Employee vs Contractor, The Diversity Problem, and Overcommitting

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The OperationsInc Navigator
March 5, 2015
Employers Beware: Making the Distinction Between “Employee” and “Contractor”

According to The New York Times, the IRS will pay special attention this year to the distinction between employees and self-employed independent contractors. The New York Times says that it is imperative that workers and businesses get the classification right or else it could be costly. Contractors should take note of their specific tax responsibilities due to being self-employed. On the employer side, changes due to the Affordable Care Act impose more responsibilities on employers with more than 50 employees. Additionally, The New York Times highlights that some states have their own additional criteria, which employers should take time to familiarize themselves with.

Solving the Diversity Problem with Blind Interviews
Tech companies need to start paying attention to the lack of diversity in their hiring, according to Fast Company. Fast Company says that tech companies can avoid the gender gap by utilizing blind interviews to eliminate any unconscious bias towards one gender or school, and instead judge a candidate on his or her capabilities. Fast Company highlights several studies, including one that shows pregnant women to be 79% less likely to be hired for a tech position, and offered salaries of approximately $11,000 less. Fast Company stresses that the emphasis on hiring in general must be on qualifications, not on bias.

 

Being Prepared When Bad Weather Strikes

According to Human Resource Executive Online, a recent survey shows that 32% of American workers give their employers a low grade for winter preparedness. With the continued bad weather seen by much of the country, OperationsInc CEO David Lewis says employers must create a clear policy for employees. If an employee is expected to come in to work on a day when schools are closed, employers should consider allowing workers to bring children in to the office and provide some sort of day care. Other situations include expecting employees to stay at a nearby hotel in order to make it into the office. 

HR Best Practices Tip: Asking About Other Positions Applied To
HR Pro Tip: Overcommitting

There’s a fine line between setting the standards of behavior and practices that you want your company to follow and how you articulate these goals in your handbook. Saying that the company “will do…” something and that it “will occur monthly / quarterly / annually…” are solid goal statements, BUT dangerous handbook statements. If you commit to a specific timeline or occurrence, and then fail to meet it, you may open the door for a claim by a terminating employee. The message here – use more words like “may”, “expect to…”, “normally will…”, and so on. Qualifying that it is your intent to meet a timeline is far better than definitively saying you will…and then don’t. 

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