HR News


Expanded Pregnancy-Related Accommodations

Beginning January 1, 2020, Oregon employers with six or more employees must provide pregnant job seekers and employees with reasonable accommodations for a wider array of pregnancy related medical conditions. Under this new law, employers must provide reasonable accommodations for any known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, or related medical conditions. Some common accommodations include: Equipment or worksite modifications More frequent or longer breaks Assistance with manual labor Work schedule or job duty adjustments […]


W-4 Form Changes: Goodbye Exemptions

The 2020 Form W-4 is very different from previous versions. This is due to the federal tax law changes that took place in 2018. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is not requiring all employees to complete the revised form and has designed the withholding tables so that they will work with both the new and prior year forms. Employees required to use the new form: Those hired in 2020 Anyone who makes withholding changes during […]


Holiday Gift Giving To Employees

A little thoughtfulness and sensitivity go a long way to preventing HR mishaps! The holiday season is a time when business owners want to reward their employees with something a little extra.  Besides a holiday bonus, giving that “little something extra” often takes the form of parties and gifts. But beware!  Holiday gift-giving can quickly become an unintentional HR issue –so now is NOT the time to dismiss the idea of being politically correct. To […]


Ask HR: How to handle seasonal lay offs.

Dear HR, We are going to be laying off employees sporadically throughout the winter. We won’t be able to predict precisely when because our business is weather and road condition related. How can we be responsible employers and let our staff know? Are there any details we need to consider? HR Answer, Giving advance notice provides employees and their families time to transition and adjust to the prospective loss of employment may be legally required. […]


Educating Your Employees about Absences

Clarifying your company policy on various time-off claims is essential! What is it … sick time, family leave, paid time off or just a non-paid absence from work? Employees are not the only ones confused! When it comes to classifying an employee’s absence, employers themselves can be fuzzy about the differences. Some employers just don’t note the differences until they are sure an employee may be abusing one of the classifications. Here’s a 3-step process […]


Employee Benefits in the 21st Century

The World of Employee Benefits is Evolving Employees usually say that the most important things they want in a job first and foremost is a good-paying wage, along with “benefits.” The most common form of employee benefit is basic health insurance – with dental and vision still being an optional offering. Health benefits are still the gold standard by which many prospective employees judge a prospective employer. In a tight labor market, an employer will […]


Ask HR: Employee with Cancer diagnoses.

Dear HR: My employee is being tested for cancer. While there is a definite cancer diagnoses – my employee’s doctors are still doing tests to see what course of treatment will be required. The employee is trying to be proactive and called me to find out about our company benefits. What benefits would apply… disability, medical leave, etc.? This is the first time I’ve had a seriously ill employee whose condition will definitely impact my […]


Weather and the Workplace

Employers need to be ready for weather-related incidents before they happen! Oregonians aren’t subject to dangerous hurricanes or tornadoes usually, except for this week’s Tornado watch in Portland, but many Oregonian business owners have had to contend with floods, fires, blizzards and ice storms—even earthquakes and tsunamis. Office closures in Oregon often revolve around dangerous road conditions due to ice, snow, fallen trees or downed power poles. These weather conditions can appear suddenly, and employers […]


DOES YOUR NEXT HIRE NEED TO HAVE A COLLEGE DEGREE?

Study finds educational requirements are blocking 6.2 million workers from employment consideration. EXCERPT from Harvard Business Review“Why employers must stop requiring college degrees for middle-skill jobs.” When was the last time you looked over the educational requirements listed for a job you are hiring for? Does the job really require a high school or college degree? Or, could your company provide the proper training that could allow your next new hire to develop the necessary […]


Good Bye and Good Luck

A Simple Guide to final time, final checks and final good-byes! Remember when (oh, about 20 years ago, maybe?) the standard “good bye” that was expected from an employee was the “Two-Week Notice” that they were quitting? Then laws were passed – the Oregon “at will” employment law became the norm and voila! Both employee and employer can “leave at will” which translates to “gone at any moment” terminations or an employee’s quick phone call […]