New Rules for HR Certifications

If you have a PHR, SPHR or similar designation through HRCI, then you know what it's like having to stay on top of your continuing education credits so that you can renew every three years. But if you're like me, remembering a deadling three years from now is a recipe for disaster. So "Happy Birthday!", HRCI is changing the renewal of your certification to coincide with your birth month. That means, you just need to remember to have your credits in order every three birthdays. This change will occur next year in February, so make sure you read up on the specifics in this letter from HRCI.

Affordable HR Help

Great news for business owners who need help, but don't have the budget for a comprehensive HR solution yet! CPEhr, a leading California human resources firm and PEO, has unveiled it's $99 one-on-one phone support to help businesses get the answers they need without breaking the bank. All you do is click the "Get HR Help" button, pay the $99 fee and an HR specialist will call you that day. By comparison, even the least expensive Cal Chamber (HR California) option is $450/year and doesn't include any phone support.

The drawback to this is that you only get help with one issue, like determining whether a person should be exempt or non-exempt, an employee or 1099 contractor, etc. If you need things like handbooks, written policies and the like, you would need a more complete solution in place. In that case, the Cal Chamber mid-level option at $600/year might be best from a budget standpoint. That will get you access to templates and their help line. Of course, it's still a limited platform because the templates are really just a starting point, so you will have some work to do in order to build them up into final versions.

Here are the links to both and if you need help deciding or want to hear more about your options, just shoot me an email and I'll be happy to help!

CPEhr HR Help

HR California

Facing Rejection With Class

Given the exceedingly tough job market over the past few years, I thought it would be helpful to give a few tips to job seekers on how to handle being turned down for a job. As a matter of law, an employer does not have to contact a rejected candidate to inform them that they were not selected. If you haven't heard back after following up with the prospective employer or recruiter, they have probably elected to move in another direction. However, losing out on a job could be turned into a future opportunity.

* Remember that recruiters or staffing agencies work with multiple accounts and may have other openings that would fit you better than the one you didn't get, so keeping good relations with them is imperative.

If you do happen to receive a call about the bad news, here are a few things that you might try to set up a future opportunity:

1. Always let them know that you appreciate their time and consideration, especially in that they've performed the courtesy of contacting you to tell you that you weren't selected.
2. Ask for feedback! Let them know you are always looking to improve yourself and their input can help you be a better candidate in the future.
3. Express a desire to keep in touch regarding future opportunities. Adding them to your LinkedIn network might be a good idea.

Vendor Discrimination?

I recently had an opportunity to work on a case where a company received a letter from an independent contractor that had been bidding to provide its services who claimed to have been discriminated against because he was not selected in the end. The employer was naturally concerned about the exposure to liability and sought assistance in replying to the allegations. As a rule of thumb, employment law only governs conduct between employers and employees. In this case, a vendor of services or independent contractor is, by nature, not an employee and is not covered by Title VII. However, this doesn't mean that you are immune from liability from every independent contractor on your roster. If you recall in my article about the misclassification of 1099 workers, the determination of who is and is not an employee will be based on their actual job duties with a company. Not only is it always important to carefully review the circumstances surrounding each allegation of labor law violation, but to proactively review the classification of your employees and independent contractors to make sure they are appropriate so there aren't any surprises if you should ever find yourself the recipient of a similar letter.