Compliance and Government (HR)

In continuing with the Blog series, I had a nice opportunity to speak to Bob Tarver. Bob is an HR Professional with many years of experience, and is looking for a new opportunity. You can connect with Bob  We discussed Compliance and Government in HR.  Here are the takeaways from our conversation.

HR compliance is an important component in today’s business environment.  There are many legal issues that must be considered when operating a business. Several federal laws that are due much consideration are the FLSA, Sexual Harassment, Title VII, ADA, and ADEA.  If an organization does not understand, or fails to acknowledge its human resources responsibilities, there could be serious repercussions.

Here are 3 most current issues on the forefront of HR Compliance:

  1. E-Verify :  E-Verify is an internet based system that allows an employer using information reported on an I-9 to determine eligibility of an employee to work in the U.S.  The premise of  the system is to reduce unauthorized employment, reduce verification related discrimination, protect civil liberties, and enhance employee privacy. Results are returned in 3-5 seconds. Criticisms of E-Verify are inaccurate databases, and actual legality of the regulation. 


2.        I-9  The I-9 form has always been an issue for human resources.  Issues include how long to keep the form, making sure it is kept separate from the employee file in case of an audit, and proper completion and signature of the document. Employers can not require additional documents more than what is necessary to complete the form.

3.Free Choice Act:  The intent to amend the National Labor Relations Act to enable employees to form, join, and assist in labor organizations provide for mandatory injunctions and unfair labor practices during organization efforts.  If the EFCA is enacted, it would take away the employees ability to decide whether to use the card-check process, or hold secret-ballot elections among the employees in a particular bargaining unit. The bill provides that workers who choose a union can obtain a contract.  What would be a concern is that union officials can ise a “strong-arm tactic” to have the employees announce their vote. This legislation on face value appears to be taking away the rights of employees to decide to have a “secret ballot” vote just as they do in electing their public issues.

As it currently stands, there have been several changes and amendments to the proposed EFCA legislation.   Only time will tell if it comes to fruition or not.

What are the solutions to these HR issues?

Let’s get the conversation started on this very HOT topic!


Legal Roundup-(HR)


I recently had the chance to catch up with legal eagle Joan Ginsberg. Joan is a Human Resources Professional/SPHR/Lawyer.  She is a wealth of advice, and is a great person to follow.   Joan blogs at and is on  She is looking for a new career opportunity.Continuing with the Blog Series, It just seemed logical to tap into Joan’s expertise for a discussion about this.

Here are Joan’s thoughts on the most critical Legal/HR issues of the coming months:

1.Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Department of Labor recently received a funding increase to hire more investigators.  Some of these investigators will be hired into the Wage and Hour division, but many will be hired for the “Misclassification Initiative”.  This initiative will target employers who misclassify workers as independent contractors, depriving workers of protections and benefits enjoyed by workers. 

 2.Anti-Discrimination Laws. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency charged with enforcement of all federal non-discrimination laws.  EEOC filing and enforcement is at an all-time high.  Remember that there are many federal “protected classes” that an employer may not discriminate against. Many states have additional protected classes.

The EEOC has also received increased funding in 2010, which will permit the EEOC “to continue our focus on systemic enforcement.”  Employers should be updating handbooks and auditing their employment policies to include recent laws and amendments, and to ramp up training managers on the implications and enforcement of these laws. 

3.  Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA).  IRCA is the law that requires employers to verify the employment status of an employee and fill out a form (the I-9) showing that it was properly done.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the federal bureau that enforces IRCA, began their increased enforcement efforts back in July 2009, when they began audits 650 targeted businesses.  The ICE has made no secret of the fact that increased employer enforcement is high on their agenda, so HR pros need to self-audit their I-9 processes and make sure they are up to snuff.  According to my sources, the ICE is even citing typos and innocent mistakes like incorrect dates as actionable errors in their I-9 audits. 

It has been my experience in a small but successful 35-year-old staffing firm, “trust, but verify”  The company I worked for social security verified all applicants.  This now brings a more complex set of problems.  Stolen/fake #SS cards, driver licenses and other documentation. It really is a legal nightmare for both the company and the clients.

What are the solutions? Let’s get the comments rolling…….

A New Chapter………..

This week, I am taking a break from my professional/human resources blogging to write a personal note.  As many of you know, I have been co-host of Compassionate HR Show with @HRMargo   Although I have enjoyed my time as co-host, it is time for me to move on and  focus on professional/personal endeavors. 

It is an exciting time for me.  I am looking forward to devoting my time and energy on the things I am Passionate about.  I have no doubt that Margo will continue with the Compassionate HR Show, and I wish her nothing but the best!

I am very excited for the coming months, and looking forward to what is in store for me. I am not going anywhere.. I just need to devote more time elsewhere.

I truly appreciate each and every reader of this blog, and I am looking forward to many exciting things to talk about. I will let you know, as soon as I am able to announce. Thanks for continuing to follow me on my journey.


EmPowerment (HR)

I recently spoke with Tammy Colson about Empowerment.  The definition of Empowerment is:  to give authority to somebody: to give somebody power or authority : make more confident or assertive: to give somebody a greater sense of confidence or self-esteem.

