HR Management & Compliance

HR, Get Out of the Babysitting Business

HR spends too much time babysitting. For example, policing a rule like “Do not abuse sick leave!” How are you going to enforce that? Follow all your employees? Stop! Says consultant Hunter Lott of “Please Sue Me” fame. Get out of the babysitting business and go PTO.

Yesterday’s Advisor featured Lott’s “Please Sue Me” presentation. Today, more of Lott’s tips as delivered at the SHRM Conference and Exposition held recently in Orlando.


Make behavior 50 percent of anybody’s job, says Lott. Try this for a policy:

Maintain a positive work atmosphere by acting and communicating in a manner so that you get along with customers, clients, coworkers, and management. However, says Lott, now we have to contend with an NLRB that is saying rules prohibiting negativity and gossip are chilling employees’ Section VII rights (which permit employees to discuss terms and conditions of employment). So, take care in crafting your policy.


HR should not be about 100% compliance, but there is a lot to keep up with. Lott quotes Daniel Hall (Administrative Law: Bureaucracy in a Democracy, published by Pearson/Prentice Hall):  “There are over 100,000 federal employees writing rules every day.” What does that mean? There is no way to keep up, but you can still work to avoid lawsuits.


And on relationships, Lott suggests this policy: Any relationship, on or off the job, that affects our ability to run our business or your ability to do your job may be a valid reason for disciplinary action.

Active shooter—are you ready? Get ready on September 11, 2014, with a new interactive webinar Active Shooter in the Workplace: How to Effectively Respond with a Survivor’s Mindset & Reduce the Risk of Devastating Consequences. Learn More


Staples paid $42 million in a suit by “assistant managers” who thought they should be getting overtime. Gee, says Lott, when did that come in? How about 1938.

Lott’s tip: If the job description says “clean the kitchen,” the position is not exempt.

Put People on Probation for Life

Probationary periods? Get rid of them, Lott says. There’s no useful legal or business reason for having them. You can still keep your benefits waiting period, and you can still do a 90-day review. But don’t call it anything that suggests that you might lose your ability to fire at will after 90 days. Instead, eliminate the probationary period and employees are “on probation for life.”

Exit Interviews

Exit interviews are a waste of time, says Lott. “Now that you are leaving, I’ll talk to you.” Instead, do a stay interview with an A player—take him or her to lunch.

Unboarding Program

And what about those parties for the people who are leaving? Sorry, there’s nothing for you people who stay. Lott calls that an unboarding program.

So many things to worry about, but here’s perhaps the worst one—active shooter in the workplace.

Millions of workers experience the threat of violence in the workplace every year ranging from physical assault to homicide. A key area of concern surrounds "active shooter" events, which occur when an individual–or, in some cases, more than one individual–is actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area, typically through the use of firearms.

ITEM—In April 2014, a gunman unloaded on personnel stationed at the Fort Hood military base in Texas, killing three and injuring at least a dozen more. This is yet another disturbing example of the increasing epidemic of gun violence in U.S. workplaces.
ITEM—In June 2014, a gunman opened fire on several people inside a Seattle Pacific University building, killing one and injuring others before being tackled and subdued.

If an active shooter entered your workplace, would you know what to do? This is a serious question that every safety manager, HR professional, and employee should be able to answer with a resounding “yes.”

Fortunately, there’s a timely, in-depth “active shooter” webinar on September 11. The presenter, the former head of OSHA and a seasoned safety lawyer who has helped many effectively address workplace violence and active shooter concerns, will provide a proven strategy for developing and implementing an effective and comprehensive workplace violence prevention program with a focus on active shooter events.

Register today for this interactive webinar.

Active shooter? You must have a plan. Join us September 11 for a new interactive webinar, Active Shooter in the Workplace: How to Effectively Respond with a Survivor’s Mindset & Reduce the Risk of Devastating Consequences. Earn 1.5 hours in HRCI Recertification Credit. Register Now

By participating in this interactive webinar, you’ll learn:

  • Statistics and case studies highlighting recent active shooter incidents
  • How to identify behaviors of concern, causes, and red flags typically associated with active shooter incidents and workplace violence
  • Best practices for developing an effective workplace violence program with a focus on active shooter prevention
  • How to communicate with management to gain support and backing for an effective workplace violence program
  • Key strategies for developing “enhanced situational awareness” and a “survival mindset”
  • Approaches for training employees to ensure that they know how to safely respond to an “active shooter” event
  • What needs to be done after an active shooter event to minimize trauma to your workforce
  • How you can identify and evaluate resources to help you develop and implement a workplace violence program

And, as a bonus for attending, you’ll get a 12-point action plan for handling violence in the workplace, as well as an OSHA inspection checklist!

Register now for this event risk-free.

Thursday, September 11, 2014 (Rescheduled from August 19)
1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (Eastern)
12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. (Central)
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (Mountain)
10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (Pacific)

Approved for Recertification Credit

This program has been approved for 1.5 credit hours toward recertification through the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI).

Join us on September 11—you’ll get the in-depth Active Shooter in the Workplace: How to Effectively Respond with a Survivor’s Mindset & Reduce the Risk of Devastating Consequences webinar AND you’ll get all of your particular questions answered by our experts.

Find out more

Train Your Entire Staff

As with all BLR/HR Hero® webinars:

  • Train all the staff you can fit around a conference phone.
  • Get your (and their) specific phoned-in or e-mailed questions answered in Q&A sessions that follow each segment of the presentation.

Find out more

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