Documentation of Employee Discussions is all Important

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As with law, the dictum for management is this: What is not documented does not exist. One can look back at the age-old Latin adage to this effect –Verba Volant, Scripta Manent, meaning “what is said flies, what is written stays”. This just about summarizes the need for documentation in organizations.

Documentation is at the heart of organizations, because when employees take an organization to court for some strong reason such as termination -and there is no dearth of such lawsuits -documentation is the decider in most cases. Documentation of employee conversations is a major tool of evidence for law courts. This is the clincher in many high profile and low profile cases.

Deciding factor in litigations

Documentation can win or lose lawsuits, depending on which side of the fence the management is. There are cases where organizations have had to shell out millions of dollars either because documentation was present, or it was not.

Yet, the need for documentation is paramount, because it is the most crucial tool that stand scrutiny in court cases. It is what attorneys and judges look for more than anything else. As seen in the beginning, any event that lacks evidence is as good as a nonevent.

It is a habit that needs to be drilled into employees, but is admittedly difficult to inculcate in the employee mind-set. Not only do employees need to be taught to document; they also need to made to understand what needs to be documented, and how.

Get to learn the nitty-gritty of employee conversation documentation

The intricacies and the minute parts of documenting employee conversations will be taught at a webinar that is being organized by TrainHR, a leading provider of professional trainings for the human resources industry. At this webinar, Michael D. Haberman, a consultant, speaker, writer and teacher and co-founder of Omega HR Solutions, Inc. a consulting and services company offering complete human resources solutions; will be the speaker.

Want to understand the importance of documenting employee discussions and conversations and grasp best practices for employee documentation? Then, please register for this webinar by visiting TrainHR.

Viewing this webinar, its entirety qualifies for a recertification credit hour that may be counted toward SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP recertification from SHRM.
Credit is awarded based on the actual educational time spent in the program.

This webinar has been approved for 1 HR (General) recertification credit hours toward aPHR, PHR, PHRca, SPHR, GPHR, PHRi and SPHRi recertification through HR Certification Institute (HRCI).

Learning about all the important areas of documentation

At this very crucial learning session, Michael will offer learning on how employees will be better able to defend the organization from loses that incur from poor documentation practices.

He will cover the following areas at this webinar:

  • How and why documentation is good
    • Meets the legal requirements of Federal statutes
    • Provides a record of interactions with employees in order to provide better recall of what was said and done
    • Helps knowledge retention. You do not need to have the original parties to have a recollection of the event or conversation
    • Provides the legal documentation needed to defend the company in a lawsuit
  • We will talk about how documentation will get you in trouble
  • What is necessary for good documentation
  • We will talk about what tools can be used

Any personnel that deals with employees in one or another way, such as Office Managers, HR Managers, Supervisors and Business Owners will benefit immensely from this learning session.

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Deeper Understanding of The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)

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The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) is an important, recent legislation passed by the American Congress. Having come into effect from mid-2008; GINA is closely tied to, and is, in fact enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). GINA applies to organizations that employ 15 or more employees and labor organizations, employment agencies, and training programs, but exempts disability, long-term care, and life insurance providers.

As the title of this Act suggests, GINA prohibits using genetics as a basis for making decisions relating to employment. At its core, GINA seeks to protect individuals from discrimination based on genetic information. Genetic information can be any of these:

  • Medical information about a person
  • Medical history of the person’s family
  • Requiring or requesting an employee or her family members to take a genetic test
  • Results of tests relating to the person’s genetics, which includes the tests carried out on the person’s family members, as well as tests carried out in the fetus or embryo of the individual or any of her family members
  • Taking part in genetic services, counseling, or research
  • Making changes into premium plans based on genetic information.

