HRS Fast News, October 2014

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.


Data Breaches Escalate HR Responsibilities

Widespread data breaches are creating more scrutiny on and responsibility for corporate HR functions. Better planning for information safeguards and disclosure of breach is essential. Due diligence in safeguard calls for reasonable screening of information gatekeepers within FCRA compliance. Workforce Article.  The personal data safeguards in employee file maintenance and workplace privacy find increased attention as well.  Corporate anti-harassment workshops should simultaneously include privacy training.


FMLA: It's Not Just How You Say It, It's What You Say

Recent court crackdowns are mandating employer response. While some employers continue to waste time chasing down specific forms rather than upholding more essential responsibilities, courts care specifically about notification of consequence and the distribution of updated FMLA law. JD Supra Article. HRS recommends a well-constructed handbook statement to solidly partner a reliably updating FMLA separate distribution of rights and responsibilities. While employers are chasing "forms," it may be wiser to shift certification burden to employees and to allow a physician's own conforming certification. Treatment for domestic violence is on the docket as a shaping policy, already protected by FMLA. Several states have or are adopting specific laws protecting rights of abused and mandating improved employer screening. Contact HRS for assistance!


Good News for Employers: New Protection in Psychological Evaluation 

While the courts have been fining against inappropriate use of psychological assessments for decades, recent court decision grants employers the right to require psychological evaluation where certain job performance and/or safety of others is threatened. SHRM Article. While the study of organizational psychology remains essential and our dedicated mission, HRS continues to warn against the use of general psychological assessment or personality profiles in hiring. For more information regarding lawful and meaningful job-related behavioral assessments, visit Veracity by HRS.



Meanwhile...Are Health Risk Assessments Unlawful? What About Ebola?

Several employers have incurred federal wrath for their unlawful handling of wellness assessment. While employers have certain protection to craft wellness incentives, criteria for such finds new definition. A few of the requirements for compliance include lawful administration, job-relatedness, business necessity, GINA compliance and more. Read about one such finding at EEOC News Release. Compliance most certainly does not allow neglect, and newly among the employer responsibilities for education and risk management is the workplace threat of Ebola. Entrepreneur Article.


National Law Review Comments on Employers' Treatment of Same Sex Marriages   

The majority of states are now recognizing same-sex marriages, CNN Article, and the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed the barring of same-sex marriage recognition as unconstitutional. Accordingly, employers have new responsibility in reviewing practices to include health benefits participation. While ERISA weighs in as well, employers are called to consider ERISA relevance, state law, spousal definitions, eligibility and imputed income effects. National Law Review Article. The Wisconsin scenario remains highly relevant to the nationwide HRS audience in states of similar change.  


ACA Corner... News and Updates

Health insurance premiums are increasing again for 2015. Up 47% in 4 years while deductibles are getting hiked to avoid additional premium increase, the cost of PPACA administration start-up is high and some report prescription costs as a major culprit as well. Health Plan Identification Numbers (HPIDs) are required by November 5 for large, self-funded plans. Transitional Reinsurance Fees (TRF) and filing are due November 15. The IRS has released new draft instructions. While insurance brokers are expected to navigate employers through such changes, compliance responsibility remains primarily with the employer. Legal compliance questions on these and more topics can be channeled to HRS through Answer Desk and consultative programs. 


Structuring HR: Department of One, Outsourcing or Team Approach?

As HR demands expand and evolve, the HR department-of-one finds new challenge. Every great HR initiative requires a team approach, even if less than 100 employees. The inclusion of dedicated legal experts and unbiased thirty party is key to risk management. Multi-rater evaluation and quick access to specialists optimize decision tools and due diligence. Education Portal Article. Every great initiative requires internal and external experts partnering together, with the "six hats of thinking" and a wealth of relevant case studies. The days of "cookie cutter" forms and policies are long gone. Whether working regularly with accredited compliance experts, attorneys and/or informationalists, be certain the legal resources and proper toolsets are in place. Consider HRS an extraordinary resource! 


Background Investigations: Darned if You Don't, Darned if You Do and Darned if You Do it Wrong

Failing to properly screen employees leads to culpability in data breach, domestic violence laws, fiduciary responsibility, security, caregiver due diligence, stakeholder confidence and more. Simultaneously, screening for non-job-related criteria and/or screening outside of Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) compliance will incur steep penalty upon discovery. Class Action Lawsuit. Employers are called to stay on top of FCRA guidelines, and reputable third party investigations can be the best risk management. Contact us for more info and/or inquire regarding our background investigation services. 


In Case You Missed It (ICYMI)... 

Minimum Wage Increases

Heated argument continues regarding the economic impact of minimum wage increases. 13 states and a wealth of counties and cities plus federal contractors have enacted minimum wage increases. 


HHS Loses Contraceptive Coverage Case

In the famed "Hobby Lobby" case, SCOTUS ruled in favor of religious freedom. Certain ACA mandates for contraceptive coverage were denied. NY Times Article


Seeking a Past Year Recap?

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



And... News About HRS...


Businesses Take Flight on the Wings of Angels... HRS Launches Another New Initiative 

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 Soar!

Launched earlier this year, 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



The Employee Handbook: Time for Another Revision

Employers are relying upon external experts for handbook assistance more than ever before. HRS Handbook Review and Design services have incurred more than 300% increase in demand over the past 18 months. More employers are recognizing the problems with appropriating another company's handbook and the pitfalls of boilerplate solutions. Changes to federal and state employment laws make updating the resource even more critical, yet legal advice from attorneys is not enough to craft an effective instrument. Today's best handbook delivers 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. 


More Talent Assessment Leaders Join "Veracity by HRS"

Extremely popular for change management, training discoveries and talent acquisition, our library has expanded and re-launched with new partnerships! Our expert decision tools safeguard management decisions, legal compliance and employee buy-in. Visit Veracity or contact us for complimentary job-specific proposal and demo. Our catalog is robust with instruments measuring problem solving, time management, task prioritization, leadership, sales, customer service, team/conflict reduction, technical skills and more! No one beats us!  


HR Contract Programs Enjoy Popularity with Small and Large Employers Alike!

While organizations less than 200 headcount clearly benefit from entire or partial HR operations outsource, major market employers of 100,000+ are equally calling upon us for third party unbiased expertise and unique decision tools. HRS proposal analysis is complimentary, and we appreciate the opportunity to introduce.


New Corporate Education Programs

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 Getting More Out of Meetings, Organizational Change Management, Legal Compliance Balancing Talent Engagement, Performance Management, Anti-Harassment, Organizational Communications and More. Our flagship programs remain private employer-site workshops including group roundtables or Individual Learning Sessions (ILS).  


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Thought Leadership Blog Enjoys Wildly Popular Syndication

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  • The information 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.

     

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