HRS eNews, March 2016


The information specialists at HRS dedicate to delivering exactly what you need to know... and nothing you don't need. HRS eNews is released 4-6 times annually, delivering mandatory legal compliance and top informational updates; a concise "must know" compilation for busy C-suite and HR/OD leaders.

How To Handle March Madness: It's a Big Deal

Starting tomorrow, your company might become part of an annual epidemic that costs the U.S. economy over $1 billion an hour. March Madness, the NCAA postseason basketball tournament, is a national phenomenon, and it has been substantially impacting employers for years. We dive into your best options on how to handle this in 2016. Article.

The Secrets of Payroll/HRIS Systems 

Our unbiased experts reveal the most essential criteria in selecting payroll providers and payroll systems with HRIS capabilities. Today's major payroll companies are evaluated in reporting, service, reliability and other characteristics. Learn more about what you need to consider for your system. Article.

New Subscription Update from HRS

In order to better serve our client community, HRS is proud to announce our new line of newsletter subscription options. Three new newsletters, focusing on employment law, workplace productivity and HR operations, respectively, will begin distribution in April. These newsletters will offer premium, exclusive content to our subscribers that can’t otherwise be accessed! It remains our goal to provide you with the best content and value possible. Adding all three newsletters to your existing HRS subscription will result in one e-mail from HRS approximately every 3 weeks. As part of our regular Fast News subscription, current subscribers have been automatically subscribed to these new offerings and will not need to take any further steps. If you’d like to manage your subscription preferences, please visit your e-mail or contact us here and we’ll make the change for you!

Enforcement of HIPAA Violations on the Rise

Employers and individuals found in violation of HIPAA privacy laws can incur up to $1.5 million in total fines and up to 3+ years imprisonment. The penalty structure is not new, but the enforcement has been ramping up over the past year. The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services has discretion in determining the severity and willfulness of the offense, and many of these offenses stem from the most compassionate of intentions. Educate your staff on new protocol! Click here for noncompliance risks. Make sure that you’re in compliance with proper MROs and privacy policies. HRS can help.

The Joint-Employment National Tour

After months of new rulings, joint employment is still being defined and shaped. Earlier this year, the DOL took even further steps to make clarifications about horizontal vs. vertical joint employment. The DOL guidance on this can be found here, but the essential idea is that this interpretation allows for expanded definition of joint employment and, thus, more room under which to hold employers liable. From the Kiplinger newsletter (pg. 3), “Businesses that share workers or use contractors or temporary staffing agencies can be held responsible for Fair Labor Standards Act violations by another company in a joint employer situation.” In response, multiple states, such as WI, have enacted forward-moving laws that protect franchisors from being held liable for the misconduct of their franchisees. Due to the furthered argument that exists between Fed and State, this argument will likely continue to be shaped, but immediate attention needs to be paid. Stay tuned.

Zappos, Holacracy Experience Growing Pains 

The fascination and the case study of Zappos’ Holacracy model continues to develop…and be scrutinized. Earlier this year, Zappos’ 2015 company statistics were released and revealed a 30% turnover rate (even higher than the company’s normally high rate of 20%). Zappos executives attribute the increase to their “Teal Offer,” which essentially offers lofty severance to any employee who wants it, rather than true employee dissatisfaction. You can read Zappos’ responses, as well as find a link to a popular piece of criticism, in this piece from reporter Greg Ferenstein.

Our take-away: the notion of building a company to operate “more like a city” than a traditional business structure is fascinating, and could ultimately achieve success. However, the struggles along this road will be real, and nothing beats true transformational leadership!

More States Don't Require You to Accommodate Medical Marijuana

Twenty-three states and Washington, D.C., have now legalized medical marijuana, creating challenges for employers caught between state and federal laws. U.S. District Courts in California, Colorado, Michigan, Oregon, Washington and New Mexico have now ruled that employers are under no obligation to permit medicinal marijuana use by employees or applicants, even where state law otherwise allows it. Considering the states involved, these rulings take a large leap in determining the true legality and allowance of the drug (i.e., one could argue that medicinal marijuana isn't truly permissible as the employee can still face disciplinary action as a result). We advocate a revisit to handbook drug and alcohol policies, evaluating against state law the permissible use and/or disclosure of all substances likely to impair work duties. Contact HRS for more details. Only a few states, notably Connecticut and Delaware, have made rulings that mandate employers to accommodate the prescriptions. Stay tuned for more local rulings, and find more info in this SHRM article.


In Case You Missed It (ICYMI)... 

Employment-Related Class-Action Settlements at Record Highs


State Laws: Oregon Minimum Wage

The tiered-system is being labeled by some as "historic." Article.

State Laws: Some Illinois Employers Have a New Posting Requirement

Certain companies are now required to post a human trafficking helpline number for employees. Article.

State Laws: West Virginia to Become 26th Right-to-Work State

As of this July, more than half of the U.S. will be right-to-work. Article.



Seeking a Past Year Recap?

Visit our eNews archive for past issues, linked by subject title.


And... News About HRS...

New Answer Desk Packages for 2016!

