edit them, and use them for legal records? My company is in NH, if that matters on this question. Thank You.

Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers have an obligation to ensure non-exempt employees are paid for every hour worked. Employers are also required to maintain certain records on non-exempt employees including days/times worked, total hours worked per day and overtime hours worked.
In an effort to ensure employees are paid appropriately and comply with the FLSA recording mandate, employers may adopt timekeeping practices such as requiring employees to edit and sign time cards based on their weekly schedules.

March 25th, 2015, 2:55 PM |  Posted in: Labor Laws |
Ask a question | Be the first to comment | Permalink
Mar25

Conflict of interest????

A teacher assistant in a public school is selling Avon to employees of the said campus while on the job. She leaves Avon brochures to other employees for them to place order then she brings the product and collects payment during school hours while on the job. Is this a conflict of interest?

It depends on the school’s solicitation policy. If the employee is clearly marketing her business, delivering products, and accepting payments while she should be performing work duties, it may be considered a conflict. However, if these activities are taking place during the employee’s breaks or meal periods, then her actions may be permissible. Again, it really depends on the school’s policy and the consistent enforcement of such policy.

March 25th, 2015, 2:04 PM |  Posted in: Human Resources Management |
Ask a question | Be the first to comment | Permalink
Mar25

Unemployment & Pro-rating Vacation

I have some employees that are collecting unemployment currently. One of them has put in to take a vacation day that he has. First question, is this allowed? Second question, my boss is asking me to pro-rate his vacation because our vacation is based on the time worked for a year. Can I legally pro-rate his vacation?

Guidelines for unemployment benefits vary by state. Thus, it’s best to contact your local unemployment division or department of labor. Generally speaking, employees receiving partial unemployment benefits are either on temporary layoff or have received a reduction in their pay that qualifies them for benefits. Assuming the employees in question are currently working a reduced schedule, it is permissible for them to use their vacation time. They’re entitled to time off just like a full time employee would be. However, in most, if not all, cases they would be required to report such information when filing their weekly claims. Again, this really depends on state guidelines.

Unfortunately, the second question can’t be answered without more details. Why is your boss requesting his vacation be prorated? Is his employment being separated and he’s asking for accrued vacation time to be paid out to him? If so, vacation payouts are generally a matter of agreement between employer and employee. Some states have adopted legislation regarding this, so, feel free to post a new question or comment on this one with additional information, including the state.

March 25th, 2015, 1:53 PM |  Posted in: Human Resources Management, Labor Laws |
Ask a question | Be the first to comment | Permalink
Mar25

Fresh HR Graduate

I graduated in December with a Bachelor’s degree in HR, and about 2 months later, I landed a job in a great establishment. I originally came into this company to apply for a part-time position while I searched for a full-time job, but when they saw my degree listed in my resume they immediately scheduled me for an interview for an HR job. It’s a great opportunity, especially since I have no internships or prior experience in the field. The only struggle is, this company doesn’t have an HR department, and they brought me on to help build one. So far I have made employee files for everyone including w4 i9 emergency contact forms and photo copies of identification, began a discipline process i.e. verbal warning- written warning- written warning & suspension-final discharge and have gotten department heads to work with me on filing reports, made reports for time clocks every week for full time employees, made schedules every week for each department, conducted interviews/hired some new staff, began an internship program, etc. Some days I feel like I’m slammed with work to do, but some days I feel like I don’t have much to do at all. Although I like being in this state of establishing this department, I was envisioning some sort of guidance or training in my first real job. It can get difficult sometimes, since no one here knows enough about this field to ask for advice. Overall, I want to be able to excel in this position. I know how blessed I am to have it so soon after graduating. Can anyone give me some advice on what else I should do, or maybe some day-to-day tasks I should be on top of? It would really help me out. Thank you

First off, congratulations on graduating and landing your first job! The first “real” job in any industry can be an overwhelming experience and a supportive mentor is a priceless asset. However, the ability of you to obtain a position in which you’re managing all HR disciplines with little experience is a great accomplishment.

Clearly, you impressed the person who interviewed you and demonstrated great knowledge in your field. Pat yourself on the back!

Though you’ve tackled some key HR components, there is much more that can be addressed. Here are just a few ideas to consider:

Review job descriptions (or create them!) and determine/review FLSA classifications

Review contractor/employee designations

Performance evaluation process

Management/Employee training-specifically applicable employment laws i.e. harassment (including sexual harassment), wage/hour compliance

Employee recognition program

Wellness program

Onboarding program for new employees

Establish compensation structure, career ladders, succession planning

Conduct an employee survey

Also, depending upon the accessibility of your employees, consider visiting them on your down time. The need to do this of course depends on the size of your company. Interacting with your employees will go a long way in being a reliable resource, especially with managers/supervisors.

Make sure you’re aware of all applicable employment laws. As you know, many states and some municipalities have their own legislation regarding employment matters, specifically wage/hour, vacation policies and leaves. If you’re not confident in your knowledge of local laws, attend an educational seminar.

Networking is extremely helpful in HR. Join SHRM. It’s truly a lifeline if you don’t have an experienced HR contact to help you with difficult situations. Consider joining local HR organizations and attend their events.

Lastly, try to see the big picture. If you envision this company expanding, you could be positioning yourself for a successful leadership role. Being on the ground floor of a growing HR department can be advantageous for your career. Consider yourself as a strategic partner that can help this company reach its full potential!

March 25th, 2015, 1:30 PM |  Posted in: Human Resources Management |
Ask a question | Be the first to comment | Permalink
Home Ask a Question Archives

© 2008 HumanResourceBlog.com, All Rights Reserved