Office Management & HR

Learn more about the resources available for Office & HR.

  • Identifying and Preventing Harassment in Your Workplace

    The workplace is no place for harassment of any kind. It's critical to establish proper policies to identify and prevent harassment.

  • Workplace Rules For Business Owners & Employees

    Rules for workers may be legally required, but various optional workplace rules should be considered as well. Carefully selected workplace rules can protect your business from legal claims and help you maintain an orderly, positive work environment.

  • Controlling Excessive Employee Absenteeism

    Absenteeism can be a costly problem for any business, but the impact on small businesses can be especially severe. Employers can control excessive absenteeism by creating an atmosphere where good attendance is valued. A formal attendance policy can help ensure that attendance problems are dealt with fairly.

  • Implementing Workplace Policies for Drug and Alcohol Issues

    Dealing with drugs and alcohol in the workplace can be especially sensitive, but problems in this area can have a negative impact on a business in several areas and shouldn't be ignored. Different substance abuse strategies are available for employers to implement and sometimes required by law, including a written policy, employee assistance programs and under certain conditions, drug testing. Federal contractors may be required to comply with the Drug Free Workplace Act.

  • Alternate Benefit Payees and Recipients--Complying With QDROs and QMCSOs

    Employees divorcing may result in an employer having the legal responsibility of providing benefits to alternate payees (such as ex-spouses) or recipients (such as minor children). Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs) and Qualified Medical Child Support Orders (QMCSOs) are court orders that impose this responsibility on employers.

  • ERISA Requirements for Employee Benefit Plan Administration

    The federal law ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) imposes administrative obligations on employers with employee benefit plans.

  • Should You Outsource Your Employee Benefits Administration?

    Administering employee benefits can be quite complex. Understanding the considerations involved in the process will assist you in deciding whether you should handle your benefits administration on your own or outsource all or part of it.

  • Administering Your Employee Retirement Plan Benefits

    If you offer a retirement plan as an employee benefit you'll be dealing with some complicated administrative issues. Even if you decide to outsource your administrative duties, you'll still need knowledge regarding plan issues such as reporting, recordkeeping and disclosure to be certain your administrative responsibilities are being met.

  • Target Benefit Retirement Plans Offer Employers Unique Options

    Target benefit retirement plans are a hybrid-type of plan that have both defined benefit plan and defined contribution plan characteristics.

  • Offering Life Insurance as an Employee Benefit

    Employers may choose to offer life insurance benefits to their employees. If this optional benefit is one you are thinking of offering, you will have to determine who should be covered, what type of life insurance benefits to offer and how much life insurance is optimal and affordable.

  • Optional and Required Disability Benefits for Your Employees

    Disability benefits are employee benefits that guarantee income if an employee cannot work due to illness or an accident. Disability benefits can be optional or mandated by law.

  • Making Deductions From Employees' Pay

    There are three basic categories of deductions employers make from pay: legally required deductions, deductions for the employer's convenience and deductions for the employee's benefit.

  • Case Study: How to Calculate an Employee's Regular Hourly Pay Rate

    A case study of how to calculate an hourly regular rate for a salaried nonexempt employee to pay overtime accurately under federal wage and hour law.

  • Calculating Employees' Regular Pay Rates

    To properly pay your employees, you must determine their hourly regular rate. An employee's regular rate of pay is basically straight-time earnings converted to an hourly figure. Calculating the rate can be quite complex if an employee is not paid on an hourly basis for a 40-hour workweek. You'll want to make sure your calculations are accurate so that you're in compliance with minimum wage and overtime laws.

  • Wage and Hour Law Posting Requirements

    Federal and state wage and hour laws may require you to display posters in your workplace describing minimum wage and overtime pay requirements.

  • Complying With Gender-Based Equal Pay Laws

    Federal law prohibits covered employers from basing pay differences solely on gender.

  • Complying With Wage and Hour Law: The Fair Labor Standards Act

    Determining whether you and/or your employees are subject to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act is the first step in determining what laws you are required to comply with when paying your employees.

  • Considerations When Giving Employees Raises

    Employers should review employee compensation on a regular basis and determine whether employee pay raises are warranted. Whether raises are the same across the board, performance-based or calculated using another method, a competitive compensation package is necessary to retain and attract the best employees.

