Human Resources News in Review


Health Reform Rules Proposed
Three new proposed rules to implement provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act cover guaranteed issuance of coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions, essential health benefits and wellness program incentives.

New California Discrimination Laws to Take Effect
Effective January 2013, two new California laws will broaden what constitutes discrimination based on an employee’s religion or sex. Practices that may have been lawful for 2012 could now create liability and litigation for 2013.

‘Honest Belief’ Not Enough to Defend California Leave Act Claim
An employer’s good faith “honest belief” that an employee on medical leave under the California Family Rights Act was misusing the leave was not a defense to the employee’s claim for violation of his rights under the CFRA, a California appellate court has ruled.

Cybersecurity Bill Dies, Executive Order May Be on the Way
Comprehensive cybersecurity regulatory reform failed for the second time this year in the U.S. Senate, increasing the prospects that White House will implement some of the bill’s provisions through an executive order. The Cybersecurity Act of 2012 failed to get the 60 votes needed under Senate rules to bring the bill up for passage, most likely dashing any chance that cybersecurity policy would be addressed in the lame-duck session.

‘Hire a Veteran’ Campaign Debunks Brain Injury Misperceptions
The U.S. Army kicked off its “Hire a Veteran” campaign Nov. 19, 2012, during a press conference with SHRM. The campaign is aimed at debunking employer misperceptions about the impact of post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury on veterans’ job performance, and at educating employers on what reasonable accommodations involve.

Trial Court Erred in Denying Injunction to Bar Harasser from Store
A trial court erred in denying an injunction sought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to keep a former store manager found to have been harassing female employees from entering the store, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.
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More Court Report articles

COBRA and the FMLA
Q: When an employee covered by COBRA needs leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, how are benefits continued and what restoration rights does the employee have?
A: Occasionally, an interesting dilemma for employers develops when an employee who has health coverage under the federal COBRA law subsequently needs to take leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).Under the FMLA, the employer’s obligation is to provide the same group health coverage the employee would have had if he had been continuously employed.
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Chopra on Health Care
In the latest edition of Focus on HR, SHRM’s biweekly news program, physician, author and consultant Deepak Chopra shares insight on ways to improve the U.S. health care system. Other segments focus on leave for parents with sick children, holiday schedules and common OSHA violations.
Watch this program


Antiharassment Policies Were Adequate and Properly Implemented
A part-time sales associate argued that her employer’s antiharassment policies allowed a hostile work environment to develop.
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Express Request: New Jersey State Law Resources
SHRM’s Information Center has compiled a variety of online employment law resources applicable to your state. In this member-only, FREE benefit you’ll receive employment law resources from SHRM Online as well as other online sources; a spotlight on a recent workplace issue impacting your state; directories for locating employment lawyers and more. To receive these resources in one e-mail, select your state’s name (or any other state for which you’d like to receive information), complete and submit
this form.
Also available from SHRM Online:
New Jersey workplace law resourcesWorkplace law resources for all states

Get to the Source
Candidates today can seek information about prospective employers or directly apply for jobs through job boards and job aggregator sites, via search engines and social media networks, or by visiting careers portals. The major hurdle for recruiters trying to determine where their best hires are coming from remains reliance on a dubious tracking method: candidates’ self-reporting.
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Subscribe to HR Magazine (for nonmembers; members receive HR Magazine as part of their SHRM membership)
HR Magazine home page

Assessing Employee Benefits Prior to M&As
Take advantage of a pending or potential change in corporate structure—such as mergers, acquisitions or divestitures—to review cost/benefit analyses. In doing so, the CFO and HR professionals should work together.
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Business Leadership discipline area

Is Your Organization Prepared to Deal with Controversy?
High-ranking executives and officials have an added burden of being the face of an organization. Most chief diversity and inclusion (D&I) officers understand this challenge and must deal with it in both their professional and personal lives. This responsibility can become a source of controversy when a D&I officer’s actions or personal opinions don’t exactly align with an employer’s policies.
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Diversity discipline area

Communicating with ‘Weapons of Mass Distraction’
Though some organizations have banned the use of social networking websites in offices around the world because of their distracting nature, employers are now easing such restrictions and embracing social media tools, communication experts say.
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Employee Relations discipline area

List of the Best Multinational Workplaces Released
Great Place to Work Institute (GPTW) released its second annual list of the 25 best multinational workplaces on Nov. 14, 2012. SAS Institute topped the list at No. 1 and was followed by Google, NetApp, Kimberly Clark, and Microsoft to round out the top five multinational organizations.
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Global HR discipline area

