Entries by Tracey Chantry

from Human Resources

QUESTION: As the holidays are approaching, we are looking for ideas for employee gifts. If we give gift cards or gift certificates, will they be taxable to the employee? What about hams and turkeys? ANSWER: Anything that equates to giving cash must be considered taxable income for the employee. This includes gift cards, gift certificates […]

HR’s Perspective on Social Media

Social Media Dos & Don’ts  Do have a policy. As with all policies, if you aren’t going to follow it, it’s better not to have one. However, most employees have come to expect social media guidelines from their employer. The following are a couple of tips if your company institutes a social media policy, which […]

Unpaid Intern or Paid Trainee?

Question: We are considering recruiting several college students for summer internships. Do we have to pay them? Answer: In some cases, individuals working for an employer in a training capacity do not qualify as “employees” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and therefore do not have to be paid. Their activities and work completed […]

Someone Smells Funky

How do you address offensive body odor in the workplace?  This can be a very delicate employee relations issue.  Such a problem cannot be ignored, whether it is something you notice, or if a colleague complains.  Yet, it is important to take a direct and sympathetic approach directly with the individual.  If it is left […]

Working Better Together

How many times have you worked with people who just don’t understand you, or you do not relate to them?  Isn’t it easier sometimes to work with people who are just like us?  Yet if we were all the same, that would not be best for our organizations (or even for us, if we are […]

Workplace Violence: What Steps Should You Take Now?

Due to recent events in the news you have probably found yourself asking what if violence entered your workplace? This can happen in a number of different ways – a disgruntled current employee, a potentially violent individual you recently terminated, an unhappy spouse, or someone who wasn’t even on your radar.  Under the OSHA General […]

Human Resources: Termination for Performance Issues

What steps should an employer take before terminating an employee for performance issues?  Ideally, termination of employment is never a surprise to an employee who has performance issues. Throughout employment, managers should have ongoing conversations with all employees about their performance, and employees need to be coached and counseled at the first signs of performance […]

HR Basics: Documentation Pitfalls

If HR and/or Managers are going to make a documenting error, it will fall into one of three categories. First, you will have little or no evidence to support the decision to discipline or terminate. You don’t have anything to back up why you’re doing what you’re doing. Second, your documentation is ambiguous or unclear […]