Calling all business owners in Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Tennessee:

New E-Verify laws will go into effect in the upcoming year, some in just 6 weeks on January 1, 2013.

  • Georgia: Companies employing more than 10 persons must register for E-Verify by July 1, 2012.
  • North Carolina: Companies employing more than 100 persons must be registered for and using the E-Verify system on January 1, 2013.
  • Pennsylvania: State contractors and sub-contractors must register for E-Verify beginning January 1, 2013 – but only if the project is greater than $25,000.
  • Tennessee: Companies employing more than 5 persons must register and begin using E-Verify by January 1st.

 

E-Verify is an internet-based system that compares information from Form I-9 to government records to confirm that a potential employee or current employee is authorized to work in the United States.

Form I-9 has always been mandatory, whereas E-Verify has traditionally been voluntary for most businesses. With recent I-9 law updates, businesses within the abovementioned 4 states will need to collect an employee’s Social Security number and E-Verify all candidates before employing.

As a reminder, with HR Shield, you get instant access to all the information, training, forms and expert advice you need to keep employees safe, stay compliant and protect your bottom line. We’ll help you identify exactly which regulations you need to satisfy and what you need to do to stay compliant across the board including:

  • Workers Comp
  • Discrimination
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Fair Labor Standards Act
    • I-9 compliance (and now E-Verify!)
    • Overtime Exemption (Job Classification)
    • Record Keeping Laws
  • Unemployment claims
  • Privacy
  • Family Medical Leave Act
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEO) Reporting

Sign up now online, call (877) 636-9525 or contact us for more information regarding hiring and E-Verify.

This week, we’re chatting with Professional Photographer Ryan Gautier of Tampa about the importance of having professional employee headshots. Whether you’re a small business of 5, or a large corporation, your individual representations can represent your overall company image – positively or negatively!

5 Reasons You and Your Employees Need Professional Headshots: 

1.  A Consistent and Professional Company Image – Your marketing demonstrates synergy across your brand, so why doesn’t your personnel? We love diversity, but unified, professional images of employees will positively boost your company’s overall image.

2.  Professionalism Demonstrated Outside of the Workplace – We can’t always control what decisions our employees make outside of the office, or what their social media posts may convey. But, what we can do is give them a professional image to be proud of. Boost your social media profile’s professionalism with great headshots for LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, Twitter and more.

3.  First Impressions – Are you a candidate looking for a job? A professional trying to land clients on LinkedIn? An accountant, lawyer or physician running an ad in the weekly newspaper? Whatever your recent need for a headshot is, know that your picture is often your only opportunity to make a first impression. How do you wish to be portrayed?

4.  More and More “Face Time” – More businesses are beginning to work remotely via phone and internet, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll lose “face time.”From Windows Messenger and SKYPE to Go-To Meeting Products and LinkedIn, more and more companies prefer to have their customer service teams’ smiles front and center for a more personal approach in connecting with clients or prospects – What type of image do you want your customers to see?

5.  Set the Bar – Are you going to be hiring personnel soon? Consistent company images “set the bar,” letting potential employees know that you mean business and operate in a professional setting.

For best practices, business resources, HR advice and more, tune back in to HR Shield’s blog each week. For more information on professional headshots, contact Professional Photographer Ryan Gautier by visiting www.ryangphoto.com.

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.

Happy Boss’s Day to all the bosses out there!

What is Boss’s Day?

The United States and Canada have been celebrating Boss’s day since it was first registered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 1958.  Originally, the date chosen was October 8th, but four years later it was changed to the 16th.

It wasn’t until 1979 when Hallmark started selling a Boss’s Day card that people started learning of this “holiday.” In 2007, Hallmark significantly increased the size of its Boss’s Day card line – which makes you wonder, are bosses becoming much more popular amongst their employees?

What Exactly Makes a “Good Boss?”  

HR Shield believes that all good bosses demonstrate the following 5 attributes:

  1. Confidence: But not too much of it, making others feel inept. In order to lead, a boss needs to appear confident as a person and in the leadership role.
  2. Trustworthiness:  A good boss needs to be trusted and be known to live their life (and job) with honestly and integrity.
  3. Passion: Employees respond more openly to a person of passion and dedication.
  4. Patience: Don’t ever underestimate the importance of patience! A good boss will take the time to explain a task and clarify all issues until processes are streamlined and bottlenecks are resolved.
  5. Fairness & Loyalty: Great bosses genuinely care about their employees and want to watch them grow. Bosses are fair in providing opportunity and loyal to their dedicated employees.

How Do You Celebrate?

Well, that’s simple. Thank your boss for being kind and fair throughout the year!

HR Shield is committed to positive working environments and best practices for employee management of all kinds.  Call and meet your HR Advisor at (877) 636-9525 to streamline your human resources administration or click here to learn more about HR scenarios that HR Shield can assist you with!

 

We live in a very digital world today; you no longer need to visit the Casino or host a Friday Night Poker match at your home to engage in gambling. While engaging in some online fun may seem harmless, the ease of gambling on the Internet has brought forth a challenging dilemma for HR professionals and employers.

Most companies state clearly in their policies that gambling is not permitted at the worksite, and up until the past few years or so, gambling remained a relatively private matter. Online access to gambling has enabled employees to gamble on the job… literally, if their employee handbook forbids it, they gamble their jobs, not just their money.

So, what do you do if you catch an employee gambling on the job? First off, the employer should always confirm that their practice of uncovering the employee’s gambling habits were compliant and not an invasion of privacy. If you were monitoring the employee’s computer use, does your existing policy state that work computers are employer property and therefore monitored? Did the employee receive a copy of your company’s policy when they were hired?

Before approaching the employee it is recommended that you consult with a licensed HR professional to ensure you have met all compliance standards.  You’ll likely need to issue and document a warning or violation to this employee, unless the situation is severe enough for employee termination.

Assuming the issue is to be handled with an employee warning or violation, your next concern is the employee as an individual. As an employer, you should ensure the well-being of all employees in order to continually support a healthy working environment. The person you have just issued a warning to may in fact have a gambling problem.

Companies need access to resources in order to issue effective responses to workplace problems, and HR Shield can help, from providing helpful resources to individuals with gambling addictions, to developing and enforcing clear company policies.

Gambling in the workplace negatively affects everyone. It results in productivity loss for both the employer and the employee and can cause disruptions in any major area of life: psychological, physical, social and vocational.

For additional resources, visit the National Council on Problem Gambling or Gamblers Anonymous.  To immediately speak with an HR Advisor, contact HR Shield at (877) 636-9525.