Taming the Data Beast: Cost-Per-Hire Metrics
Dec. 6, 2-3:30 p.m. ET / 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. PT
Presenter: Andrew Gadomski, chief advisor and founder, Aspen Advisors; Steven Lindner, Ph.D., founder and CEO, The WorkPlace Group Inc.; and John Dooney, SPHR, manager of workforce analytics, SHRM
With so much recruiting data being generated, HR professionals have become overwhelmed in their efforts to identify meaningful metrics and report them to stakeholders. In 2012, as part of its effort to establish standards for use by the HR profession, SHRM created a cost-per-hire standard that provides employers with an approved methodology for quantifying their recruitment and placement activities. This 90-minute program will explain the elements and provide you with templates that can be used to capture and analyze cost-per-hire numbers in your own organization. The program will also describe how, with numbers in hand, you can best communicate this information to stakeholders in your organization. Finally, it will provide analysis of cost-per-hire trends data generated by SHRM’s Workforce Analytics group.
More about this program

Defying the Odds: Prepping Employees for Success in First-Time Situations
Dec. 4, 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT
Presenter: Heather Barnfield, Korn/Ferry Leadership and Talent Consulting
One of the key derailment points for high-performing talent is the transition to a new and challenging role. These days, employees are taking on bigger jobs at earlier points in their career, meaning that the ambiguity and risks associated with role transitions are more significant than ever. Employees need, and in many cases expect, guidance and support from HR to navigate these critical career milestones. In this webcast, Heather Barnfield of Korn/Ferry Leadership and Talent Consulting reviews the skills required to determine success when people first move into a management role as well as the challenges newly appointed executives face and the areas of focus that will help them succeed.
Register for this program

Upgrading Onboarding
Dec. 13, 3 p.m. ET / 12 noon PT
Presenters: Scott Mondore and Shane Douthitt, Strategic Management Decisions
Ping Identity
Onboarding programs are often overlooked as valuable tools to drive productivity and engagement among new employees. As your company and its priorities evolve, so too must the elements of your onboarding plan. And, as many companies gear up for new hiring in the coming year, now is a good time to take a look at your approach to onboarding. In this program, Scott Mondore and Shane Douthitt will examine current practices in onboarding and innovations companies have adopted in recent years. A key focus of the program will be how analytics can be used to measure the impact your onboarding practices are having. At the conclusion of the webcast, the program sponsor, Ping Identity, will offer information on how a single sign-on process can help new employees manage the array of passwords needed to access essential cloud computing resources.
Register for this webcast

Presenteeism: How Much Does It Cost Your Organization?
Now available
Presenter: Michael Klachefsky, The Standard
Employers and their benefits broker/consultant advisors are focused on controlling the costs of providing health insurance to their employees. Whether or not your organization continues to offer health insurance, one thing is certain: Your organization will be impacted by the cost of poor employee health through health-related lost productivity. This phenomenon has two components: absenteeism (when employees spend time away from work) and presenteeism (when employees show up for work with medical or mental conditions that reduce their productivity). Your organization may be taking actions to control the impact of absenteeism, but what are you doing about presenteeism? Join Michael Klachefsky, national practice leader, Workplace Possibilities, for The Standard, to learn how presenteeism is measured, how much it costs employers and what you can do to reduce those costs.
View this webcast

HR’s Role in Workplace Ethics and Compliance
Now available
Presenters: Brad Siciliano, Littler Mendelson; and Reid Bowman, NAVEX Global
The penalties for ethical and legal lapses in the workplace are significant, including multimillion-dollar assessments and jail time for corporate violators. Recent court cases, governmental agency guidelines and sweeping new statutes only continue to raise the bar for what is expected of companies in terms of establishing and maintaining an effective compliance program. In this program, attorneys Brad Siciliano and Reid Bowman will outline the legal and practical drivers underpinning organizations’ compliance efforts, the core elements of an effective compliance program, and the critical role HR plays in an organization’s compliance efforts and culture.
View this webcast

Recognition Programs Target Engagement
Organizations with established employee recognition programs seek to improve employee engagement and morale, a new SHRM survey finds. The majority of employers contended that they are achieving that goal.
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More SHRM Surveys

Employee Engagement
A new report by the SHRM Foundation examines how employer practices — such as job and task design, recruitment, selection, training, compensation, performance management, and career development — can strongly influence employees’ level of engagement and commitment. Done right, these HR practices can positively affect engagement — generating real value for the business.
Read this report
SHRM Foundation home page

