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September 29, 2010

But the Patient Prefers a White Aide?

Filed under: General HR Buzz — Tags: 1:47 pm

Certain patients in a nursing home indicated that they preferred white aides only.  In such circumstances is it OK for the employer to honor those requests and implement such a policy?

No, said the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chaney v. Plainfield. Such customer preferences are no defense to racial discrimination claims, even if they arise in the healthcare environment.

While the law does allow sex discrimination in certain limited situations, such as when gender is a bona fide occupational qualification, no such exception exists for race.  The court also found that allowing such racial preference   “poisoned the work environment” and created “fodder” for co-workers’ racially charged remarks.  As a consequence the court determined a hostile work environment had been created.


September 28, 2010

HRN Product News: Incentease Update Goes Live

Filed under: HRN News — Tags: , , , 8:23 am

HRN Management Group continually strives to improve and enhance our premier HR employee performance and compensation administration solutions to best serve our clients needs. To that end, on September 26th, 2010  HRN released an impressive collection of Incentease product update/enhancements. It is through direct interaction and feedback from our clients that many of these enhancements became part of Incentease for all current and future clients to utilize.

All clients have been sent a detailed list of all the enhancements and new features that include improved navigation, additional incentive plan options, enhanced reporting capabilities and refined administration controls.

Because Incentease is an online application centrally hosted by HRN, these new features and improvements are currently available for immediate use. There is nothing that Incentease clients need to do, such as downloading, installation or system configuration to begin utilizing these new features.

HRN is offering one hour of free online user training to all Incentease clients to cover the new/enhanced features and functions included in this update. Please call 1-800-897-3308 or email to schedule.

For those interested in learning more about Incentease to enhance their overall compensation program with a performance-based variable pay component, go to, call 1-800- 897-3308, or email HRN at Free, no obligation online Incentease demonstration webinars are scheduled every month.


September 27, 2010

Which Occupations Have the Highest Concentration of Women?

Filed under: General HR Buzz — Tags: 1:42 pm

A lot has changed for women in the workplace.  But apparently some things remain the same.  The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has released a list of the top 20 leading occupations of women which probably looks a lot like it did years ago.  The jobs and percent occupied by women are:

  • Secretaries/Admin Assistants (96.8%)
  • Childcare Workers (95%)
  • Accounting Clerks (92.3%)
  • Registered Nurses (92%)
  • Teacher Assistants (91.6%)
  • Receptionists (91.5%)
  • Maids (89.5%)
  • Nursing aides (88.5%)
  • Home Care Aids (85.2%)
  • Office Clerks (82%)
  • Elementary & Middle School Teachers (81.9%)
  • Cashiers (74.4%)
  • Wait Staff/Servers (71.6%)
  • Office Supervisors (71.3%)
  • Customer Service Reps (67.9%)
  • Accountants (61.8%)
  • Retail Sales (51.9%)
  • Retail Supervisors (44.1%)
  • Cooks (41.5%)
  • Managers (34.1%)

Overall, women now comprise 47.4% of the workforce.


September 24, 2010

HR Fact Friday: 30 Percent of Managers Under More Stress

Filed under: Management Practices,Work/Life Balance — Tags: , , , 9:38 am

Thirty percent of managers say they are more stressed at work today than a year ago, according to a survey by OfficeTeam, a division of Robert Half International Inc. Only 11 percent said it was lower, and 59 percent said it was about the same.

The survey also found that 28 percent of respondents expect their anxiety levels to rise in the coming year. Sixty-four percent said it would be about the same.

“Professionals at all levels are working harder and assuming more responsibilities as a result of companies relying on leaner teams,” said OfficeTeam executive director Robert Hosking. “Managers, in particular, may be feeling the heat as they strive to keep employees motivated and productive with limited resources.”

The survey was based on telephone interviews with more than 1,000 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees.

Source: Staffing Industry Analysts


September 23, 2010

Product Update: Performance Pro upgrade nearing completion

Filed under: HRN News,Performance Pro6:00 am

The much anticipated Performance Pro upgrade is nearing completion and currently in Beta testing/use with several clients. What is being released as an upgrade is really an entirely new Performance Pro system! Performance Pro has been completely re-engineered from the ground up with a new interface, added features, customizable user home screen, additional content, and as they say . . . much much more (but in this case it is very true).

The projected release date is Q4 2010.

Every screen, function, and tool is being updated and improved while still holding true to Performance Pro’s core qualities as a cost-effective, user-friendly, customizable, and content rich solution. Combine the updated look, graphical reports, customizable dashboard, and other new features together with our long proven, time saving workflow, and vast HR content, and you truly have access to a best in class employee appraisal and development system.

Performance Pro Home Screen

New Performance Pro Home Screen, available soon with release of Performance Pro v.3.0 not only has a completely updated look and feel, but allows for calendar alerts, customizable content display, graphical reporting elements, and 'at a glance' upcoming or pending action dashboard.

