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February 28, 2011

More money in your pocket?

Yes, it may be true!  According to a survey by Towers Watson, a human resources consulting firm, merit-based pay increases are expected to average 3.0% this year, up from 2.7% in 2010.  Although this is below the average 3.5% increase before the recession, it is getting closer to where it was.   Automatic pay increases seem to be a thing of the past, with increased emphasis in performance-based pay plans by the 400 companies who participated in the survey.


HRN Performance Solutions Name Change

Filed under: HRN News10:20 am

Effective March 7, 2011 HRN Management Group will change its name to HRN Performance Solutions.

The new name, HRN Performance Solutions, preserves the strong heritage and market recognition of the HRN brand while conveying our long-term commitment to world class HR solutions and services that ultimately improve HR practitioner, employee, workforce and company bottom line performance.

Along with the name change the HRN logo has been redesigned to reflect the new company name. The timing of the name change coincides with much anticipated release of HRN’s newest version of Performance Pro – the company’s popular and effective online employee performance management solution.

The company name HRN Management Group has served us very well for over 21 years. During this time HRN has grown exponentially from a small HR consulting startup into a worldwide HR technology and consulting services company. HRN now has an operational footprint in six states and provides services to over 2000 clients covering all fifty states and seven countries.

While the logo and name have changed, rest assured that HRN remains as dedicated as ever to earning and maintaining the long-term trust and satisfaction of each and every client. Through product excellence, best-in-class customer support, and a passion for performance management, compensation administration and HR consulting services we will continue to evolve and improve to best serve the human resource development and administrative needs of our growing and successful clientele.


February 22, 2011

ICE Audit Notifications Going Out…

Filed under: Employment Law,General HR Buzz,Hiring & Jobs8:58 am

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is preparing to serve 1,000 I-9 audit notifications as the beginning of a new push to hold employers accountable for verification of workers’ authorization.   This year, ICE announced it has hired auditors dedicated to the I-9 audits, and word on the street is that they may be fining for seemingly more minor errors than in previous audits.  Additionally, ICE is issuing some hefty fines for failure to keep proper I-9 records and for using electronic I-9 systems that did not work as they should. If you obtain an outside audit, ICE has commented publicly that you may do much better in an audit as compared to companies who have only internal audits. 

So what can you do?  DHS just published a new version of its 69-page “Handbook for Employers” about how to complete Form I-9. You can find this booklet on-line in a downloadable format at


February 21, 2011

Clipping Your Toenails and Wearing Colored Underwear?

Filed under: General HR Buzz6:00 am

Banking giant UBS has had to backtrack on its recently released 44 page dress code policies for its Swiss employees.  The highly detailed dress and eating code had required employees to wear flesh colored underwear and avoid eating onions and garlic.  It instructed its female employees on how to apply makeup, and  what kind of perfume  and stocking to wear.    They were also told that “ you could extend the life of your knee socks and stockings by keeping your toenails trimmed and filed,”  Additionally, they should  “always have a spare pair: stockings can be provisionally repaired with transparent nail polish and a bit of luck.”  Men were instructed on knotting their ties, to get haircuts monthly and avoid untidy beards and earrings.

Further, “glasses should always be kept clean. On the one hand this gives you optimal vision, and on the other hand dirty glasses create an appearance of negligence.”   Employees should also wear wristwatches to convey “trustworthiness and a serious concern for punctuality.”   The code is being revised to provide only general guidelines.


February 17, 2011

Supervalu / Jewel-Osco to Pay $3.2 Million for Disability Bias

Filed under: ADA & Disability,Employment Law2:39 pm

There are some good lessons that have arisen out of the Equal Employment Opportunity’s settlement with supermarket giant Supervalu. According to the EEOC, Jewel-Osco had a policy and practice of terminating employees with disabilities at the end of medical leaves of absence rather than bringing them back to work with reasonable accommodations. Approximately 1,000 employees of the defendants’ Jewel-Osco stores in the greater Chicago area were allegedly terminated under this policy since 2003. This case is a great example of how critical it is for employers to consider and provide reasonable accommodations for employees returning to work after FMLA leave with medical restrictions, and to document that they have done so.

In addition to the monetary relief, Jewel-Osco was required to train its employees involved in making accommodation decisions on the requirements of the ADA and on the types of accommodations that are available to return their employees to the workplace.

The company must also hire consultants to review and recommend changes to its current job descriptions, ensure that the descriptions of the physical requirements of the job are accurate and provide recommendations on possible accommodations to common work restrictions in various positions in the stores. The organization will have to report regularly to the EEOC on its efforts to accommodate employees with disabilities who are attempting to return from medical leaves of absence. Furthermore, Jewel-Osco must revise its communications with employees to assure them that they need not be 100% healed in order to be considered for a return to work, and to inform them of some of the types of accommodations that may be available to them if they are considering returning to work with medical restrictions.

How are your policies and practices in this area?


February 15, 2011

Proposed Posting Regulation

Filed under: Unions/NLRB1:29 pm

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued proposed regulations requiring employers to post notices informing employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act, including the right to form and join labor unions, engage in concerted activities, and discuss the terms and conditions of employment.  It’s important to note that these proposed regulations apply to both union and non-union employers.   The proposed rule doesn’t apply to organizations that aren’t covered by the National Labor Relations Act such as the federal government, any wholly owned government corporation, any Federal Reserve Bank, any state or political subdivision, or employers covered by the Railway Labor Act.

The proposed notice can be found  as part of Appendix A  of the proposed rule at:    While this is still a “proposal,” given the composition of the NLRB most observers expect the final regulation and notice language to be very much like what is proposed.


February 2, 2011

Study Shows Different Perceptions Regarding Advancement Opportunities

Filed under: General HR Buzz2:52 pm

A study by Bain & Co. asked business people, at large organizations, who had better advancement opportunities, men or women?  As you might guess, male and female responses differed significantly.  Regarding lower level professional positions the perceptions of males and females were quite similar, with 90% of men and 85% of women indicating that both genders have an equal opportunity at a job.  The differences begin to show up regarding middle management jobs where 81% of men said both genders have an equal chance but only 52% of women believed that to be the case.  Further, 66% of men indicated that executive promotion opportunities were equal, but only 31% of women held the same position.  The facts indicate that both sexes may be optimistic as women hold only 3% of CEO positions and just 13% of executive positions in the Fortune 500.