Archive for August, 2010

EEO-1 Reports Are Due September 30th

Friday, August 27th, 2010

For those employers required to complete an annual EEO-1 report the deadline is fast approaching and September 30th will be here before you know it. Any employer with 100 or more employees or those employers who are federal contractors or subcontractors must file the report. Gathering the required information can take some time if you are not using HR software with EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) reporting functionality, so don’t delay in getting started. 

 KPA offers a free recorded webinar ”Advanced EEO-1 and Affirmative Action Compliance at http://www.kpaonline.com/hr.html.  The webinar provides information on what data is necessary to file an EEO-1 report along with instruction on how to file online.  KPA clients using the HotlinkHR program can easily extract the required data and then go to the EEOC website to file their EEO-1 report online. 

Remember you may file the EEO-1 report online anytime between now and September 30th. If you are not able to file online you should contact the EEOC immediately to discuss other options.

Join the conversation: Have you used the EEOC website to file your report?

New DOT HazMat Rule Goes into Effect October 1

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

Rule Summary

Starting on October 1, 2010 the Department of Transportation will begin enforcing a revised Hazardous Materials transportation rule. This rule amends the Hazardous Materials Regulations to clarify requirements for using a third-party 24 hour emergency number. In order for the emergency response operator to be able to link the materials you are shipping to your MSDSs and other emergency response information, the DOT is requiring that identifying information for your facility is listed on the shipping papers.

What you need to do

For most facilities, compliance with the new rule will be fairly straight forward. KPA recommends you take both of the steps below to ensure your materials are easily identified in case of an accident. However, to be in compliance you should ensure at least one of the following is listed in close proximity to the 24 hour emergency number:

  1. Your facility name is clearly identified on the shipping papers.
  2. Your 24 hour emergency number provider account number is printed on the shipping papers.

For example, to ensure the highest level of compliance, if your facility name is not listed elsewhere, you should list the following in the description section of the shipping paper:

Your Facility Name, 24 hour number, Acct#

If you have additional questions on this regulatory change or DOT hazmat regulations in general, talk with your current DOT hazmat provider to understand the upcoming changes in regulation.

For additional information, here is an electronic version of the 2008 Emergency Response Guidebook.

By Peter Zaidel and Wendy Hudson

OSHA modifies citation from per incident to per affected employee

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

In the past, employers who failed to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and training to a group of employees would be given one violation for the entire group. Recently however, OSHA has modified its language in the PPE rule to indicate that it can issue these violations on a per-employee basis. For instance, if you have a hundred employees in a working area who are not provided PPE, you can receive a hundred citations – one for each unprotected employee in the area – rather than one single citation which used to be the case. Therefore, if you were once cited $1,000 for the incident, now that would escalate into a hefty penalty of $100,000 for each individual not covered.

This substantially increases these already-pricey fines. If you are caught without proper hazardous materials training or PPE, you will be cited for a small fortune. Additionally, you have a moral obligation to provide a safe working environment to your employees.

It’s a good idea to invest in your shop’s PPE expenses now than to be on the receiving end of this penalty. Be proactive and review your compliance with OSHA’s rules on PPE and hazmat training.

To read more about this rule, please visit OSHA’s website.

No more carrots or sticks- new ways to motivate employees

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Employee engagment and employee motivation are areas where HR can have real impact on the bottom line of a business.  However the traditional peformance motivators of money (the carrot) or termination (the stick) may not be effective at driving the behaviors that employers need from employees to thrive in the new economy according to the best selling author Dan Pink.

Instead Dan believes that “the  secret to high performance and satisfaction—at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world…the three elements of true motivation are—autonomy, mastery, and purpose“.  Dan offers a compelling case for a new way to motive in his book Drive: The Surprising Science of What  Motivates Us.  Dan provides 50 years of behavioral science to overturn the conventional wisdom about human motivation and offer a more effective path to high performance.   Even if you don’t have time to read the book take 20 minutes to see Dan present an overview of the new science of motivation at the TED:Ideas Worth Spreading website

Join the conversation: What is the best approach to motivation?

Imbibing Idiots and Job Interviews

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

 Most managers and HR professional think they are good at objective interviewing- when in fact they are influenced by all sorts of subconscious bias.  A recent study (with the wonderful title of “The Imbibing Idiot”) highlights this by reporting that applicants who order an alcoholic beverage when taken to dinner or lunch during the interviewing process are perceived as less intelligent- even by those interviewers who ordered an alcoholic beverage themselves.  The study authors, Scott Rick of the University of Michigan and Maurice E. Schweitzer of the University of Pennsylvania, also reported the job candidates fail to anticipate that ordering an alcoholic beverage will reduce their perceived intelligence. 

What can we learn from this as interviewers? Recognize that we all bring some degree of bias to an interview.  Use scorecards, assessment testing, and third party reviews to make the selection process as objective as possible.  As applicants and employees we should consider how we want to be perceived before we order that glass of wine- even if the interviewer or boss just ordered one for themselves. Don’t forget your social media sites- no pictures of alcoholic beverages allowed for general viewing.

Join the conversation:  Should you order an alcoholic beverage during interview? What if the interviewer is ordering one? Wouldn’t the Imbibing Idiots be a great name for a band?

Close & Personal Relationships At Work- Not A Good Idea

Friday, August 6th, 2010

Falling under the category of “what where they thinking” or perhaps “when in doubt don’t”  the Chairman and CEO Of HP resigned today after an investigation into  violations of  the company’s sexual harrassment policy.  The investigation found that while no harrassment had occurred, expense reports had been altered to cover up his “close and personal relationship” with a marketing consulting hired by his office.  Given that Mr. Hurd received nearly $100 million in total compensation over the past three years he certainly could have afforded to pay out of pocket the estimated $20,000 of ”altered expenses”.

Kudo on insisiting on ethical behavior and Mr. Hurd resignation go to the HP board- since Mr. Hurd is acknowledged as the architect of HP successful turn-around and by all accounts a good CEO, despite this recent lapse in judgement, it might have been easier to keep him on and sweep this under the rug.  It will be interesting to see how much of his contracted $12M severance payment he actually receives and will HP also insist on criminal charges.

A series of bad decisions around a personal relationship in the workplace has now lead to the resignation of a highly successful leader, a leadership vacuum at HP,  a decreased stock prices that impact any one who owns the stock, to say nothing of the embarrassment to his wife and family.

Now is the time to prepare, evaluate, update and implement your SPCC Plan

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

Compliance Tip of the Month

This year brings the hottest climate to the current state of environmental issues, and with the current focus of disasters such as the BP oil spill, enforcement is increasing and the consequences of non-compliance are expensive and potentially devastating.

The SPCC Rule essentially requires specific facilities to prepare, amend, certify, and implement an SPCC plan, thereby ensuring containment and countermeasures that will prevent oil discharges. Some elements of an SPCC plan include ensuring staff has undergone SPCC specific training, preparation of monthly self-inspection procedures and documentation, and a Five-year Plan review.

For more information, please see http://www.epa.gov/emergencies/content/spcc/index.htm