06.08.17

2017 Website Campaign

Announcements

Sierra HR Partners has a new website!

2017 website campaign

To improve service and value for our clients, we’ve worked through the joys and challenges of   creating an entirely new, interactive website. We hope you’ll take a few minutes to check out the new features and familiar faces of Sierra HR Partners.

To pique your interest, we invite you to take our brief website quiz. Just click on the button below. All of the answers you’ll need are found on our website. It only takes about 10 minutes to hunt for the answers to 12 questions, and you’ll be entered in a drawing to win a prize!

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05.31.17

Don’t Get Burned By Summertime Events -May 2017 HR Bulletin

Uncategorized

Don’t Get Burned by Summertime Events

The summer season is upon us, and many employers look forward to planning events such as barbeques, baseball games, and water park trips. These outings provide excellent opportunities to reward employees, socialize with families, and enjoy time away from the normal pressures of the office…but as a manager or HR professional, this is not the time to let down your guard.Don't Get Burned By Summertime Events

Employer Liability

Employees and managers alike tend to think that “what happens away from the office, stays away from the office.” But under the doctrine of respondeat superior, an employer may be held liable for acts committed by employees within the course and scope of their employment, whether at the workplace or not. Furthermore, the employee does not need to be engaged in his/her actual job responsibilities to be deemed “under the control of the employer.” Liability is increased if the event is mandatory or if the employer may be seen as benefitting from the event through awards presentations or discussion of company programs or goals.

Sexual Harassment

Summer events are perfect environments for employees to relax from the formal dress code of your office, but bathing suits or other revealing clothing can easily open the door to suggestive comments or behavior. A one-time incident at a summer picnic may be severe enough to create liability, or may be cited as part of a pervasive pattern of inappropriate conduct.

Employee Injuries

Workers’ compensation typically does not cover injuries arising out of voluntary participation in off-duty events, but if a social event is considered to be work-related, workers’ compensation insurance may apply to injured employees.

You may reduce this risk by avoiding high-risk activities such as water skiing, and ensuring that only responsible individuals operate barbeque grills and other cooking equipment. Keep a close eye on bounce houses, obstacle courses and races, and any water activities.

Alcohol Consumption

The risks for harassment claims and injuries are heightened when employees consume alcohol at social events.  In a 2004 legal claim involving liability for injuries caused by drunk driving after a company party, the court stated, “ It is irrelevant that foreseeable effects of the employer’s negligent conduct occurred at a time the employee was no longer acting within the scope of his or her employment.”

Social Media

Ever-present “selfies” and social media posts increase the likelihood that images and recordings of less-than-professional behavior will be shared outside of the company, damaging company image and employee credibility.

HR Best Practices

So what’s a good HR Manager to do? You can help to ensure that employees have a great time while protecting the interests of your company with the following steps:

• Clearly inform employees that events are voluntary.

• Remind employees and managers about appropriate conduct, anti-harassment policies, and social media policies.

• Specify that attire should be in good taste and appropriate for a workplace event.

• Shape your social media policy in advance and explain the expectations to all employees. Be prepared to address inappropriate social media posts.

• Consider no alcohol, a cash bar, or drink tickets to limit alcohol consumption.

• Make arrangements for sober transportation (taxi, ride share, designated drivers).

• Follow standard procedures if an employee is injured including providing the DWC-1 Form within one working day and notifying your workers’ compensation carrier of the incident.

• Promptly investigate any complaints of harassment or inappropriate behavior.

• Enlist the help of other managers to watch for inappropriate behavior and excessive drinking, and take necessary steps.

Want to read the full newsletter?  Become an HR Business Partner and receive our monthly updates by email.

As an HR Business Partner, you receive:

• Unlimited phone consultation by certified HR consultants Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

• Free monthly legal seminars for designated representative

• Breaking employment news & best practices

• Discounted project rates

• Peace of mind


03.24.17

March 2017 HR Bulletin

HR Bulletin

What are your employees saying about you?

Employees Tweet

If you are still using a physical suggestion box in your workplace, you may want to consider throwing it in the trash. Gone are the days when employees come to talk to you in person about their concerns or take advantage of an office suggestion box. Today, applicants and employees go online to read about a company’s culture, pay and benefits and to post about their personal experience. Do you know what is being said online about your company?

According to an article in February 2017 SHRM magazine, Glassdoor’s CEO Robert Hohman reports that 72 percent of workers say they are “OK” or “satisfied” with their jobs and companies. And the average CEO rating is 67 percent.

Employers are scrambling to figure out how to manage their online presence. Did you know that if a current or former employee posts something on Glassdoor that isn’t true that it won’t be taken down? In fact, this popular website will only consider removing posts if a non-management employee is named or profanity is used. Other than that, what is posted by a disgruntled employee stays online indefinitely.

From an HR viewpoint, we recommend you start by doing the following:

• Type your company name in the search bar and see what you find. You may see posts on several popular social media sites that should be read and addressed.

