Thursday, March 17, 2011

What does St. Patrick have to do with human resources?

Legend tells us that in the 5th century, St. Patrick banished all snakes from Ireland. In honor of the day that celebrates Ireland’s patron saint, consider banishing the following metaphorical snakes from your HR practices:

  • Illegal questions on employment applications, such as age, medical conditions, or workers compensation histories.
  • Irregularities in pre-hiring procedures, such as unlawful background checks, medical inquiries, and medical exams.
  • Overly broad policies in employee handbooks, such as anti-union no-solicitation policies or policies that ban discussions of wages and other workplace terms and conditions.
  • FMLA policies that do not comply with the law’s recent regulatory changes.
  • Absent technology and social media policies.
  • Harassment training done less frequently than ever other year.
  • Misclassified employees (non-exempt as exempt, and employees as independent contractors).
  • Managers and supervisors that have not been trained in the handling, discipline, and documentation of problem employees?
  • Missing EEO, DOL, and other mandatory employment law postings.
  • Key employees that are not locked down with appropriate confidentiality, no-solicitation, and/or non-competition agreements.

While there may never have been snakes in Ireland, we at least know that they haven’t bothered anyone on the Emerald Isle since the time of St. Patrick. Do yourself a favor by ensuring that these employment law snakes do not bother your business again.