  • Negotiating a New Hire's Salary

    If your prospective new employee wants more money than you're offering, you may want to consider whether he or she is worth it, and negotiate by making a counteroffer.

  • How to Determine How Much to Pay Your Employees

    Complying with wage and hour law and doing payroll are vital components of the process of paying your employees. First, however, you must decide what amount to pay them. What other employers in comparable businesses are paying is a good way to determine what an employee's salary or salary range should be.

  • Review the Strengths and Weaknesses of Your Hiring Process

    Employers should review their hiring strategy to see what worked and where there's room for improvement. Reviewing the hiring process should also include a review of the legality of the methods used to select employees.

  • Orienting New Employees

    After you've made a hire, you'll want to introduce your new employee to your company through the orientation process. The orientation process can be split up into tasks for before the employee starts, the employee's first day and the employee's first week.

  • Making a Job Offer: Information to Include

    After you've interviewed your employee candidates and checked their backgrounds, you are ready to make a job offer. Certain information should be included in the offer, and statements that imply an employee contract should be avoided unless that is your intention.

  • How and Why to Check Job Applicants' Employment References

    Information from a job applicant's references can be extremely valuable. References from former employers are likely to be more valuable than personal references and can help avoid negligent hiring claims. Educational references should also be verified where necessary. Calling or writing are the two basic methods of checking references and the process should be documented.

  • The Importance of Background Checks for Prospective Hires

    Background checks should be a part of just about every employer's recruiting and hiring process. The checks can range from consulting with references to checking criminal records. If your employees have contact with the public or financial transactions, you should be particularly thorough about your background checks to avoid negligent hiring claims.

  • Should You Test Your Job Applicants?

    Giving job applicants tests can be a valuable part of deciding who to hire. You should use these tests prudently, to find out what you really need to know and administer them fairly. Also, many tests are governed by laws that pertain to when in the recruiting and hiring process they may be given or if they can be given at all. Conversely, depending on the job, some tests may be legally required.

  • Using Job Applications in the Hiring Process

    A popular and efficient method to collect information about applicants for employment positions is to use job applications. You can use a standard form or customize one, but you must be sure that the information you request (or the way you request it) doesn't violate anti-discrimination laws.

  • Preparing to Screen Job Applicants

    When you are trying to fill a position, you're likely to have several applicants for that position. Your next step will be to screen your job applicants which means that you should first determine who is an applicant and then acknowledge those applicants. You will have to determine by what means you're going to obtain the information you need from your applicants to fill your open position with the best candidate for the job.

  • Preparations to Make to Effectively Interview Job Applicants

    Interviewing job applicants is a critical part of the employee selection process. Planning for the interview requires choosing a location and an interview format. The next step is then understanding how to conduct the interview to obtain and relay information.

  • The Dos and Don'ts of Conducting a Job Interview

    When you are conducting an interview, keep in mind your role as the interviewer includes both conveying and obtaining information. Part of this process is knowing what interview questions to ask and perhaps even more importantly, the questions you shouldn't ask in an interview.

  • When to Check Job Applicants' Driving Records

    You should obtain the driving record information for any prospective employee if driving is part of the job description.

  • Evaluating Your Employment Recruitment Methods

    Taking stock of the recruiting choices you can use to fulfill your recruiting needs will help ensure that your choice is the right one for your business.

  • Outsourcing Employment Recruiting Activities

    Outsourcing your recruiting to employment agencies frees you from the often time-consuming process involved in finding the right employee. Your input and criteria is used by the recruiting firm to find suitable candidates for your consideration and final approval.

  • Personal Recruiting To Fill Job Positions

    For small businesses, personally recruiting prospective job candidates can be an especially appropriate method of filling hiring needs. Referrals from friends and business associates as well as recruiting at schools can be valuable sources of help.

  • Case Studies of Age Discrimination in Job Ads

    Case studies illustrating how job advertisements violate age discrimination laws can be helpful in avoiding legal liability when creating a job ad.

  • Writing an Effective Job Advertisement

    Writing a job advertisement requires you to include the information you need to get responses from qualified prospective workers. However, you must be very careful not to run afoul of the anti-discrimination laws by using prohibited language in your ads.

  • How Do You Publicize a Job Opening?

    There are various ways to let the world know that you're hiring, including advertising in newspapers and online, in trade journals and depending on your budget, on the radio or television.

