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How to prevent age discrimination from occurring in the workplace

How to prevent age discrimination from occurring in the workplace

By on Jul 26, 2017 in Blog, Compliance | 0 comments

Age discrimination is a real problem in the workplace, affecting more than half of the American workforce. To address this issue, The Equal Opportunity Commission [EEOC] enacted the Age Discrimination in Employment Act [ADEA]. The law prohibits discrimination in any aspect of employment, including, hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, training, benefits, and any other condition of employment. It also deems harassment of a person because of their age unlawful. In Part 1, we detailed a few examples of ageism so that you can recognize the bias…but how do you stop it from occurring in the first place? As with most problems, prevention is key. Here are a few steps you can take to help prevent ageism from happening in your office: Start with the hiring process. First make sure your application forms allow people to set unrestrained dates for their education and work experience. Another option is to disregard setting dates at all and allow a simple “yes” or “no” answer to questions about education and years of experience. Always remember to base hiring on merit, qualifications, and skills, not age. Offer continuous training and employee enrichment opportunities for all levels of employees. Regularly training your employees on anti-discrimination practices can only help avoid those problems. Giving all your employees the chance to enhance their knowledge or skills will make them better employees who feel valued at their job. Actively promote a work-life balance. Flexible work schedules or compensatory time benefits employees of all age groups, whether they are baby boomers, Gen Xers, or millennials. Encourage employees to socialize. Promoting positive employee relations through casual social activities, like luncheons, leads to a friendlier and more enjoyable work environment. Create a mentorship program. Ask more experience workers to mentor newer employees and share trade secrets and job-specific knowledge. This will also contribute to a cohesive, collaborative, and friendly work atmosphere. These are just a few suggestions for preventing age bias before it happens. However, you should still fully address age discrimination claims when they do arise. Also, make sure to display the “EEO is the Law” poster and include an anti-discrimination policy and investigation procedure in your employee handbook or manual. Do you have questions about compliance?  If you...

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Understanding age discrimination in the workplace

Understanding age discrimination in the workplace

By on Jul 24, 2017 in Blog, Compliance | 0 comments

Age discrimination can take many forms in the workplace. It is important to understand and recognize the various forms of discrimination because it is against the law. The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission’s Age Discrimination in Employment Act [ADEA] prohibits employers with 20 or more employees from treating people who are age 40 or older unfairly. However, in a study done by the AARP, approximately 64 percent of workers ages 45-74 say they have seen or experienced age bias in the workplace. This is particularly relevant since nearly 55 percent of today’s employed labor force is 40 or older. In other words, a majority of the workforce feels they have received unlawful treatment…so why does it persist? One of the reasons this discrimination continues to occur may be because employers fail to recognize the signs of ageism in their office. Here a few examples: One employee frequently makes remarks about another employee’s age. Although they may appear to be joking around or in good humor, the employee on the receiving end could still feel harassed. An employer or manager decides to only hire employees with less than 15 years of experience within the industry. This type of policy favors younger workers and excludes someone with more years of experience even though they may be equally qualified and skilled and fit the job description. A company reduces an employee’s benefits as they age despite the fact the expense of that benefit does not increase with age. This type of reduction targets a specific group of people. In this example, if the company needs to cut down on the cost of benefits, they should adjust their entire employee benefits program, not the benefit of a certain group. A business lays off a group of workers based on age or seniority without providing compensation or performance based evidence for dismissal. This type of move has an adverse effect on older workers especially when they are let go, while younger workers are not. Keep in mind that the main goal of the ADEA is to stop employers from having policies that have a disproportionate impact on older workers versus younger workers. Recognizing unfair treatment in the office is only the first step to solving...

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What you need to know if your business background checks employees

What you need to know if your business background checks employees

By on Jul 12, 2017 in Blog, Compliance | 0 comments

As mentioned in Part 1, it may be necessary to seek background information on employees. However, if you decide to do this you need to comply with the rules set and enforced by the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission and Federal Trade Commission. There are many laws for how background information can be obtained and used in employment decisions. Some of the regulations and guidelines you need to know if your business background checks employees are: Public employers are not allowed to ask about felony charges on an employment application or during the initial screening process. However, they can ask for this information and run background checks after making a preliminary employment offer. Employers need to get the applicant’s or employee’s written permission to perform the background check. Employers should also tell the applicant or employee how the information will affect his or her employment.  Treat everyone equally. It is against the law to only check the background of applicants and employees when that decision is based on a person’s race, national origin, color, sex, religion, disability, genetic information [including family medical history], or age. Finally, make sure to apply the same standards to everyone and take special care when basing employment decisions on background information. Having a policy in place for the use of background information is considered the best practice and will only help employers be prepared. Do you have questions about compliance?  If you need assistance with this or other human resource needs, contact us and check out our blog for more helpful...