Tammy is a successful Director of HR in North Carolina. She writes at the HRJunkyard, can be found via Twitter, LinkedIn, and is launching her own business.  We had a great discussion about this topic, and her insights:

  •  Most employees want to achieve, and be of value to their employer
  • Give employees the skills and opportunity to reach their goals, instead of micromanaging them
  • Employees are doing 3-4 more jobs due to downsizing, and when decision-making is coming from the top, it causes gridlock
  •  Companies are paying overtime, and there are unemployed, qualified people dying to work!
  • Career Development is lacking terribly. HR must intervene to help coach managers.

The most successful companies hire the right people, and LET them do their JOB.  (via TLColson)

I have had a lot of personal experience with empowerment. When I was a manager for a very affluent organization, our management training included empowerment and accountability best practices. I have seen the enormous rewards, of this in action. The employees’ have amazing morale, are happier, and feel a sense of accomplishment when charged with additional responsibilities, and promotions. 

I want to hear how Empowerment is effective in your workplaces. Let’s get the comments rolling…..

HealthCare (HR)


I had the opportunity to speak with Lisa Rosendahl.  Lisa is a Human Resources Director for a medical center.  We discussed the issue of Healthcare, and how it is changing within Human Resources.  A few observations Lisa made were: 

Healthcare is about wellness and productivity, innovation and cost.  It is about an individual’s ability to maintain their own health, and provide the very best care they are able to for their family. If we are not able to provide health care to enable individuals to provide for their families, we fail at the very thing that really matters. 

Making an informed decision with all information available is the best one can do in a unpredictible situation. I have been at the receiving end of a phone call when a fall from a ladder on a sunny afternoon, an snowmobile accident on a well-groomed trail, or negative results from routine lab tests mess with the best laid plans and throw life into turmoil. It’s complicated. 

The Healthcare debate is raging, and emotions rise and fall. 

 Here are a few of my personal observations on the topic.  I am keeping my eyes and ears peeled to this topic. Affordable quality healthcare must be available to every individual in the United States.  It is not a “one size fits all” issue.  It is a most critical issue for Human Resources and corporations large and small.  How has healthcare affected your company and personally? Let’s get the comments rolling…….

Leadership&Management (HR)

Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with Trish Mcfarlane. Trish is a HR Business Partner for St.Louis Children’s Hospital, blogger, co-creator of HRevolution, and “SUPER MOM”  of twins. Trish can be contacted via Twitter @TrishMcfarlane  and

  She views HR as an “evolving” profession, and is a sought after speaker, and contributor.  Trish and I discussed How Leadership and Management is an important Top Ten Issue.  Some observations Trish has made on the subject included:

  • Personal Accountability: Seeing a trend moving away from the HR role and taking responsibility.  There is a push back for leaders to take on personal accountability and to determine how to improve their own communication style in order to better respond to individual needs on the team.
  • Individuality: Sees an increased awareness of leaders to determine what each individual needs to develop and grow then figure out how to help them grow, and meet their goals.  HR professionals can assist in the process, but need to be Creative!  Identify what opportunities exist in the company, how can the employee get there, and if the right opportunity does not exist within, assist the employee to find the right ones outside of the company.
  • More Action: Remembering that Elvis song “A little less conversation, a little more action….” Apply it to leadership.  In 2010, HR needs to stop talking, and help the leader move to action. Get over all the talking, and just do it.. HR can encourage leaders to be decisive and then tweak their style as the situation needs it.

A great leader to me is an individual that gives you the tools, and let’s you do the work and shine.  Thinking “outside the box” is so very important.  Having been a Leader and a Manager, accountability, training, and clear objectives are essential.  I have a passion for making a difference. 

I want to hear about your experiences in leadership and management. Let’s get the comments rolling…………….

Social Media-(HR)

Last week I had the opportunity to talk with Jessica Miller-Merrell-SPHR.  Jessica is an author, new mother, and human resources professional. She has over 10 years experience, and is passionate about all things social media.. Jessica can be reached at or @blogging4jobs via Twitter. Jessica and I talked about Social Media and its role in HR. 

With over 400 million combined users worldwide on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, social media is NOT a fad, and is not going away.  By 2014, Gartner Research predicts that 20% business professionals will prefer direct messaging over email usage.  Many corporations are not embracing social media because they do not have a working knowledge or understand the benefits of it.  How social media policy will be developed will be a collaborative effort with HR, PR, Marketing, IT and Legal. Depending on the size of the corporation, policies will have to be custom tailored.  While managers and IT will have an increased role in monitoring employee productivity, and enforcing the policies of acceptable usage, HR will be involved in developing and implementing policies into the corporate culture and must have an understanding for these reasons in addition to conducting proper internal employee and company investigations regarding topics like sexting, sexual harassment, and unprofessional conduct. 

Social Media in HR is an evolving topic, and inspires great thought and challenges.  I want to hear how Social Media in the workplace is being used/managed with companies on a daily basis. Let’s get the comments rolling……