Answer Desk packages are new, improved and better than ever for 2016! Starting this year, your Answer Desk subscription package includes unlimited access to HRSIQ eTools and Express Inquiries! What does this mean? If you can find the answer yourself in our self-help eTools, or if it takes us less than 20 Answer Desk minutes* to provide you an's free! We're offering the same standard of excellent research and customized answers, only with new affordable options. Learn more here!

HRS Payroll Administration Operations Soar in Popularity!

Delivering extraordinary knowledge in legal compliance, HRIS and holistic payroll solutions, HRS payroll administration services are getting rave reviews! While certain competition is dropping the ball with incessant errors, delays and inconvenience, our programs shine with accuracy, compliance risk management, reliability, consistency of assigned contacts and so much more!

Developing Exceptional Leaders, from the Newly Promoted to the C-Suite 

Today's best assessments profile individual leadership styles, while stretching beyond to measure implementation effectiveness through in-basket technique and role play. Leaders enjoy lifelong learning through our client site workshops, deploying kinesthetic hands-on learning and precision custom curriculum. Assessment is ongoing through training exercises to benchmark progress and to pinpoint learning needs. Veracity by HRS programs are so widely applauded by employers and learning participants alike, even our Anti-Harassment workshops are consistently reinforced as meaningful and engaging. 

HRS Dubbed "The Pioneers of HR Management and Research" in Fortune, Money and BusinessWeek Showcase

Due to our historic, current and predicted future success in local, national and global arenas, HRS enjoys a feature profile in these top magazines. You can find the feature here in case you missed it. We send heartfelt thanks to our treasured clients and supporters who grant us the opportunity to deliver positive impact! 


Compliance Audits and Policy Communications... Time for Another Review

Employers are relying upon external experts more than ever before. Reasonable care requires annual review, and the courts are looking for it! Changes to federal and state employment laws make updating more critical, yet legal advice from attorneys is not enough to craft effective holistic solutions. More employers are recognizing the problems with appropriating another company's handbook and the pitfalls of boilerplate compliance solutions. Today's best policies and practices deliver not only up-to-the-minute legal compliance, but also employer reasonable care in education, pro-active communication, culture shaping, performance management, employee engagement and cost cutting through operations efficiency. 

Veracity Corporate Education Programs Deliver Extraordinary Outcomes

Adding to a recent tour of CEO groups, HR professional organizations, media briefs, radio talk shows, employers of choice and top ranked universities, today's most popular programs include Anti-Harassment, Six Hats of Thinking, Legal Compliance Balancing Talent Engagement, Performance Management, Getting More Out of Meetings, Organizational Change Management, Organizational Communications and More. Our flagship programs remain private employer-site workshops including group roundtables or Individual Learning Sessions (ILS).  

Angel Wings Enjoys New Publicity 

Fueled by HRS, HRS Gives Back and community support, extraordinary solutions are delivered via "Angel Wings" subsidy to employers who deliver extraordinary impact. Such employers include start-up and non-profit organizations whose missions and methodology promise positive economic, community and/or charitable impact. 

Subscription Bundles!

Subscription bundles for turnkey solution delivery are enjoying immense popularity! In response to evolving legal, talent management and reasonable care demands, these bundles mix and match education, compliance, assessment and/or third-party operations in cost-cutting packages. Check out the eStore

Thought Leadership Blog Enjoys Wildly Popular Syndication

Highlights of recent and popular articles...

  • CEO Must-Knows About Employing People in 2016
  • The Annual Performance Review: Post Mortem?
  • What I've Learned through Successful Nonprofit Leadership: A “Distinguished Service Award” Winner’s Perspective
  • Unlimited PTO: Friend or Foe?
  • Savvy Employers in Action: Neroli Postures on Education and Employee Trust
  • 5 Key Rules to Crafting Leader Learning
  • Do Happy Workers Have a Reason to Excel?
  • The Skills Gap, Pt. II: Addressing Education
  • HR Advice from Nonprofit Associations Can Be Lethal!
  • Old School Meets New School with "Social HR"
  • Is The Talent Gap Overstated?        
  • Building a Rock-Star Employer Brand with Glimmering Engagement Tactics
  • Can Employee Engagement Techniques Conceal Intrinsic Demotivation?
  • A "No References" Policy is a "Welcome" Sign for Employee Bad Behavior
  • Is Balance Between Gen Y and Baby Boomers Key to Skills Gap Solution?
  • FCRA Compliance Blueprint for Employer Background Checks
  • Catch Someone Doing Something Right
  • “If I’m a Self-Starter, Why Aren’t You?”... Team Members High in Initiative are Challenged as Coaches
  • P3 Compliance and Constructing Policies That Hold Up in Court

  • The information and operation specialists at HRS are available to assist with each and every topic mentioned herein. Please consider us for your HR/OD and legal compliance needs.  Time, human capital planning, cost containment, risk management and talent engagement are more important than ever before. Please keep us on your radar for any Requests for Proposal!


      Please Contact HRS, browse our website, or visit our eStore for more information and/or service inquiry.



    See More eNews or Subscribe