It may be time for an HR Audit! Has your organization ever conducted one?

A Human Resources Audit is the evaluation of all persons, systems, processes, practices and projects within your organization’s human resources department. A comprehensive audit performed by an HR professional will identify needs for improvement but most importantly will determine whether your organization is in compliance with the ever-changing rules and regulations of employment law.

Human Resources Audits should be performed by an unbiased individual outside of your organization in order to ensure the best review (and advice) possible. And, it’s important to conduct these audits routinely. Employment laws can affect any stage of the employment process and the only way to avoid costly fines and lawsuits is by constantly maintaining compliance.

There’s one more benefit of audits, for both you and your employees: they ensure you’re maintaining a happy and productive workforce. Because an HR Audit will review practices and employment-related programs within your organization, an audit will identify employee dissatisfaction or areas with a need for improvement. This reduces turnover and boosts the overall moral of the workplace.

Concerned about compliance or looking for some better practices to streamline your HR processes? HR Shield currently includes a FREE Compliance Survey & Employee Handbook with each new membership. And, you’ll get instant access to an extensive online library of forms, templates and training tools on everything from job interview tips to performance reviews and compliance.

Did we mention that each new client gets their very own HR Advisor as well? Each HR Shield Advisor has a minimum of ten years HR experience coupled with extensive business expertise in companies of all shapes and sizes.

Contact HR Shield today for more information, or sign up now by clicking here!

Are you trying to establish a smoke-free workplace, but worried about violating employee rights and employment laws?

Here’s what you need to know:

Some states and local governments have already established smoke-free workplaces within the public and private sectors. If your worksite is within one of these regulated areas, policy enforcement within the workplace should be relatively simple. You’ll have the law to support you and base your company’s policy off of; just check with your local commissioner or government website for details. For example, here is Massachusetts’ state law which enforces smoke-free working environments: Massachusetts Smoke-Free Workplace Law.

As a reminder, be sure to read through any and all details such as exemptions within the law, if there are any.  Within your company’s workplace policy, you are going to want to refer clients to the actual law for more details, and make employees aware of the penalties if they are found in violation of it.

Now, if your local government or state does not have a smoke-free workplace law in place, but you want to establish a policy for your working environment, you can do so. You have the right as an employer to regulate smoking, but you must have a very clear and precise policy that covers all angles, so that employees violating this policy can be appropriately addressed without you, the employer, accidentally violating an employment law.

An example of covering all angles: What defines “the workplace?” Is it your actual workplace? Or do you also want to prevent employees from smoking in their cars during breaks? A policy may need to define workplace as “company property” including the parking lot, sidewalks and more.

HR Shield assists employers in establishing policies of all kinds. From smoke-free and drug-free workplaces to policies surrounding workplace behavior, dress codes and even vacation accrual, your HR Shield advisor will ensure your policy covers every possible angle, and does not violate any employment laws.  Additionally, HR Shield assists employers when a policy has been violated, by providing best practices and support for employee misconduct and conflict resolution.

Call to meet your HR Advisor today at (877) 636-9525, or contact us for more information.

In most working environments, there are no hand-written rules surrounding proper email etiquette. Many of us know to avoid the obvious: politically incorrect cartoons, offensive video content, unforgiving language and other questionable materials.

But, it’s often the lapses in communication that result in conflict. For example, by simply pressing “forward” without an explanation or introduction, you leave the message’s meaning up to the recipient’s interpretation. You could quickly offend your recipient and create an unnecessary misunderstanding.

Think about this: While you may think that simply forwarding an article or e-newsletter is a great way to share useful content, if the title of that email is “Ways to Improve Your Attitude,” or “Ways to Stop Wasting Time,” the recipient may immediately see this as a personal attack.

The following 10 guidelines are offered by HR Shield. We encourage you to share them with your office!

