Human Resources News

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  • Successful PTO Programs
    on June 7, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    When it comes to managing employee absences ? whether for vacation, sick leave or personal days ? every organization faces the delicate balance between what is best for its employees and for the company. The frustration of having adequate human resources to fill in for unexpected time off is also very common.

  • IRS Provides Guidance on Proper Income Tax Withholding for Nine Common Supplemental Wage Payment Scenarios
    on August 17, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    In Revenue Ruling 2008-29, the IRS has provided specific guidance on the proper amount of federal income tax an employer must withhold in nine different situations under the supplemental wage regulations1 that became effective January 1, 2007. Typically, states with income taxes default to following federal regulation principles for distinguishing between regular and supplemental wages. In addition to federal income tax withholdings, states also look for proper withholding on supplemental wages for state income tax purposes.

  • Efforts to Prevent the Misclassification of Independent Contractors Continue
    on May 18, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    On April 22nd, a bill was introduced in both the United States House and Senate titled the Employee Misclassification Prevention Act ("EMPA" or "Act"). H.R. 5107; S. 3254. The Act would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") to introduce measures designed to prevent the misclassification of independent contractors. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) was one of the co-sponsors of the Senate bill. He stated that misclassified workers are "denied vital worker safeguards" and because of the recession, "workers are too often taken advantage of and lose out on the benefits they rightfully earned. . . . [m]eanwhile, employers who do right by their employees are placed at a disadvantage when competitors are cutting corners." According to the bills' sponsors, the Employee Misclassification Prevention Act aims to correct these issues.

  • Ten Tips for Creating Respect and Civility in Your Workplace
    on May 1, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    The workplace is a reflection of society at large. Today, we see a gamut of behaviors that demonstrate a lack of respect and civility, both inside and outside the workplace. Studies and polls indicate that Americans view incivility as a serious problem that is getting worse.  One study found that 60% of employees believe that co-workers’ annoying behaviors negatively impact the workplace and, as a result, 40% reported that they are looking for new employment.  These and other findings illustrate that disrespectful and uncivil behaviors drain productivity and negatively influence both an organization’s bottom line and the overall economy.

    on February 6, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    You sometimes will find it useful to consider an applicant?s appearance or looks when you make hiring decisions. Perhaps you do not like this. But it can help you when looks impact employee productivity. Of course, you must hire applicants who possess job-related skills needed on the job. And sometimes applicant appearance or looks happens to be one job-related quality that increases odds the applicant could become a productive, profitable employee for your company.

  • Can Desperation Lead to Hiring Mistakes?
    on September 5, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Yes, desperation can lead to hiring mistakes, but, more often, desperation guarantees mistakes will be made. Being desperate to hire someone is like going to the grocery store after you haven?t eaten for the last three days. Everything will look delicious --- even foods you don?t normally like. When you?re hungry to hire someone, you?ll be more prone than usual to make the mistake of hiring a person who is a great applicant, but who will not be a great employee.

  • Payroll Overpayments
    on June 27, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    Although infrequent, there are times when an employer makes an overpayment to an employee. Reasons for an overpayment could stem from an accounting error, paying an employee at a rate that is too high or incorrect benefit deductions. Other reasons include terminated employees who receive vacation time before it was earned and sales people whose commission was too large. Regardless of how often or the reason overpaying an employee occurs, the employee is responsible for repaying the money when it is demanded. An error is not an automatic entitlement to keep unearned money.

  • Intermittent Leave: An Employerâe(TM)s Headache
    on June 27, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Intermittent FMLA is one more challenge added to the professional plate of human resource managers. If you take your job seriously, you understand the struggle employers have with balancing leave that is guaranteed by federal law with need of the company. Dissatisfaction and confusion surrounding FMLA intermittent leave does not have to lead to headaches when you understand and evaluate the regulations. While employees have a right to take time off as needed, that right does not extend to abusing the law at the employer?s expense.

  • New Pregnancy Protections Impacting ALL Illinois Employers
    on June 20, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    HB 8, pushed through the Illinois Legislature and ready to be signed into law by Governor Quinn, amends the Illinois Human Rights Act to add to the list of employment discrimination, an employer's failure to provide a reasonable accommodation to an employee based on conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.

