What are your biggest HR concerns for the coming year? See if they match up with this recent study.
The Employers Resource Association recently compiled its Top Ten list of key issues facing HR pros in 2011. The data was developed from calls to the ERA’s HR Hotline, which fields more than 8,000 queries a year.
Here’s the list of the most common questions received by the hotline:
1. Family and Medical Leave Act. Ah, this old favorite just won’t go away. Not surprisingly, HR people are still wrestling with who’s eligible, what qualifies as a serious health condition and how to control intermittent leave.
2. Policy enforcement. How to properly handle such issues as terminations, suspensions and progressive discipline is an ongoing challenge.
- what documentation is needed to fire someone
- how a recent workers’ compensation claim or FMLA request could affect the firing decision, and
- whether the terminated employee could have grounds to sue.
3. Employee performance. Problem areas include dealing with performance issues of employees in protected classes, and getting team productivity in line with overall organizational goals.
4. Fair Labor Standards Act. Concerns center on:
- correctly classifying employees as exempt or non-exempt
- calculating overtime for multiple rate
- how to pay travel time for hourly employees, and
- federal and state child labor rules.
5. I-9s. There’s a lot of confusion around I-9 documentation and procedural questions. Example: how to respond to a no-match letter from the SSA.
6. Lunch hour and breaks. Common questions heard on the ERA hotline: Is a lunch period required? What has to be paid versus non-paid time? Can an employee work through break and leave early?
7. Employee access to personnel files. Concerns center around whether employees have a right to see or copy their files, whether a company must comply with an employee attorney’s request for the file, and how laws differ from state to state.
8. Independent contractor versus employee. What constitutes a legal independent contractor status? Who makes the rules?
9. Employee privacy. Computer and Internet usage policies are a hot topic for HR pros. Other questions have focused on the use of surveillance cameras and whether employers can legally search employees, their workstations, belongings or cars.
10. Drug and alcohol issues. Under what conditions can employees be tested? If the employee tests positive, can we discharge? How can a drug test procedure be set-up, what should be in the policy?
Does the list above mirror your biggest concerns? Let us know in the Comments section below.