  1. Don’t Be Lazy: Clicking “Forward” with no explanation as we mentioned above, can create a great misunderstanding. If you are a manager passing along a task, you may come across as impersonal or rude. If you are forwarding an article, the recipient may think that article is intended for them personally. Long story short, if you’re sending something, provide the reason you are sending it.
  2. Use Spellcheck: There’s nothing worse than tarnishing a powerful message or important email with numerous spelling errors. It reflects poorly upon you, and your business. A quick click to confirm all of your spelling is correct will save you the embarrassment.
  3. Control Your Urge to “Reply All:” “Reply All” is a bad habit to get into. Ask yourself: “Is this message relevant to every single recipient?” If no, don’t waste the time of others.
  4. Confirm Receipt: Did you receive an email this morning that you won’t be able to address until tomorrow? Confirm receipt. Let the sender know that their email is going to be addressed, and did not get intentionally ignored or land itself in the spam filter.
  5. One Subject per Email: Do you have a lot of projects circulating around the office? One subject per email will help keep you and fellow employees organized. It will also make emails and resources surrounding a project easier to find when you are searching for it within your inbox.
  6. Huge Attachment? STOP: Wait a minute, how big is that attachment? There is nothing worse than having your email backed up for a significant amount of time while it’s struggling to download something. If you have a large attachment, resort to other ways of sending it, or at the very least check with your recipient to see if it is okay to send.
  7. Use Caps Sparingly: CAPS= SHOUTING. If something is important, it may be best to bold or italicize it. If it’s very important and the point you are making needs to be stressed, go ahead and use the caps. But use them sparingly!
  8. End Emails With Positive Salutations: The subject of your email may not always be positive, in fact you may be delivering bad news. But, never fail to let people know they are in fact appreciated. Sign off with “Thank you,” “Regards,” “Much appreciated,” or other nice sayings.
  9. Contribute Something: Answering an email with “you too” or “thank you” may seem polite but it adds little to the conversation. Avoid clogging up people’s inboxes with one or two word emails. Support your message with added detail or refrain from sending.
  10. Think Twice: Reread all emails before sending. If the message is not clear, or is left up to too much interpretation, do not send it. Think of a way to reword the message before creating an avoidable miscommunication.

HR Shield is committed to helping improve office atmospheres everywhere.  From HR best practices and basic office protocol to benefits and taxes, we’re here to help. Need more support than our weekly blog? Count on HR Shield for all the human resource support you need—when you need it. Call today to learn about the HR Shield membership options at (877) 636-9525 or contact us for more information.

Could your business survive a financial crisis as big as some of these listed below? A prominent law firm here in Tampa, Morgan & Morgan, shares these scary statistics:

  • $100,000 wage & hour settlement on behalf of pizza delivery drivers not properly paid for all hours worked.
  • $142,500 employee misclassification settlement for 19 construction superintendents who were classified as exempt from overtime.
  • $189,000 illegal tip pool settlement on behalf of waitresses who were forced to participate in an illegal tip pool with non-tipped employees (i.e. kitchen staff, managers, cashiers, etc.)
  • $275,000 unpaid commissions settlement for a real estate broker, who was fired immediately prior to the opening of a condominium project for which he had sold many of the units.

Wage and hour lawsuits can cripple an organization; and your company can fall victim because of something as simple as accidentally misclassifying an employee. But there is good news; these crises are within your control. Why not PREVENT them?

Is your company currently in compliance with all federal and state employment laws? Are you in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act? HR Shield makes it our business to stay up-to-date on changing regulations. While it’s not a ‘Get Out of Jail Free Card,’ it’s the fastest, surest way to avoid getting zapped with unexpected lawsuits or penalties.

Get all the HR compliance services you need including unemployment compensation, workers comp claims and office training. Sign up now online, call (877) 636-9525 or contact us for more information




It’s no secret that veterans transitioning out of the military face challenges when it comes to finding employment. As HR professionals, we recognize that it is sometimes difficult to remember all of the important steps to take when recruiting, especially recruiting a veteran.

HR Shield has provided the following list of best practices to help business owners and HR professionals better recruit and hire our heroes.  Feel free to use this as a checklist for your next recruitment and hire!

  1. Job Descriptions: When posting your job, make sure the description is specific and clearly outlines the desired skills and experience. If the job is relevant to someone with military experience, make sure to include that information upfront; this will help veterans more easily find your post. The US Chamber of Commerce also has a website for recruiting veteran candidates – make sure to post available jobs on their site as well!
  2. Have Some Military Background: You don’t have to be a veteran yourself to understand basic military culture. A basic knowledge of the values, structure, policies, challenges, and accomplishments will help establish a stronger relationship with the candidate.  They’ve taken the time to learn about your business and culture; take the time to learn about theirs.
  3. Address Benefits: The military has an extremely easy health care system (in terms of obtaining care). If a military member is sick, injured, or in need of an appointment, they schedule the appointment and go. They may not understand terms like deductibles, co-payments and benefit years. Take your time to review the company’s benefits and answer any questions the candidate may have.  Many veterans will have continued coverage provided through the Military’s primary carrier, TriCare.  Be prepared to discuss how your company’s policies can work in conjunction with current coverage to enhance the overall benefit offering.
  4. Explain Your Structure: Explaining your organization’s structure is often important to a Veteran. Veterans are adept to operating within a chain of command, and delegating responsibilities. Let the candidate know who they will be working for, who will guide them, what their responsibilities are, who they report to, and what an “average” day’s schedule looks like.
  5. Hire for the Right Reason: Many employers are aware that hiring veterans comes with a tax break, but do not hire for that reason. Hire the candidate that is best suited for the job. This will help both the employee and employer grow and succeed.

For more information, questions, or concerns, feel free to contact one of our HR Consultants at HR Shield.