New Year's Resolutions for Human Resources Professionals

January 3, 2014


Joseph M. English 678.336.7137 Many of us make New Year's Resolutions, but too few of us carry through with them long-term even though we know that keeping the resolutions will have a positive impact. Here are some New Year's Resolutions for Human Resources professionals designed to promote good health for your company in 2014 and beyond. The challenge is to stick with the resolutions! In 2014, I resolve to:Conduct or arrange for harassment/EEO training for our employees and our managers (including executives). Even a one-hour annual session reflects a tangible commitment to equal opportunity, and it is valuable evidence in the event of a discrimination, harassment, or retaliation claim. Managers should receive different training than non-managers. • Review our employee handbook and FMLA paperwork. These were state-of-the-art when written, but employment practices and applicable laws change all the time. Do our written policies reflect our actual practices in 2014, and comply with current laws? Have all employees received and signed for a handbook? • Review personnel files for I-9 compliance. With an increased focus on immigration issues, I don't want the government penalizing my company for incomplete or inaccurate paperwork. • Audit our pay practices. Are our employees properly classified under the wage-hour laws, considering the work they are actually performing regardless of job title? Are we keeping accurate time records for non-exempt employees? Are we risking the exempt status of employees with improper deductions? • Conduct training for our hiring managers. Do managers with authority to interview and hire know how to spot "red flags" on an employment application? Do they know how to conduct job interviews without asking potentially illegal questions? • Review our promotion practices, including recent promotion decisions. I want to be comfortable that our day-to-day promotion practices are consistent with our written policies, and that all interested employees are aware of promotional opportunities. We want to promote the most qualified candidates, not the manager's BFF. • Make sure the company is protected with valid non-solicitation and non-disclosure agreements signed by every applicable employee. Murphy's Law suggests that the employee who leaves and goes after our employees and clients will be the one employee for whom we can't find a signed non-solicitation agreement. Now is also the time to make sure the agreement is legally enforceable in our state. For sales personnel in Georgia, this may need to include a defined, current geographic territory. • Remain Union-Free. Union avoidance training for managers can help the company identify and solve internal problems before they become a breeding ground for union activity. • Review our record retention policies and practices. I need to keep certain employment records for the period required by the government, and have a destruction program that complies with the law. • Confirm that required postings are visible and current. Does my organization have the most recent posting required by federal and state law, and are the postings conspicuous to employees? If you keep these New Year's Resolutions, your organization should be off to a happy, healthy, and legally complaint 2014. Taylor English Duma LLP is a full-service business law firm. This article is for general information purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any questions concerning your company's legal obligations or best practices, please contact a member of the firm's Employment Group. Taylor English Duma LLP | 1600 Parkwood Circle, Suite 400 Atlanta, GA 30339 p 770.434.6868 f 770.434.7376  

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