• If you find that negative comments are being made, first stop and reflect as to why. Perhaps you are experiencing a cultural shift in leadership, downsizing, merging companies or rapidly expanding.

• Posts regarding missed meal periods, long hours, safety issues or harassing behavior cannot be ignored. Conduct an immediate investigation to ensure that all workplace laws are being followed. If you find there are practices out of compliance, contact your employment counsel right away for legal guidance.

• Devise a strategy for responding to applicant and employee comments. In most cases not responding at all isn’t recommended. Will that be the owner, CEO or HR? Then decide how you plan to respond. Your responses should be authentic, fair and forthright.

• When responding, do your best to put yourself in the commenter’s shoes. Whether or not there is truth to the anonymous posts, there is some level of dissatisfaction taking place in the organization and you need to understand why.

• Create online alerts with various sites such as Glassdoor, Twitter and Facebook to automatically email you when your company is named in a post so that you remain informed.

• Encourage (but don’t require) your happy employees to post online about their experience to create a balanced picture of what it is really like to work for you.

• Take advantage of free employer branding accounts on sites like Glassdoor where you can tell the full (exciting) story of your workplace, including pay, work-life balance, benefits, culture, growth opportunities, photos, etc.

Our HR consultants are available to discuss the importance of establishing and maintaining your online employer brand.

Want to read the full newsletter?  Become an HR Business Partner and receive our monthly updates by email.

As an HR Business Partner, you receive:

• Unlimited phone consultation by certified HR consultants Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

• Free monthly legal seminars for designated representative

• Breaking employment news & best practices

• Discounted project rates

• Peace of mind


03.16.17

Thank you for participating in the Dress for Success Clothing Drive!

Announcements

Thank you for participating in the Dress for Success Clothing Drive!

Dress for Success

Dress for Success’ vision is a world where women do not live in poverty. They strive for a world where all women are financially independent, are treated with dignity and respect and are directly impacting their lives and those of their families. Dress for Success aspires to create a world that fully harnesses the power of women and recognizes their role in economic sustainability.

Dress for Success’ purpose is to offer long-lasting solutions that enable women to break the cycle of poverty. Dress for Success is part of a global movement for change, empowering women to obtain safer and better futures.

They provide each client with professional attire to secure employment, but are about much more than simply a new outfit. Besides physically equipping the client with apparel and accessories, their programs furnish her with a confidence that she carries forever and the knowledge that she can actively define her life, the direction she takes and what success means to her.

Dress for Success believes that every woman has the right to realize her full potential and achieve financial independence in a more egalitarian world. They believe that with the proper education, tools and action this world is possible.

Poverty often affects women the most, and its effects on them and their families can be long-lasting. Therefore, addressing women’s needs is central to improving the quality of life for not only that woman but also her family, future generations and her community. In fact, recognizing the significant role of women in economic development is the smart thing to do, as well as being socially and morally right.

Dress for Success believes that achieving gender equality is imperative to developing a sustainable and just world for all, which is possible by acknowledging the crucial role that women play in the world economy. They believe that by building up a woman’s agency and knowledge, better synergies between gender equality and economic sustainability are realized, enabling her to generate a long-term impact in both her private and public life.

Dress for Success in an international not-for-profit organization that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

Missed out on the donation deadline?

Visit Dress for Success Fresno’s website for more information about what you can do to help!


01.16.17

New Year, New Rules

HR Bulletin

2017 Important Human Resources Updates for 2017

Important Human Resources Updates

Happy New Year from all of us at Sierra HR Partners! As we move into the year ahead, it will be important to be aware of several human resources updates that become effective this month:

• California’s minimum wage for employers of 26 or more employees increased to $10.50 per hour. (Employers of 25 or fewer have a one-year grace period before they must begin paying higher hourly rates.) This change also affects the minimum amount you must pay an exempt employee to meet the salary test of two times the minimum wage. Exempt salaried employees must earn $43,680 per year.

• The IRS standard rate for mileage reimbursement has been decreased to 53.5 cents per mile (down from 54 cents per mile in 2016.)

• Assembly Bill 1847 requires that employers inform employees they may be eligible for the California Earned Income Tax Credit within one week before or after, or at the same time the employer provides an annual wage summary (such as a W-2 or 1099 form.) The language of the notice can be found in the Bill text. (Scroll all the way to the bottom of the web page.)

• The City of Los Angeles has passed a “Ban the Box” ordinance limiting the use of criminal history information for employers of ten or more employees, effective January 22, 2017. Job applications cannot request information about criminal histories, and the employer is prohibited from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history until after an employment offer has been made. The ordinance also imposes a posting requirement for covered employers.

Effective March 1, 2017, all single-user toilet facilities in any business establishment must be identified as “all gender” facilities.

Want to read the full newsletter?  Become an HR Business Partner and receive our monthly updates by email.

As an HR Business Partner, you receive:

• Unlimited phone consultation by certified HR consultants Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

• Free monthly legal seminars for designated representative

• Breaking employment news & best practices

• Discounted project rates

• Peace of mind