  • Creating Effective Job Descriptions

    Job descriptions are an excellent tool in the hiring process for both you and your prospective employees. They can also provide proof as to the essential functions of a job for purposes of complying with federal employment laws.

  • Defining Job Qualifications When Hiring

    Experience, education, ability, and language fluency may be considerations when you are defining your job qualifications. Employers, particularly those who employ 15 or more, must be careful not to run afoul of federal or state anti-discrimination laws during this process.

  • Analyzing a Job's Requirements When Hiring

    A three-step process of doing a job analysis, determining job qualifications, and creating a job description can help you determine what you need from the people you hire. There are several components involved in the first step, which is performing a job analysis.

  • Hiring Independent Contractors For Your Work Force Needs

    Independent contractors are a popular choice for business owners to fill their work force needs. True independent contractors are not treated as employees, which essentially means that payroll taxes and certain state and federal employment laws do not apply to them. It's important, however, to ensure that a worker qualifies as an independent contractor because the repercussions for incorrectly classifying workers can be severe.

  • Using Leased Employees in Your Business

    Leasing workers from an agency may be the staffing solution that's the best fit for you and your business. A big benefit of leased employees is that the administrative work such as taking care of the payroll responsibilities and keeping records is handled by the employment agency.

  • Making the Decision to Hire: Balancing Financial Considerations and Business Needs

    Making the decision to hire workers for your business is a big step that involves determining whether it's cost-efficient to hire someone and then deciding what type of help you need. Hiring full-time or part-time employees, hiring your children, hiring temporary help or perhaps using leased employees or independent contractors in your business are among your options.

  • AIDS and Other Medical Safety Concerns in the Workplace

    Employers must protect the safety of all employees in their workplace. However, this responsibility must not violate the rights of employees with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) or certain other diseases. In your day-to-day dealing with employees, there won't be any need to treat an employee with AIDS differently from the way that you treat other employees. Nevertheless, you should anticipate and prepare for any situations where safety precautions may be necessary. Your AIDS related concerns may be more complicated if your business is in one of several specific industries. Some employers will find it beneficial to create a formal policy addressing AIDS in the workplace.

  • Workplace Safety Issues Arising From Office Automation

    The concept of an office as a workplace fraught with danger may seem odd. However, modern offices have specific safety issues that should be addressed, many of which are due to office automation. OSHA guidelines can help you institute safety measures to combat office automation hazards.

  • Employees' Rights Under OSHA

    Employees have the right to file complaints against employers with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as well as asserting other rights without fear of reprisal from employers. Employers are required to display posters that inform employees of their OSHA rights.

  • What You Need to Know About OSHA Workplace Inspections

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has the authority to inspect a workplace and issue citations and impose penalties for violations of government safety regulations. Certain facts are a defense to a citation and variances from a safety standard are available in limited circumstances.

  • OSHA Recordkeeping and Posting Requirements

    Employers are required to comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) accident, illness or injury reporting and posting requirements, unless they are specifically exempt.

  • Complying With OSHA's Hazardous Material Requirements

    If your business involves hazardous materials, to be in compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's workplace safety rules you must not only follow safety precautions, but also maintain records and communicate information to employees and community emergency organizations.

  • Understanding OSHA's General Duty Clause and Industry Standards

    The heart of Occupational Safety Health Act compliance is becoming aware of its published standards, which address specific hazards. There is also a general duty under OSHA to maintain a safe workplace, which covers situations for which there are no published standards.

  • Government Regulation of Safety In the Workplace

    Maintaining safe and healthy working conditions are required by government regulations and also make sense for business economic reasons.

  • What Employers Need to Know to Manage the Workplace

    Once you have workers and employees to consider, managing your workplace becomes much more complex. As an employer, you will need to familiarize yourself with topics as diverse as complying with wage and hour laws to raising employee morale.

  • Wage and Hour Posting Laws by State

    Federal law requires covered employers to comply with certain wage and hour posting rules. Individual states may have posting requirements that you must comply with as well.

  • Understanding the Theory of Respondeat Superior Liability

    employer-provided vehicles, respondeat superior, vehicle liabilities, employer liability, employee negligence, negligence, employer responsibility, vehicles and your business

  • Avoiding Defamation Claims

    employment reference defamation, defamatory reference letters

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