HR Soapbox

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So you've checked Grandma, Uncle Charley and Cousin Tyler off your Christmas list. But have you thought about putting anything extra in your employees' stockings this holiday? Most employees say they’d prefer cash, but padding paychecks isn’t the only way your organization can say “Happy Holi­­days!” Consider these wise alternatives ...

The period between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day typically finds employees distracted, absent or doing things that require extra management scrutiny. For HR, that means more hassles, more drama and more legal concerns. You can head off those problems by planning for these additional risks and clarifying (or creating) smart HR policies. Four issues to watch out for ...

When we think about bullying, we think about kids on the school playground or hallways. But a high-profile act of adult-size bullying this week thrust the issue into the national conversation. And the story carries several lessons for HR ...

Anyone watching the Sasquatch convention baseball playoffs this past month noticed that most of the Boston Red Sox players looked like they hadn’t shaved since Spring Training. The Sox rode their unkempt culture all the way to a World Series title.  While some employers make take a liking to such beard bonding in the workplace, others demand a clean-shaven culture. So can your organization set a no-beard policy for its male employees? ...

As part of last week's celebration of HR Professionals Week (Oct. 7-11), The HR Specialist asked readers to share hiring tips from their own experiences. Here are some of the best ...

“How much does this job pay?” Some candidates come right out and ask. In other cases, employers will raise the issue first. A new CareerBuilder survey finds that only 11% of employers include wage or salary information in their job listings. About half (48%) discuss salary during initial conversations or during the first job interview. And 24% say they wait until extending a job offer to reveal what the position pays. Here's more details on discussing pay with appllicants ...

To be protected under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employees must give employers enough information about the reason for their leave to let the employer decide if it falls under FMLA coverage. A recent court ruling deals with an ultra-modern twist on this issue: Does a text message sent by an employee legally put a company on notice of their need for FMLA leave?

This year, the traditional open enrollment season for health benefits coincides with the rollout of massive changes driven by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The law requires employers to inform employees about their coverage options by Oct. 1. Here are seven tips on how to improve your benefits communication during this open enrollment season ...

HR professionals have all seen their fair share of unique pitches from applicants. When those efforts are appropriate manifestations of the candidate's creativity and intiative, the extra energy can translate into a job offer. In other cases, applicants' efforts to differentiate themselves are simply a big-time turn-off. Here’s a collection of memorable attention-getters—10 that worked and 10 that didn’t ...

The American Medical Association (AMA) this summer officially designated obesity as a “disease”—instead of as a condition. The AMA’s designation does not carry any official change in the law or regulations. But experts say it could increase the likelihood that obese employees will be deemed “disabled” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), plus increase your organization's workers' comp costs.
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