  • Five Most Common Workplace Injuries
    on June 3, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Despite a firm?s best efforts, some employees will, inevitably, be injured on the job. In 2010, over 4,500 American workers received lethal injuries at work, while millions more incurred disabling injuries ( Injuries not only reduce productivity, they also increase worker?s compensation rates and can affect employee morale (

  • Developing a Successful Employee Orientation Program
    on September 20, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Download this white paper and learn how to develop a successful employee orientation program that effectively illustrates job duties and company policies, lowers the learning curve and gets employees off to a good start that ensures long-term success.

  • Guide to Writing Effective Job Listings
    on May 7, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    In the digital age, it’s imperative for HR departments to learn how to use online job listing space more effectively. Techniques that are effective in newspaper listings often fall flat online. Creating effective job listings improves the process for applicants and recruiters. These pointers will help human resource departments and recruiters get the most out of each job listing and secure the best applicants in a short amount of time.

  • Compensation Data Collection Tool Update
    on April 4, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    In the past three years, Office of Federal Contracts and Compliance Programs’ (OFCCP) approach towards compliance enforcement has been more aggressive than ever. Since the new administration took over in 2009, we have seen significant changes to how the agency has been conducting compliance reviews.

  • Employing Individuals with Disabilities: Understanding the Latest Requirements, Updates, and Potential Changes
    on January 31, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    With the announcement of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) by The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) regarding updates to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the agency has brought focus on the affirmative action efforts for individuals with a disability as a top priority. In the effort to enforce these requirements, federal contractors and subcontractors are compelled to look into their employment practices to improve their recruitment efforts.

  • Affirmative Action Industry Profiles
    on January 26, 2012 at 2:57 pm

      When it comes to effective affirmative action compliance—one size doesn’t always fit all. Depending on the industry, affirmative action compliance and planning can vary greatly. This is especially true when it comes to the needs, expectations, requirements, industry trends, and solutions for best practices. Three industries that must comply with affi rmative action regulations, but have differing concerns and requirements, are the manufacturing, healthcare, and financial industries.  

  • Social Media and the Workplace - To Be or Not to Be?
    on January 24, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Did you know Facebook has over 300 million users? Chances are many of the employees at your company contribute to this number. Right now we’re living in a time of TwitterFaceSpace Pandemonium. No, this isn’t a real word—but as the emphasis on social media sites and its impact on the workplace continue to grow, it may soon become one.

  • Examining Upcoming Veterans Requirements - What to Expect in 2012
    on January 23, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    In the last couple of years large numbers of Veterans have returned, or are in the process of returning to civilian life, from tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their employment is a high priority of the current Administration. Consequently, on April 26, 2011, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to change the regulations that govern how federal contractors and subcontractors complete their Veterans affi rmative action plan (AAP).

  • The Wonder of the Web: Why Web-Based Applications are Necessary for Effective Affirmative Action Compliance
    on January 20, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Most of us can still remember having to pop in a cassette tape to play our favorite song. If we wanted to hear the song again we pressed rewind…and waited patiently for the tape to backspin to the beginning. Fast forward to today, and we have music literally at our fi ngertips. The changes in technology have completely streamlined our process. What does this have to do with HR? Everything.

  • What You Should Consider Before You Terminate That Employee
    on January 13, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Without question, the employer may determine that a termination is justified, that not terminating based on certain conduct would establish a bad precedent and send a very   negative message to other employees as well as potentially driving away customers from your business. A decision to retain an employee given certain types of conduct may also result in increased liability for the company. The purpose of this paper then in not to dissuade an employer from terminating an employee, but rather to make sure that the matter is fully explored before a final decision is made.

  • Jeopardizing Exemptions: Mistakes to Avoid
    on January 13, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Improper classification of employees can have severe consequences. If misclassified, employees may lose overtime compensation and other rights to which they may be entitled. These may sometimes be recouped through subsequent litigation. On the other hand, if employers misclassify employees, the employers may face substantial liability for unpaid overtime compensation, liquidated or double damages, prejudgment interest, and attorneys fees. 29 U.S.C. § 216. In some circumstances, employers incur such liability because they attempt to apply the wrong exemption, even though they could have used a different exemption or exception to avoid overtime liability.

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