Comment on New Workforce Planning Standard
The second public comment period for the new human resources draft standard on workforce planning has been extended through Dec. 17. The new draft standard is designed by a taskforce of HR professionals and other experts and is intended to provide recommendations for guidelines around process, data, metrics and governance for organizations that wish to develop or implement capabilities for projecting future hiring needs. Individuals and organizations are invited to view the proposed Workforce Planning draft standard and submit comments.
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2600 Phrases for Setting Effective Performance Goals
As a manager, you aren’t truly successful unless your employees are as well. Helping them establish compelling, actionable performance goals is the first and most important step, and 2600 Phrases for Setting Effective Performance Goals is there to lend a hand. Just in time for annual performance reviews and goal setting, this quick-reference guide provides readers with ready-to-use performance goals organized by the characteristics and core competencies used most often in the appraisal process. From attendance and attitude to teamwork and time management, managers will find the language they need to inspire exceptional results. The book also includes wording tailored to many of the most common positions in sales and marketing, accounting and finance, HR, IT, legal, manufacturing, operations, and more.
More about this book
Also available:
2600 Phrases for Effective Performance
SHRMStore home page


EEOC Forces Employers to Strike a Delicate Balance
If ever there was a time for employers to review their hiring and retention practices, it’s now. Employers are walking a virtual tightrope in their efforts to avoid employee-related litigation from both the government and the private sector.
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Hurricane Sandy Forces Companies to Reconsider Telework
Some companies discovered that having telework policies and technology in place allowed employees to continue to do business during the storm.
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Workplace Flexibility resource page

Podcast, Webcast Provide Analysis
Two SHRM multimedia programs offer analysis on the 2012 election results, sequestration, and their impact on HR and employers. To listen to the free podcast, visit or search for “SHRM elections” on iTunes. The webcast, originally broadcast earlier this month, is available for viewing on-demand at

More New Jobs Added Each Week
On average, HR Jobs offers more than 600 active job postings at any time in executive HR, compensation, staffing, benefits, training and more. HR Jobs attracts top employers that post jobs for every level of HR. Plus, job seekers can publish their resumes to the searchable resume database.
HR Jobs home page

SHRM 2012 Strategy Conference: Now Available on Demand
With Conference On Demand, enjoy 24/7 online access to sessions from the Strategy Conference plus bonus sessions from SHRM’s 2012 Annual Conference. Earn up to 20 business management and strategy recertification credits at your convenience.
Learn more

Attend Fall Seminars at SHRM Headquarters
There’s still time to take advantage of some of our educational seminars held in our SHRM Headquarters. Boost your employee-management skills with our Essentials of HR Management seminar or prepare for the 2012 winter certification exam with our PHR/SPHR Certification Preparation seminar. Space is limited; sign up today for one of these exceptional programs.
Learn more

SHRM 2013 Talent Management Conference & Exposition
Transform Your Perspectives on the Future of Talent Management
April 15-17, 2013 – Las Vegas

SHRM’s 2013 Talent Management Conference is a fantastic opportunity for you to network with fellow talent management professionals in an atmosphere that is engaging, relaxing, and designed to facilitate sharing and collaboration. Last year’s conference sold out early. Register online now.
Register now

Show You Have What It Takes
The 2013 spring exam application for SHRM’s Assurance of Learning Assessment is now open. Differentiate yourself in the HR job marketplace by taking the exam. After passing the assessment, you are awarded a Certificate of Learning, which informs hiring managers of your competence to enter the HR field.
Register now

EEOC on Domestic Violence Victims
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued a fact sheet discussing how Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act may apply in employment situations involving applicants and employees who experience domestic or dating violence, sexual assault or stalking. According to the EEOC, these laws do protect such victims from discriminatory employer practices. To receive resources on this topic, visit SHRM’s
Express Request service and select EEOC ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS under Employee Relations.

State Minimum Wages To Rise
On Jan. 1, the state minimum wage will rise in 10 states. We provide links to the official announcements, articles and, where possible, the new mandatory posters. To receive resources on this topic, visit SHRM’s
Express Request service and select STATE MINIMUM WAGES TO RISE under Compensation.

Workplace Thanksgiving an ‘Incredible Tool’
Showing gratitude toward employees can go a long way in inspiring loyalty, productivity and retention, according to some who think thankfulness should extend beyond the fourth Thursday in November.
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