Covers more areas of employment-related issues

The original intent of GINA was to ban discrimination in the insurance coverage area using genetics as a parameter. It gradually got extended to the health areas of employment, to those concerning collecting medical information about employees for wellness and other health related issues. Today, some of the genetic aspects of an employee that GINA prohibits include:

  • Compensation and related aspects of employment
  • Referrals
  • Training
  • Membership with any part of the organization
  • Perks and other privileges or opportunities related to employment

GINA is thus a serious piece of legislation that needs to be complied with fully. It has its own exceptions, and many other aspects of this legislation are to be followed strictly. Employers who are required to implement the provisions set out in GINA need to have a clear and unambiguous understanding of how to apply the provisions as they relate to them.

Full learning on all aspects of GINA implementation

This learning will be imparted at a webinar that TrainHR, a leading provider of professional trainings for the human resources industry, will be organizing.

The speaker at this webinar is Michael D. Haberman, who is a consultant, speaker, writer and teacher. He is co-founder of Omega HR Solutions, Inc. a consulting and services company that offers complete human resources solutions. To learn more about how to apply GINA at work, please register for this webinar by visiting TrainHR

Viewing this webinar, its entirety qualifies for a recertification credit hour that may be counted toward SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP recertification from SHRM.
Credit is awarded based on the actual educational time spent in the program.

This activity has been approved for 1 HR (General) recertification credit hours toward aPHR, PHR, PHRca, SPHR, GPHR, PHRi and SPHRi recertification through HR Certification Institute (HRCI).

GINA as it applies in day-to-day work

Michael will unravel the intricacies of this legislation. He will explain how to apply the provisions of GINA in an organization’s day-to-day work. Given that even noting an employee’s walking habits for some disease is proscribed by GINA; this places an additional burden on employers, who have to be careful when it comes to interacting with employees, physicians and insurance providers. Michael will explain all these aspects of GINA at this webinar.

HR professionals, office managers and owners of small businesses that come under the provisions of GINA will benefit immensely from this course, at which Michael will cover the following areas:

  • What Entities are covered?
  • What Employees are covered?
  • The Definition of “genetic information”
  • How you can be exposed to genetic information
  • The Prohibitions of using genetic information
  • Paperwork and notification requirements

Best Practices for Dealing with Workplace Violence

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Workplace violence is one of the most serious issues facing the American workforce. Workplace violence manifests itself in a multitude of ways. Threatening to carry out or carrying out an act of physical violence, intimidating, harassing or disrupting the activities of colleagues at the workplace come under the definition of workplace violence.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that up to two million Americans get affected by violence at the workplace, an alarming piece of statistics for one of the world’s most highly developed nations, in which the workplace is central to most peoples’ lives.

Mixed picture of workplace violence statistics

Since general awareness about workplace violence went on the ascendant in the 1980’s, there has been a remarkable dip in the incidence of workplace homicide, which is surely the most serious form of workplace. Killing a colleague over a difference at work is certainly the most barbaric form of workplace violence.

OSHA put the number of workplace homicide for 2014 at just over 400, which, although is a figure that has been steadily falling over the years; is not negligible. The bad news, however, is that other forms of workplace violence, such as intimidation, discrimination, bullying, hostility, and harassment, have been steadily rising over these few years.

Workplace violence is not taken seriously enough by employers

The tragedy about workplace violence is that a majority of the cases go unreported. As much as 60% of crimes committed against women at the workplace didn’t get to the enforcement agencies in the form of complaints between 1993 and 1999.

What is of equal worry is that nearly half of corporate executives don’t consider workplace violence as being serious enough to warrant intervention. Two thirds of American executives do not believe that workplace violence will create a negative impact on their budgets.

Many organizations are far behind in taking measures aimed at tackling workplace violence. Organizations need to identify the factors that precipitate and trigger workplace violence. Some of the most common factors that are directly linked to workplace violence include:

  • Confrontational behavior of a few employees
  • Exchange of money, which could lead to bitterness that could turn into violence
  • Serving alcohol in the office premises
  • Targeting people who work in lonely or remote locations at odd hours
  • Women at the workplace, who are vulnerable to becoming targets of workplace violence

Completely outmoded laws

A major problem facing the American workplace today is that most laws and methods of dealing with workplace violence are pretty outdated. Many organizations continue to be governed by rules that were made when workplaces were vastly different from those that we see today. The workplace before the advent of the New Economy was far different. Cybercrime, for instance, was unborn a few decades ago. Another of the outlets for initiating workplace violence, the social media, was also not born at the time of formulation of many of the laws that govern many organizations. Yet, the laws and rules on workplace violence have failed to keep pace.