Other notable new features that will be available in the new release are:

  • Shared Appraisals: assign 2 managers to evaluate one employee included as standard feature with Performance Pro
  • Tabbed navigation panes
  • Integrated goal library
  • Evaluate goal action steps
  • Link employee goals to organizational goals
  • Automated routing
  • Enhanced company setting options
  • Completely re-engineered and customizable multiple-appraiser feature (available for additional cost) allows up to 20 appraisers to evaluate specific and relevant attributes of single employee performance.

HRN is currently conducting a limited number of Performance Pro, pre-release demos. If you are interested in getting an advance look at Performance Pro v3.0 contact HRN at or by calling 800-940-7522.


September 22, 2010

Can You Guess the 10 Lowest Paying College Degrees?

Filed under: Salaries & Pay1:50 pm

Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it certainly can help make life easier. College graduates do average at least $20,000 more per year than non-grads and have lower unemployment rates.  But many college degrees don’t come with big salaries.  Hopefully, there are other rewards attached.

The 10 lowest starting salaries are:

  • Social Work ($33,400)
  • Elementary Education ($33,500)
  • Theology ($33,800)
  • Music ($34,000)
  • Spanish ($35,600)
  • Horticulture ($37,200)
  • Education ($36,200)
  • Hospitality ($37,000)
  • Fine Arts ($35,800)
  • Drama ($35,600)

September 17, 2010

HR Fact Friday: Workers Stay at Firms for Median 4.4. Years

Filed under: General HR Buzz12:02 pm

The median number of years that wage and salary workers had been with their current employers was 4.4 as of January, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported, September 14, 2010.

The employee tenure measure, which is released every two years, was last recorded at 4.1 years in 2008.

The increase reflects, in part, large job losses among less-senior workers in during the Great Recession, according to the bureau.

Workers in the manufacturing industry had the highest median tenure among major industries at 6.1 years. Workers in the leisure and hospitality industry had the lowest median tenure at 2.5 years.

Median tenure increased with age, according to the report. Workers aged 55 to 64 had a median tenure of 10 years while workers aged 25 to 34 had a median tenure of 3.1 years. 

Source: Staffing Industry Analysts


September 16, 2010

Presenting Salary Budget Recommendations

Filed under: Compensation,Salaries & Pay7:20 am

By Christine Goodman, CCP, SPHR
Director, Compensation Analysis, HRN Management Group
Published in September, 2010 HRN CompNews

In order to make a salary budget recommendation, one of the first considerations is to ensure the executive team knows and understand your organization’s compensation strategy.

The compensation strategy should align with the organization’s overall mission, business goals, and objectives. Today’s compensation packages encompass pay, benefits and work-life balance and the compensation strategy should be designed to implement and administer the compensation program to deliver these packages to your employees.

Your executive team’s support of the compensation strategy is important to proceed with the salary budget planning process. If you have a formal compensation strategy in place, you can determine the desired competitive position your organization wishes to adopt. Where no formal compensation strategy exists you have the opportunity to develop one and position yourselves in the coming years, to gain or regain your own market competitive position.



September 15, 2010

Trade Schools Get Failing Grade

Filed under: General HR Buzz5:55 pm

For-profit trade schools are popping up everywhere.  Recruiting ads are prominently displayed alongside your morning news on the internet, as well as on television, billboards and radio.  However, a recent government investigation questions whether these schools operate for the benefit of students or shareholders. 

Enrollment at for-profit schools – a category that includes most trade schools – has jumped dramatically during the recession, to nearly 1.8 million students from about 365,000 “in the last several years,” according to the Government Accountability Office.

Based on a recent study, the default rate at for-profit schools is the highest, compared to other types of schools.  It climbed to 11.6% in 2009, from 11% the year before, according to a study released Monday by the U.S. Department of Education.  The rate is higher than the 6% for public schools and the 4% rate for private institutions.

Additionally, the success rate of job placement at for-profit schools has become a controversial topic. The Government Accountability Office, which is the investigative arm of Congress, unveiled a report in August based on undercover tests of 15 for-profit colleges, including Kaplan College, Everest College and the University of Phoenix.

Read the full article here



September 13, 2010

Pharmaceutical Sales Reps: Nonexempt

Filed under: General HR Buzz1:50 pm

We’ve all seen them in doctors’ offices.  They wait around hoping to talk to physicians and provide drug samples to them.

Well, apparently a large number of them felt they were misclassified as exempt employees and sued.   In a recent 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals case,  In re Novartis Wage and Hour Litigation, thousands of Novartis sales representatives alleged that  they were improperly classified as exempt employees and so should be paid overtime.

Despite the fact that many of these drug reps are often well educated and very highly paid, the court found that they did not meet the tests for exempt status.  They didn’t qualify under the outside sales test because they did not actually “sell” drugs to anyone.  Rather they promote products and educate physicians about them.  They also failed to qualify under the administrative exemption because they did not exercise the required level of discretion and independent judgment.

What does this mean for you…other than to look at these drug reps differently the next time you visit your doctor?   It’s yet another reminder to review your exempt classifications.   It’s also a good lesson that just because an employee has a “professional position,” significant education or is well paid, s/he isn’t necessarily an exempt employee.   Be wary too, of “sales type” employees who work outside the office but don’t actually sell.


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