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Are background checks necessary?

Are background checks necessary?

By on Jul 10, 2017 in Blog, Compliance | 0 comments

A recurring conversation we have with many of our clients involves whether they should run background checks on their current and potential employees. Often this turns into a discussion about what are the best practices, guidelines, and rationale behind seeking background information on employees.  A few common reasons we’ve found for why employers run background checks are: To ensure a theft free workplace. Especially in the retail industry where 42.9 percent of retail lost in the U.S. was attributed to fraud or theft from employees. To reduce legal liability for negligent hiring. To keep a safe work environment and minimize potential threats for employees. Given these reasons, it seems like running background checks should be a no-brainer. However, we suggest that employers keep in mind the cost of background screening every employee. It may not always be necessary or make good business sense to spend the money on numerous background checks. For example, employers with high employee turnover rates might want to consider only paying for background checks on management or high-level staff. Another thing to keep in mind is that there are different types of background checks. Make sure to look for the most relevant information when background searching employees. For instance, if you mostly employ CDL drivers, it is probably more cost-effective to check their driving record than their credit. The most common types of background checks include: Criminal check Credit check Reference check Drug screening check Driving record check Finally, every employer should have a policy in place for their background screening procedure and this policy should be made readily available to employees. Check out Part 2 to learn basic laws and guidelines you need to follow if you decide to seek background information on your employees. Do you have questions about compliance?  If you need assistance with this or other human resource needs, contact us and check out our blog for more helpful...

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Client success story – Montefiore

Client success story – Montefiore

By on Apr 19, 2017 in Blog, Compliance, HR Consulting, HR Operations Audit, Success Stories | 0 comments

This month’s success story highlights how Organizational Architecture has assisted their client Montefiore conduct an HR operations audit. For more than 130 years, Montefiore has cared for Cleveland’s aging Jewish and general community. They continue to provide excellent and comprehensive care to individuals as they age and support to families by offering a full continuum of care services. Seth Vilensky, President and CEO of Montefiore, said, “As our organization and healthcare industry has grown and evolved over the years, we recognized that new developments have presented new challenges to the way our Human Resources department provides service to our employees and organization. And it can be difficult to address these challenges internally. Organizational Architecture has provided us with exactly what we needed to face these challenges: an outside perspective to assess our entire human resources function, paired with a thorough analysis of findings and suggestions of best practices to improve specific areas. Our leadership team feels much more comfortable with how we can stay strategic and proactive in addressing HR challenges as our organization continues to grow and our industry continues to evolve”. When current processes and procedures are faced with new challenges, conducting an audit of your HR function provide a strategic approach to identifying and solving any issues, whether it’s your entire HR operations or a specific function within HR like compensation or talent management. Want to learn more about our HR operations audit services, as well as our other HR consulting services?  Contact us and check out our blog for more helpful...

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Client success story – HR operations audit

Client success story – HR operations audit

By on Apr 17, 2017 in Blog, Compliance, HR Consulting, HR Operations Audit, Success Stories | 0 comments

Today’s success story highlights how Organizational Architecture can assess their client’s overall human resource function through a meaningful, focused, and thorough HR operations audit. Starting in October 2016, Organizational Architecture conducted an HR operations audit for a local nursing home and assisted-living facility to identify and address any compliance issues or areas of improvement. Senior Leadership and the Human Resources department initially contacted us to help them assess their HR function and make suggestions in areas they could improve their service. We started the assessment by conducting on-site audit meetings and interviews with key leadership members and the Human Resources department to collect data and gain a thorough, in-depth look at their current human resources processes and procedures. Areas of assessment included talent acquisition; compensation and benefits; employee and labor relations; performance management; succession planning; training, development, and orientation; legal and regulatory compliance; and recordkeeping, administration, and HR systems. Once we concluded our HR operations review, we were able to provide our client with specific findings and action items including a detailed report of the analysis, findings, and recommendations based on data collected during the audits and interviews. With our analysis, our client feels equipped with the right tools and resources to improve their current human resources function to help better service employees and the overall organization. Do you need assistance with identifying areas of opportunity within your HR function to develop your workforce strategy?  Contact us and check out our blog for more helpful...

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