Complete learning on dealing with workplace violence

So, how do organizations deal with workplace violence in the current scenario? All these aspects of how they can do it will be the learning a highly valuable, yet entertaining webinar from TrainHR, a leading provider of professional trainings for the healthcare industry, will be offering.

This webinar will have Dr. Gerard Lewis, an international consultant and trainer, who has worked with national and international government agencies, healthcare facilities, educational institutions and private businesses on a wide range of work, behavioral health and organizational issues; as speaker.

In order to gain full understanding of the area of workplace violence and to get an understanding of the ways of dealing with it, please register for this webinar by visiting TrainHR

Viewing this webinar, its entirety qualifies for a recertification credit hour that may be counted toward SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP recertification from SHRM.
Credit is awarded based on the actual educational time spent in the program. This webinar has been approved for 1.5 HR (General) recertification credit hours toward aPHR, PHR, PHRca, SPHR, GPHR, PHRi and SPHRi recertification through HR Certification Institute (HRCI).

Updating policies to stay current

Dr. Lewis will show how organizations can stay current with their policies and protocols to include workplace violence as a major part of the agenda. He will offer a comprehensive overview of best practices for organizational hostility mitigation and the role of HR.

Participants will be able to understand best practices for responding to workplace hostility, be able to provide policies, procedures and programs to their client-organizations, know the current changes in statistics as well as terminology relative to this ongoing issue, and understand how and when to provide psychological interventions around workplace hostility incidents.

The following areas will be covered at this webinar:

  • A brief overview of statistical trends
  • Updated definitions of violence, hostility, bullying, weapons, harassment, etc.
  • Sample policies for Workplace Hostility Mitigation Policy
  • Strategies to handle restraining/protective orders
  • An understanding of how to provide psychological interventions around a workplace hostility incident
  • Identifying the “at risk” employee and how to intervene
  • When to get a fitness for duty evaluation, what to expect from the evaluation and the role of the HR
  • Case examples.

 

HR compliance

Human resources compliance or HR compliance is a broad term, because it depends on the context and situation of usage. In general terms, it can be considered the act of ensuring that the organization is in adherence with state and federal regulations with regard to employment and human resources operations. HR compliance is also about having relevant HR policies, laws, practices, programs and guidelines in place.

Some of the common HR-related policies that organizations’ HR has to show compliance with include Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Employee Retirement Income Security Act’s (ERISA), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), and the recent Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) among many others.

Why is HR compliance difficult to enforce?

HR compliance is not as easy as just doing some paperwork. For an organization to show full HR compliance, it has to show that about two dozen laws are being implemented at the workplace, often simultaneously! Many of these laws differ based on the number of employees the organization has. So, if an organization has X number of employees, it has to put in place some regulations, which will have to be completely re-hauled and re-implemented once the organization reaches a strength of Y employees.

How is HR compliance ensured?

HR compliance in an organization is implemented by carrying out an HR audit. Some of the items that have to be implemented as part of HR compliance include:

  • OSHA
  • Performance Management
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Workplace Safety
  • Employee Benefits
  • Employee Payroll
  • Employee Recruitment and Hiring
  • Employee Recordkeeping
  • Employee Separation/Layoff
  • Employee Compensation/Wages
  • Employee New Hire Orientation
  • Labor Relations

Consequences of being non-HR compliant

State or federal agencies carry out random checks, at which organizations have to show complete HR compliance. If an organization fails to do this, it could attract fines. These fines are disproportionately high in relation to the cost of implementing these policies. Worse; it could lead to loss of face for the organization. So, it is always a good idea for organizations to show HR compliance.

References:

http://www.hrknowledgebase.net/2012/06/what-is-hr-compliance/

http://www.corporatecomplianceinsights.com/hr-function-compliance-role/

 

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