Important Topics HR Professionals Need To Be Familiar With

Tod Browndorf

Human Resources issues are constantly updated to adapt to the changing corporate culture. Human resources professionals should always be on the lookout for the latest information so that employee issues and concerns can be addressed fairly and accurately.

Many HR professionals need to spend countless hours attending seminars and familiarizing themselves with materials to stay informed. Here are some topics every HR professional needs to stay apprised of:

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The parts of this often confusing law HR pros need to be on top of concern who is covered; what is deemed a serious health condition, and how to control intermittent leave. Very often, employees will attempt to abuse these regulations by asking for paid time off that is not covered by FMLA.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Top concerns are correctly classifying a position as exempt, calculating overtime for multiple rates, pay transparency, what travel hours must be paid for an hourly employee, and what are federal and state child labor rules. Moreover, how much time can be ignored around clocking-in or clocking-out. Should time be rounded? You can find answers to all these questions by taking the FLSA training courses offered by Coggno.

Lunch Hour and Breaks

Questions often come up about giving breaks and how many employees are entitled to per day. Is a lunch period required? Should a lunch period be paid or unpaid time?  Can an employee work through breaks and leave early?

Employee Access To His Or Her Private Files

Does the law require an employee be allowed to see or copy his or her file? What are the pros & cons of allowing it versus not allowing it? What should be done when an attorney requests an employee’s file? What happens when a company employs people in several different states? Do the laws vary?

Independent Contractors vs. Employees

What’s the difference between an independent contractor and an employee? What are the differences between how employees and independent contractors get paid? What constitutes a legal independent contractor status? Do the rules vary?

Employee Privacy

Should we have the ability to read employees’ e-mails and monitor their Internet usage? Same goes for using surveillance cameras and other tactics that monitor activities. Where does the line get drawn?

Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Under what conditions can employees be tested? If the employee tests positive, should he or she be fired? How are drug-testing policies set up, and how can they be made fair to all employees, especially those who take medications to treat certain medical conditions? (What is pill-popper?)

Performance Management Strategies

Actions such as termination, suspension, and disciplinary actions can be quite difficult and nerve-wracking for HR professionals. Any questionable practices can be met with a lawsuit brought by an employee who feels he or she was wrongfully terminated, or disciplined in a way that violates laws and regulations.

Hiring Immigrants

Hiring undocumented immigrants has become one of the hottest of the hot-button political issues. Making sure someone is properly documented is crucial, but laws about documentation vary from state to state, making the practice very confusing.

Thankfully, many of these topics can easily be addressed with online training. Anyone needing to brush up on the latest HR topics can visit Coggno.com to find online training courses that will help make your job easier and less stressful.